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This book is the result of a long-term comparative research project on intellectual property, with topics ranging from patents to copyright, examined across 16 jurisdictions. The research results question the common narratives of the distinctiveness of private and public law, of contracts and property, and of morality and the law.
The fourteen selected cases, based on recent, and in some cases futuristic when the project began in 2001, scenarios, aim to identify how boundaries to information property emerge, the areas of law that are applied and the principles that are followed in order to balance the conflicting interests at stake. The issues discussed revolve around well-known interfaces such as IP and competition law, monetary interests versus personal interests in human genome data, individual freedoms-to-operate versus collective action models as found in basic research or 'creative commons'. The book shows how some national discussions appear similar on the surface, in terms of resorting to parallel principles, but subsequent domestic policy answers vary greatly. Even legislation which aims at harmonisation may result into more diversity.
The national reports in Part III are complemented by comparative analyses by the editors, whilst the chapters in Part II are dedicated to an analysis of the submissions from a theoretical point of view, departing from the editors' own research interests. The chapter in Part I describes the overall 'Common Core' research method, which splits the national reports into operative, descriptive and metalegal formants.
In this book, which is part of the book series of the Common Core of European Private Law, reporters consider legal institutions that allow persons who have occupied private or public land of others to acquire that land through mere long-term use.
Contracts are illegal not only when they contravene specific legal rules, but also when they are considered immoral or contrary to public policy. In this way rules of contract law also influence the exceptional and sometimes fragile relationship between law and morality. They determine which issues can be made the subject of a legally valid and enforceable agreement according to the values underlying the legal order to which they pertain. But despite their geographic proximity, shared history and common aim of a strong EU internal market there are remarkable differences in the underlying values of many European legal systems. This book brings together a group of well renowned contract lawyers that analyse how their own legal systems deal with 12 interesting cases of morally dubious agreements, including for example suretyships, conditional contracts of succession, nuptial agreements, surrogacy agreements, contracts for sex work and, of course, usurious contracts. All inspired by real litigations adjudicated by courts and covering the questions of validity and enforceability, as well as the availability of remedies. To give a comprehensive picture of immoral contracts across Europe, the national perspectives are complemented by chapters providing historical insights as well as an EU perspective. Throughout the book comprehensive analysis of the findings offers crucial insights into divergences and convergences and the decisive factors driving European thinking. With contributions by Susana Almeida, Paulius Astromskis, Marko Baretic, Valentina Bineva, Milan Budjac, Florin Ciutacu, Aurelia Colombi Ciacchi, Eugenia Dacoronia, Julie del Corral, Róbert Dobrovodský, Wolfgang Faber, Nuno Ferreira, Francesca Fiorentini, Morten M. Fogt, Kestutis Gusevicius, Nikitas Hatzimihail, Torbjörn Ingvarsson, Monika Jurčová, Lorenz Kähler, Julija Kiršienė, Theis Klauberg, Ivana Klorusová, Julija Kolomijceva, Irene Kull, Laura Macgregor, Chantal Mak, Zeeshan Mansoor, Luboš Maxina, Adam McCann, Peter Mészáros, Špelca Mežnar, Tuulikki Mikkola, Zuzana Nevolná, Zdeněk Nový, Zsolt Zdeněk Nový, Barbara Pasa, Charlotte Pavillon, Annina H. Persson, Katarína Procházková, Teresa Rodríguez de las Heras Ballell, Vincent Sagaert, Angel Shopov, Karolina Sikorska, Jozef Štefanko, Lyn K. L. Tjon Soei Len, Martina Uhliarová, Kurt Xerri, David E. Zammit and Jozef Zámožík. PROF. DR. AURELIA COLOMBI CIACCHI is a Professor of Law and Governance at the Law Faculty of the University of Groningen. She was previously a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Oxford. PROF. DR. CHANTAL MAK is a Professor of Private law, in particular fundamental rights and private law, at the Amsterdam Centre for Transformative Private Law (ACT) of the University of Amsterdam. DR. ZEESHAN MANSOOR is an Assistant Professor at the Hazelhoff Centre for Financial Law of the University of Leiden. He is also a Director at the consultancy firm Alvarez & Marsal, focusing on Financial Industry Advisory Services (FIAS).
This book presents a unique and extensive comparative study of commercial contract interpretation across 14 selected jurisdictions, namely Croatia, England and Wales, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, South Africa, Spain and Sweden. Using a dynamic comparative case method, the focus is centered on the discussion of key legal problems, further examined in a detailed and comprehensive comparative analysis. In this way, the book makes important advancements in the general understanding of contract interpretation in European private law in three respects. First, it enriches the conventional conceptual framework for the methods of contract interpretation by distinguishing between interpretation aims and means. Second, it challenges the presumptive division of common law and civil law jurisdictions, for example, the assumption that civil systems follow a subjective approach and common law systems an objective approach to interpretation of contract. Third, the book provides a more subtle analysis of the role of standards of 'good faith' in contract interpretation. A common core of contract interpretation in European private law that is inferred from the national reports is that every legal system strives to reach a compromise between staying true to the intentions of the parties, assessing what a reasonable person would understand from the contract drafting, and preventing outcomes that are unfair or unjust. Each court draws on the material available to it in order to reach this compromise. Conversely, the differences between the jurisdictions pertain to what constitutes a common intention between the contracting parties and reasonableness, and what the appropriate methods are by which these could best be ascertained. Here, the jurisdictions reveal a variety of conceptual, doctrinal and pragmatic similarities and distinctions. Contributions written from law and economics, and European private law perspectives place the key legal issues into context and make Interpretation of Commercial Contracts in European Private Law a coherent and valuable resource for academics and practitioners with a European or international focus.
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