International Conference:

Uniform rules for European Contract Law?

A critical assessment

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Objectives and Issues

Twenty years have already gone by since Part I of the Principles of European Contract Law (PECL) was published and more than ten since the whole project was completed. The PECL, together with Law enacted by the European Union (and its predecessors) have fostered intense activity among scholars in respect of the so-called European Contract Law. A new ius commune in this field seems to be increasingly accepted across the continent and subsequent proposals on Uniform rules for Contract Law have attracted the attention of stakeholders. Among these projects are the Draft Common Frame of Reference (DCFR) or the Proposal for a Regulation on a Common European Sales Law (CESL).

Great effort has been put into their preparation and also the analysis of their particular rules. The aforementioned proposals, however, still remain soft law with doubtful perspectives as regards enactment by the corresponding European institutions. At this stage, it is unclear whether the whole process of drafting uniform rules is still worthy to be pursued.

The conference aims to assess the current need for uniform rules in European Contract Law, taking into consideration its possible past benefits. The programme is structured according to the needs set out in the PECL: (i) the facilitation of cross-border trade within Europe and the strengthening of the internal market; (ii) the creation of an infrastructure for EU rules governing contracts; (iii) the provision of guidelines for national courts and legislatures; and (iv) the construction of a bridge between the Civil Law and the Common Law. These benefits were to a certain extent assumed by the subsequent projects and initiatives. The programme includes a fifth part which expects to analyse the influence of the European process on non-EU countries.

The conference commemorates the 30th anniversary of the incorporation of the Kingdom of Spain in the EEC/EU and serves as the closing event for the Jean Monnet Module “Towards a Common Private Law of Europe”, granted to IE University.



Thursday 23rd June 2016


15.00-16.30  Registration

16.30-16.40  Welcome. Prof. Javier de Cendra. Dean IE Law School

16.40-17.20  Opening keynote speech. Prof. Hugh Beale (University of Warwick, UK). The role for European Contract Law: uniformity or diversity?

17.20-17.40  Discussion

17.40-18.00  Coffee break


Uniform rules for the internal market

Chair:  Prof. Charlotte Leskinen (IE University, Spain)

18.00-18.25  Prof. Bart Wauters (IE University, Spain). Ius Commune and Contract Law

18.25-18.50  Prof. Fernando Gómez Pomar (Pompeu Fabra University, Spain). Optimal Standards for the Single Market in Contract and Consumer Law

18.50-19.15  Prof. Zeynep Tarman (Koç University, Turkey). Non-state Law in the Arbitration of Commercial Contracts

19.15-19.35  Discussion

20.45-23.00  Conference dinner. Mesón Cándido (by the Roman Aqueduct)

Friday 24th June 2016


Uniform rules for National legislators and courts

Chair:  Prof. Víctor Torre de Silva (IE Law School, Spain)

10.00-10.25  Prof. Encarna Roca i Trías (Magistrate Constitutional Court of Spain). The modernization of the law of obligations by using the principles of European contract law

10.25-10.50  Prof. Thomas Ackermann (Ludwig Maximilians Universität, Germany). Uniform rules as guidelines for national courts and legislatures: The German experience

10.50-11.15  Prof. Vanessa Mak (Tilburg University, The Netherlands). Better regulation? An evaluation of the influence of uniform rules for European contract law in Dutch law

11.15-11.35  Discussion

11.35-11.55  Coffee break


Uniform rules to bridge the gap between Common and Civil Law

Chair:  Prof. Marie-José Garot (IE Law School)

11.55-12.20  Prof. Stefan Vogenauer (Director Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Germany). Uniform Rules on the Interpretation of Contracts to Bridge the Gap between the Civil and the Common Law

12.20-12.45  Prof. André Janssen (City University of Hong Kong). Bridging the gap: The CISG as a successful legal hybrid between Common and Civil Law?

12.45-13.10  Prof. Francisco de Elizalde (IE University, Spain). Contractual Terms in the Common and Civil Law. Do Uniform Rules reflect a common core?

13.10-13.30  Discussion

13.30-14.30  Lunch


Uniform rules as a requirement of Consumer Law

Chair:  Prof. Fernando Pastor Merchante (IE University)

14.30-14.55  Prof. Marco Loos (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands). Uniform contract law: does consumer law show the way forward?

14.55-15.20  Prof. Christian Twigg-Flesner (University of Hull, UK). Designing European Consumer Contract Law rules – the mistakes of past attempts and suggestions for the future

15.20-15.45  Prof. Geraint Howells (Dean, City University of Hong Kong). What can consumers gain from uniform European consumer laws?

15.45-16.05  Discussion

16.05-16.20  Coffee break


Uniform rules as a model for non-EU countries

Chair:  Mr. Esteban Leccese (King & Spalding, USA)

16.20-16.45  Prof. Mateja Djurovic (City University of Hong Kong). Uniform rules for European Contract Law as a model for the Asian countries

16.45-17.10  Prof. Işik Önay (Koç University, Turkey). Effects of European Harmonization on Turkish Contract Law

17.10-17.35  Prof. Iñigo de la Maza (Diego Portales University, Chile). The Principles of Latin American Contract Law. Harmonisation as Syncretism

17.35-17.55  Discussion


17.55-18.35  Closing speech. Prof. Larry DiMatteo (University of Florida, USA)

18.35-18.50  Concluding remarks. Prof. María Paz García Rubio (University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain).

18.50-19.00  Final words. Prof. Salvador Carmona, Rector IE University


Venue & Accommodation

IE University

Campus de Santa Cruz La Real

Cardenal Zúñiga, 12, 40003, Segovia (Spain)

The organization has blocked rooms at Eurostars Acueducto****, which will be kept at special rates until April 20th, 2016. Participants should contact the hotel directly, stating that they will attend the conference. The hotel is located at a walking distance from the University, just by the millenarian Roman Aqueduct.

Travel Indications

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Registration fee (includes admission to the academic programme on all days, refreshments, Conference dinner on Thursday 23rd and lunch on Friday 24th):

Before 15 April 2016: 150 EUR

Before 15 June 2016: 180 EUR

IE Law School and IE University students (30% discount): 105 EUR (no right to Conference dinner). Seating is limited
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The conference is kindly supported by:

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Prof. Francisco de Elizalde (IE University)
T: + 34 921 412 410

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