Publications based on proceedings in previous conferences are listed below:

Zurich (17 and 18 June 2022)

European Sales Law: Challenges in the 21st Century 

Stefan Grundmann and Yeşim Atamer (eds.)

European Sales Law: Challenges in the 21st Century contains more than two decades of EU sales law history. In the early 2010s, a full-fledged (optional) EU Sales Law Code was on the agenda. However, this endeavour failed. In 2019 two directives took up the central ideas – the 2019/770 Digital Content Directive and the 2019/771 Sale of Goods Directive. The digital content part attracted considerably more attention while the sales part was arguably including the more doctrinal and foundational reform of EU Sales Law, first enshrined in the 1999/44 Directive.

This volume focuses on the sales reform. After 20 years, the novelties range from more detailed structures to completely new phenomena such as goods with digital components, as well as innovative policies like sustainability in the design of contract law, and finally even a scission within contract law triggered by servitisation. The contributions take up the important aspects of this doctrinal and policy design-oriented reform of EU sales law.

The volume thus discusses system building in this renewal, the challenges lying ahead, the lacunae still to be filled and the changes needed to reap the benefits of the (policy) reform. This begins with a much more nuanced typology of goods for sale, including durable or refurbished goods (both with links to sustainability) and goods with digital elements (important for high-performance goods, as well as long-term use). It continues by presenting a changed concept of conformity of goods, including durability, requiring an adaptation with respect to the digital components. Besides, long-term-use related services as well as questions regarding ethical/ecological production processes are also discussed. A side-aspect examined within the book is the subjective versus objective definition of conformity. Additionally, some chapters enquire into the overall network (distribution chains) and its impact on durability, sustainability, good incentive structures, and remedies. The focus on the priority of repair and the (potentially problematic) regime of (rather short) limitation periods, as well as issues regarding the reversal of burden of proof stand out. In a final larger segment, the radical alternative of goods coupled with service or digital elements, as well as the shift from sale of goods to servitisation contracts aimed at putting a certain type of good at permanent, yet revolving, disposal, come under discussion.

Warsaw (22 and 23 June 2018)

European Contract Law and the Creation of Norms

Stefan Grundmann and Mateusz Grochowski (eds.)

The book provides a broad and topical perspective of the sources of modern contract law. It examines the creation of contract law as a multi-pronged occurrence that involves diverse types of normative content and various actors.

The book encompasses both a classical perspective on contract law as a state-created edifice and also delves into the setting of contractual rules by non-state actors. In so doing, the volume thoroughly analyses present-day developments to make sense of shifting attitudes towards the overall regulatory paradigm of contract law and those that reshape the classic view of the sources of contract law. The latter concerns, in particular, the digitalisation of markets and growing trends towards granularisation and personalisation of rules.

The book builds on the EU private law perspective as its primary point of reference. At the same time, its reach goes far beyond this domain to include in-depth analysis from the vantage points of general contract theory and comparative analysis. In so doing, it pays particular attention to theoretical foundations of sources of contract law and values that underpin them. By adopting such diversified perspectives, the book attempts to provide for a better understanding of the nature and functions of present-day contract law by capturing the multitude of social and economic dynamics that shape its normative landscape.

The volume gathers a unique and distinguished group of contributors from the EU, USA and Israel. They bring research experience from various areas of private law and contribute with diverse conceptual perspectives.

Milan (16 and 17 June 2017)

European Contract Law in the Banking and Financial Union

Stefan Grundmann and Pietro Sirena (eds.)

The European Banking Union, with its own EU supervisory institutions such as the ECB, has had us forget that banking law mainly consists of transactions with and between clients. It is to a large extent (European) contract law. This volume investigates how the post-crisis supervisory regime of the EU and the Eurozone impacts on bank managers’ duties and on market transactions: in their relationship to the large range of stakeholders, including the public as such, in current lending and investment transactions, in the phase of recovery and resolution (with bail-ins triggering changes of contractual rights), but also in adjudication, namely in banking related ADR schemes. It concludes with a look at the ongoing endeavour to extend the banking union to a capital market and more generally a financial union.

Tartu (17 and 18 June 2016)

European Contract Law in the Digital Age

Stefan Grundmann (ed.)

European Contract Law in the Digital Age offers an overview of the interactions between digital technologies and contract law and takes into account the two (late) 2015 EU Commission proposals on digital contracting and digital content. The book goes beyond these proposals and is grouped around the three pillars of an architecture of contract law in the digital age: the regulatory framework; digital interventions over the life-cycle of the contract; and digital objects of contracting.

The discussion of the regulatory framework looks at the platforms used for digital contracting – such as Airbnb – which are particularly important instruments for the formation of digital contracts. In describing the life-cycle of the contract, this book shows how four key technologies (digital platforms, Big Data analytics, artificial intelligence, and blockchain) are being used at different stages of the contractual process, from the screening for contractual partners to formation, enforcement and interpretation. Furthermore, digitally facilitated contracting increasingly relates to digital content – for instance software or search engines – as the object of the contract but while this area has notably been shaped by the proposed Directive on Contracts for the Supply of Digital Content, this work shows that important questions remain unanswered.

This book highlights how the digital dimension opens a new chapter in the concept of contracting, both questioning and revisiting many of its core concepts. It is a reliable resource on topical developments for everyone interested in digital technologies and contract law.

Oxford (26 and 27 June 2015)

European Contract Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights

Hugh Collins (ed.)

This is the first comprehensive analysis of the extent to which the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union will influence the development of contract and commercial law at a European level. The essays in this volume examine how the Court of Justice has already used the Charter to steer the law governing consumer transactions, financial contracts, contracts of employment, self-employment, tenancies, and other contractual arrangements. They then proceed to assess the likely future impact of the Charter on EU contract law, using a variety of legal, historical, and theoretical perspectives. These original assessments by distinguished scholars range from claims that the Charter will only have a mild indirect influence to arguments that the Charter provides the necessary legal foundations for EU contract law and for a market society within a multi-level system of governance. Questions are raised about the scope of application of the Charter; its indirect but significant effect on national legal systems, especially in improving the effectiveness of EU law; and whether the rights and principles of the Charter may sometimes have direct effect on contracts by leading a court to disapply national law.

Messina (1 and 2 June 2012)

Rules and Principles in European Contract Law

Jacobien Rutgers and Pietro Sirena (eds.)

In its case law the Court of Justice of the European Union has acknowledged general principles of EU law, which have a constitutional status. In addition the Court of Justice has also recognised ‘general principles of civil law’, relying upon values which are traditionally rooted in the domain of private law.

The pervasive use of principles, both in the case law of the Court of Justice and in other EU projects of ‘soft ’ and ‘hard’ law, challenges legal scholarship. Although the concepts of principles and rules have been widely discussed within the context of national legal orders, they need to be rethought at the European level, because the traditional view of a principle does not fit the European Union’s constitutional architecture. This also applies to the general principles of civil law, for instance good faith. They also have to be redefined to be consistent with the European Union’s legal order.

The contributions in this book examine EU general principles and their distinction from rules both within the context of the European Union as well as of the Member States. Moreover, they focus on the relevance of EU general principles for contract law and of principles of civil law for a European contract law.

Istanbul (11 and 12 June 2010)

Financial Services, Financial Crisis and General European Contract Law

Stefan Grundmann and Yesim Atamer (eds.)

Speculation is rife on the origins of the worldwide financial crisis of 2008, with a preponderance focusing on alleged shortcomings in corporate governance. This book offers a distinct yet complementary perspective: that the most useful path to follow, if we want to understand what happened and forestall its happening again, is through an analysis of contract relationships – specifically, banking contracts entered into in the financial services sector, considered under the rubric of contract law rather than company law. Because banking is the area of European contract law which is most thoroughly developed, banking contracts can be seen as paradigmatic of typical assumptions and shortcomings often examined in the more general debate on contract law. And indeed, the very thoroughness of European banking contract law makes it a promising ground on which to build effective preventive measures. In this book thirteen noted scholars, recognizing that modern contract law must take into account global markets and risks, consider banking contracts within networks and within mass transactions. Always attending to the long-term relationships that characterize financial services contracts, they focus on such cross-sector issues as the following:

  • rule-setting and the question of who should best regulate and at which level;
  • networks of contracts as the backbone of a market economy;
  • the complex interplay between market regulation and traditional contract law;
  • avoiding erroneous assumptions about the future development of prices;
  • the passing on of the risk via securitization;
  • rating relationships affected by conflicts of interests;
  • remuneration problems;
  • core duties of information and advice in an agency relationship in services;
  • fiduciary duties of loyalty and care;
  • types of clients and level of protection;
  • differentiation in information available on various markets; and
  • the question of enforcement.

The authors analyse the full body of second generation European Banking Contract Law and show convincingly that the world financial crisis has proceeded at least as much from contracting as from corporate governance. This vantage point promises to open new ways to approach this most crucial of contemporary problems, and will be of great interest to all professionals examining the role played by financial services in market crises.

Berlin (8 and 9 September 2006)

Constitutional Values and European Contract Law

Stefan Grundmann

Two major developments in European Private and European Business Law come together when we speak about "Constitutional Values and European Contract Law". European Contract Law has become extreme¬ly dynamic over the last 10 years, both in substance and perspec¬tive: all core areas are considered now in legal science and in EC legislation, and there are even the prospects of some kind of codification.

On the other hand, constitutional values and their impact on private law have been an issue of high concern in major Member States over decades, namely Italy and Germany, but as well the Netherlands - hence the strong presence of scholars and practising lawyers from these countries in this book. Constitutional values have, however, found their way to the EC level and the national discussions have inspired a European one, with three core values discussed:

  • Fundamental Freedoms,
  • fundamental rights and
  • constitutional system building principles- such as the social welfare state or the rule of law.

Their impact on private law can be sensed nowadays quite considerably also on the European level. These fundamental values are often seen as the ingredient, which renders European Private Law, namely European Contract Law, more responsive to social values or more "humane".

For all these reasons, the book combines comparative law, EC Law and interdisciplinary approaches to the question "Constitutional Values and European Contract Law". Outstanding scholars from six Member States and beyond - quite a few also practising lawyers - discuss the issue and do so for the first time on such a broad and all encompassing basis.

Vienna (18 and 19 June 2004)

The Architecture of European Codes and Contract Law

Stefan Grundmann and Martin Schauer (eds.)

The nineteen outstanding contributors to this deeply insightful book concur in envisioning a fundamentally new systematic concept of contract law that, while preserving the essential ‘architecture’ of the existing European codes, would nonetheless find cogent ways to integrate such modern developments as mass transactions, chains and networks of contracts, regulation of markets and contracts to protect consumers, and service and long-term contracts into an optional European code.

The book is organised along three major avenues:

  • the systematic arrangement of a contract law code - how it deals with core questions of formation and performance or breach of contract, such as mistake and misrepresentation, standard contract terms, and remedies in the case of breach of contract;
  • the apparent necessity to merge consumer contract law (i.e. such issues as product safety and liability, warranties, and consumer debt and insolvency) with traditional core contract law concepts; and
  • the importance to substantive contract law of the pre-contractual phase, in which information duties are becoming steadily more paramount.

The authors perspectives cover a wide range of jurisdictions, including new EU Member States. The book’s commitment to an integration of comparative law, EC law, and the debate on European codification offers practitioners and academics fertile ground for the development of a new model of contract law that is more than a common denominator of what has been in force so far. This model may serve as a basis for Europe-wide and perhaps even worldwide discussion.

Paris (27 and 28 June 2003)

General Clauses and Standards In European Contract Law. Comparative Law, EC Law and Contract Law Codification

Stefan Grundmann and Denis Mazeaud (eds.)

General clauses or standards (Generalklauseln, clauses generales) are legal rules which are not precisely formulated, terms and concepts which in fact do not even have a clear core. They are often applied in varying degrees in various legal systems to a rather wide range of contract cases when certain issues arise issues such as abuse of rights, unfairness, good faith, fairness of duty or loyalty or honesty, duty of care, and other such contract terms not lending themselves readily to clear or permanent definition. Here for the first time is a systematic discussion of this kind of rule in the evolving and dynamic context of European contract law. A collection of twelve insightful essays by leading European law authorities, the book is based on a conference organized jointly by the Society of European Contract Law (SECOLA) and l'association Henri Capitant, held in the `grande salle' of the French Supreme Court in Paris in 2005.

The subject is approached along three distinct but interconnected avenues:

  • comparative contract law, in which the different models to be found among Member States particularly the Germanic, French, and English common law systems are explored with an eye to differences and common ground;
  • EC contract law, in which the general clause approach has tended to focus on labour law and consumer law, and in which the European Court of Justice more and more assumes the final say; and
  • the European codification dimension, in which a potential instrument on the European level would compete with national laws and develop closely with them.

The authors demonstrate that a focus on general clauses in contract law, embracing as it does a wide range of types of contracts, helps enormously with the necessary integration of legal scholarship and economic approaches, and of legal science and legal practice in the field. Numerous analytic references to relevant cases and EC Directives give a practical impetus to the far-reaching but immediately applicable theory presented in this important book. As European contract law continues to develop rapidly, this seminal contribution is sure to increase in value and usefulness.

London (16 and 17 May 2002)

The Forthcoming EC Directive on Unfair Commercial Practices: Contract, Consumer & Competition Law Implications

Hugh Collins (ed.)

To encourage cross-border transactions in the Single Market of the European Community, the Commission has proposed general framework legislation to set general standards that forbid unfair marketing practices towards consumers, thereby increasing consumer confidence when deciding whether or not to shop abroad in the Community, either in person or through modern methods of electronic purchasing through the Internet. The essays in this volume critically examine the proposed Directive that prohibits unfair commercial practices, and in particular they consider the potential legal and economic implications of a legal duty to trade fairly in the context of general contract law, the protection of consumers, and the needs of competition policy.

The distinguished authors of these essays, from Finland, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom, explain the different approaches of national legal systems to the legal regulation of marketing practices, and assess the compatibility of the proposed Directive with national law and its likely success in achieving the promotion of trade in the Single Market.

Leuven (30 November and 1 December 2001)

An Academic Green Paper on European Contract Law

Stefan Grundmann and Jules H.V. Stuyck (eds.)

The Contract is the core tool of governance in a free market economy. An EU Contract Law Code is now on the political agenda because all three legislative bodies in the EU and most member states favour it in principle. In its communication of July 2001, the Commission proposed three major options: to enhance the existing EC Contract Law by eliminating inconsistencies; introducing a European Code which substitutes national laws; and introducing a European code which only supplements national laws.

This book achieves three things: For the first time, European academia is discussing these three options in an extensive and systematic way with pros and cons, in a transparent and systematic way, along broad lines and often also important details. The book contains the views of all protagonists from all those who really drafted the models to all those who illustrated the potential of decentralized rule-making and invented the very idea of an Optional Code. This is the first book in which the optional Code, which is the alternative most likely to come, is thoroughly analysed at all.

This work also contains a full map of design possibilities. It is the executive summary of what European academia thinks of the future of European Contract Law and a European Code. It is the Academic Green Paper on European Contract Law.

Rome (8 and 9 June 2001)

EU Sales Directive – Commentary

Massimo C. Bianca and Stefan Grundmann (eds.)

European standards of interpretation (including interpretation of comparativelaw) and reference to the directive and to instruments of European law are now part of sound legal practice even in the most routine of domestic cases. The huge reforms in many national laws, in some countries the rewriting of their Code to reflect the Directive, is no more than good approximation. What really matters and what ultimately will be the decisive standard is the Directive. The Geneva Conventions on bills of exchange and cheques, the Vienna Convention on the International Sale of Goods and the Brussels Convention on jurisdiction and recognition of judgments were milestones. They did not, however, influence national private law in its core area as profoundly and as extensively as the EU Sales Law Directive will. This book starts off by explaining the instruments of European law and their influence on national law and lays solid foundations for a thorough transnational understanding of every single provision of the directive. Also discussed are the philosophical, historical and economic foundations of the different rules, which are followed by a detailed commentary on each individual article.