Centre for the Study of European Contract Law

Postdoctoral research

Vidi project 'Judges in Utopia'

Fundamental values in a multi-level private legal order

This project investigates the evolution of judicial reasoning in domestic and European case law in private legal matters engaging legal principles. More specifically, it addresses the question how national judges and the CJEU should approach ‘hard cases’ of a private legal nature that receive different answers in the laws of the Member States.

Making use of a functional-comparative legal method, the research should first investigate how European courts have answered a selection of these cases. The comparison will concentrate on judicial reasoning and the role that is played by general principles, reflecting societal values, in the judicial process. Drawing on theories of European constitutionalism, the second step of the project should consist of the conceptualisation of the multi-level order of private law in the EU, on the basis of which meta-principles for the reconciliation of conflicting values and legal principles in this field can be formulated.


11 July 2016