Pierre Larouche, Péter Cserne, (Eds.), National Legal Systems and Globalization. New Role, Continuing Relevance

Pierre Larouche, Péter Cserne, (Eds.), National Legal Systems and Globalization. New Role, Continuing Relevance, Springer, 2012

This book sheds a new light on the fate of national legal systems in an era of globalization, with a more optimistic message than elsewhere in the literature This book was written by a team of experts in comparative law and law and economics, two perspectives which are rarely brought together This book also contains many practical studies, on the Draft Common Frame of Reference, the new civil codes of Central and Eastern Europe, EU electronic communications and energy regulation (both institutional and substantive), impact assessments, as well as the national and European judiciary

For the researchers involved in this book, the prospects of national law seemed less dire than is usually acknowledged. The project team shows that globalization, instead of threatening national legal systems, puts them in a new role and gives them continuing relevance. First of all, once one takes a more functional view of the law, based on law and economics and comparative law literature, harmonization or unification of national legal systems is no longer a foregone conclusion. Secondly, fundamental constitutional principles continue to bear in the era of multi-level and transnational governance: they become governance principles, divorced from specific institutional settings. Finally, looking beyond regulatory competition and comparative law, legal emulation provides a rich and fruitful model to explain the interplay between legal systems. This book explores these three themes, both at a theoretical level and in the light of specific examples. It sheds a new light on the fate of national legal systems, with a more optimistic outlook. Researchers and practitioners alike will experience how this research project brings us a step forward in the understanding of the evolution of national legal systems in the globalization era.

The research for this book, in which a team of experts in comparative law and law and economics took part, was commissioned and funded by HiiL (The Hague, the Netherlands), as a project named Convergence and divergence of national legal systems: coping with the challenges of globalization. It was carried out at the Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) of Tilburg University (the Netherlands) under the direction of Pierre Larouche.

Pierre Larouche is Professor of Competition Law at Tilburg University and a founding director of TILEC. Péter Cserne is now Senior Lecturer in law, University of Hull (United Kingdom) and an extramural fellow of TILEC.

Table of contents

Preface

Chapter 2. Convergence and Divergence, in Law and Economics and Comparative Law

 

A Giant with Feet of Clay: A First Law and Economics Analysis of the Draft Common Frame of Reference (DCFR)

Filomena Chirico, Eric E.C. Van Damme, Pierre Larouche, A Giant with Feet of Clay: A First Law and Economics Analysis of the Draft Common Frame of Reference (DCFR), TILEC Discussion Paper No. 2010-025. Available at SSRN, June 22, 2010.

Abstract:

This paper contains the conclusions from the work of the Economic Impact Group (EIG), a part of the CoPECL Network of Excellence funded by the EU to prepare a Draft Common Frame of Reference (DCFR). Part 1 revisits basic principles which are central to the work of the whole group. For one, contract law is not just about remedying market failures, it is fundamentally a basic condition for markets to exist at all. Moreover, law and economics analysis looks for Pareto-efficiency and total welfare, without taking distributional considerations into account. Part 2 summarizes the contributions of the EIG members: they dealt with general issues of contract law (function of contract law, good faith, non-discrimination), the formation and interpretation of contracts (including standard terms), contractual performance (choice of remedies, standard for the assessment of damages), termination (including long-term contracts), specific areas such as insurance and consumer law, as well as non-contractual liability (interplay between contract and tort law, limits to extra-contractual liability). Part 3 draws general conclusions from these contributions. As regards the first question before the EIG (desirability of harmonization at European level), the costs of harmonization have been downplayed, so that the case for harmonization has probably been exaggerated, certainly as regards areas such a non-contractual liability where the DCFR cannot simply be an optional regime. As regards the second question assessed by the EIG (appropriateness of the provisions chosen in the DCFR), the work of the EIG reveals shortcomings: among others, rules have been formulated without a complete assessment of their rationales and the ex ante impact of the DCFR has been ignored. The drafters of the DCFR could have derived more added value from an economic analysis of their work than they seemed to acknowledge. Accordingly, while the DCFR is a momentous work of scholarship, it rests on fragile foundations.