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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 July 2009

Hector L. MacQueen
Affiliation:
Professor of Private Law University of Edinburgh
Antoni Vaquer
Affiliation:
Professor of Private Law University of Lleida
Santiago Espiau Espiau
Affiliation:
Chair of Private Law University of Lleida
Hector L. MacQueen
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh
Antoni Vaquer
Affiliation:
Universitat de Lleida
Santiago Espiau Espiau
Affiliation:
Universitat de Lleida
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Summary

This book consists of revised versions of the papers presented at a conference held in the Universitat de Lleida, Catalonia, on 27–29 April 2000. Scholars from all over the world came together to discuss a seemingly diverse range of topics linked by three key concepts: (1) European private law; (2) regional private law; and (3) codification of law. The purpose of this introduction is to show how these concepts draw together, and why their interaction is important at this juncture in the development of Europe as a cultural, political and juridical entity.

European private law: the new ius commune

The idea of European private law has been central to much legal scholarship at the end of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first centuries. It has been driven by at least three distinct engines: (1) the European Union; (2) the findings of comparative law; (3) the history of law in Europe, in particular the medieval and early modern concept of a European ius commune, based upon the learned Roman Civil Law and the Canon Law of the Roman Church.

In practical terms, the most important of these engines for the idea of a European private law has been the development of what is now the European Union, linking together for political, economic and social purposes an increasing number of the states of western Europe, and doing so by means, among other things, of law and legal instruments.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2003

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