Ten years ago, Martijn W Hesselink wrote The new European legal culture (2001). More recently, he’s recently written a short article entitled ‘The new European legal culture – ten years on’ reflecting on the earlier work. That article
is a postscript to The New European Legal Culture which was written for the Chinese translation almost a decade after the original essay was published. That essay argued that Europe was facing a shift from a rather formal, dogmatic and positivistic approach to a more substance-oriented and pragmatic approach to private law.
Ten years on, has the trend towards a new, less formal legal culture in Europe been confirmed or is there now a reverse tendency? As this paper points out, the picture is mixed: there are both examples of neo-formalism and new examples of a more substantive approach to private law. Four milestones and their implications for European legal culture are addressed: the sudden end of the postmodern era after 9/11, the failed European constitution and related neo-nationalism, the arrival of the new Member States, and the CFR process.
Surprisingly, he argues that
Overall, today the neo-formalist tendencies seem to be stronger than a decade ago.
Check out the article (and the original if you haven’t read it) and let us know what you think.
21 January 2010
Hesselink and the new European legal culture -- ten years on
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