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Transformations: An Introduction to this Volume and Reflections on Uniform Law Conventions as Public and Private Law

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The Transformation of Private Law – Principles of Contract and Tort as European and International Law

Part of the book series: LCF Studies in Commercial and Financial Law ((LCFSCFL,volume 2))

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This chapter introduces this Liber Amicorum for Professor Mads Andenas KC. The author and editor of this volume puts the choice of this book’s subject in context with the academic work of the honorand and with her own research interest. This interest is in the connection and interaction between public (international) and private law concepts and practice. Uniform law conventions, especially contract law conventions, are a prime example to illustrate the challenges arising from this dual nature as public international and substantive private law. At the same time, this example shows the potential impact of the research presented in this volume which covers a broad range of issues in public international and private law highlighting transformations through responding to technological innovation and reflection on traditional concepts.

Maren Heidemann is a founding director of the London Centre for Commercial and Financial Law and guest lecturer at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS), Queen Mary, University of London, United Kingdom

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  1. 1.

    If there is anything that can be called a legal argument in that process which the present author perceived as consisting of mere propaganda as it unfolded; see Forrester in this volume.

  2. 2.

    See for instance Cherednychenko in this volume.

  3. 3.

    Specifically, the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), but also the World Trade Organization (WTO).

  4. 4.

    See Yusuf; Halperin in this volume.

  5. 5.

    See Heidemann (2018a).

  6. 6.

    Klabbers (2013).

  7. 7.

    See further Heidemann (2009).

  8. 8.

    1980 Rome Convention on the law applicable to contractual obligations, OJ C 27, 26.01.1998, pp. 34–46 (Rome Convention).

  9. 9.

    1968 Brussels Convention on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, OJ L 299, 31.12.1972, pp. 32–42.

  10. 10.

    2007 Convention on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, OJ L 339, 21.12.2007, pp. 3–41.

  11. 11.

    This term denotes the ensuing EU regulations named after the initial conventions in the area of judicial co-operation and overriding the same.

  12. 12.

    The Hague-Visby Rules—The Hague Rules as Amended by the Brussels Protocol 1968.

  13. 13.

    ELI/UNIDROIT Model European Rules of Civil Procedure, available at (accessed 23 Feb 2022).

  14. 14.

    See Consolo and Stella in this volume.

  15. 15.

    Heidemann (2019), pp. 5–24.

  16. 16.

    See Sect. 4.2 below.

  17. 17.

    See Sect. 4.5 below.

  18. 18.

    See Sect. 4.3. below.

  19. 19.

    Art. 3 (2) of the Introductory Act to the Civil Code (Einfuehrungsgesetz zum Buergerlichen Gesetzbuch, EGBGB), which contains the German private international law, states that: “[u]nless rules in international conventions, insofar as they have become directly applicable in national law are relevant, the applicable law is to be determined, where the facts of a case have a connection with a foreign State, by the provisions of this chapter (private international law)”.

  20. 20.

    Regulation (EC) No 593/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 on the law applicable to contractual obligations (Rome I).

  21. 21.

    Traditional ‘pre-Rome’ English PIL allowed the choice of a ‘system of law’ which might have allowed the choice of transnational commercial law in certain circumstances, see Collier (1987).

  22. 22.

    See Heidemann (2019), p. 127.

  23. 23.

    This means they should be at the top of the hierarchy of norms, see Heidemann (2019), pp. 26–47.

  24. 24.

    Articles 1–3 of the Law on CISG and the CMR of 5 July 1989, Bundesgesetzblatt (BGB)l II 1989, p. 588, accessible at (accessed 8 Mar 2022).

  25. 25.

    Sections 433–700 of the German Civil Code.

  26. 26.

    Alle aufgeführten Verträge hat die Bundesrepublik ratifiziert. Durch die Veröffentlichung im Bundesgesetzblatt ist ihr Inhalt für die Unternehmen zugänglich und kann als Ausgangspunkt für das Risikomanagement verwendet werden.” (The Federal Republic has ratified all of the listed treaties. Through publication in the Federal Law Gazette, their content is accessible to companies and can be used as a starting point for risk management.), BT-Drucksache 19/28649. p. 34.

  27. 27.

    Ibid, p. 35.

  28. 28.

    See in particular Dalhuisen (2012).

  29. 29.

    Heidemann (2019), pp. 89, 110–111.

  30. 30.

    Heidemann (2018a); Heidemann (2015); Heidemann (2018b).

  31. 31.

    See Sect. 4.4 below.

  32. 32.

    Both agreements involve the operation of a dispute settlement body who effectively has the power to decide on the commitment of public funds as damages or penalties. A recent example is the settlement between Vattenfall AB and others v. Federal Republic of Germany (II) (ICSID Case No. ARB/12/12). The government eventually accepted to pay EUR 1425 million in March 2021 to compensate the Swedish owners (Vattenfall) of the German nuclear plants for the phaseout decided by the German government in 2011. Street protests against state action and intergovernmental lawmaking at G7, G8 and G20 summits and against the (planned) trade agreements between the EU and the US (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP) and the EU and Canada (the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, CETA) were expressions of frustration by citizens who felt ignored and disempowered, lacking any substantive control over lawmaking at the supranational level. This excludes of course those protesters who were merely looking for trouble. See also recently Kim and Winnington-Ingram (2021).

  33. 33.

    Heidemann (2018a).

  34. 34.

    The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (2021).

  35. 35.

    Essentialia negotii—Identity of the parties, description of the object (e.g. the goods) and the price.

  36. 36.

    The withdrawal was effected by Presidential decree on 20 March 2021, see UN Human Rights Committee (2021).

  37. 37.

    Advocates for Justice and Human Rights (2021).

  38. 38.

    The opinion of the present author on this matter may not need further explanation. It is obvious that the same thought process applies to ‘Brexit’, i.e. the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU in 2018–20. What is the object of the Treaty on European Union? What was the original motivation of the UK government to join? What did they not agree with, i.e. what was their relationship with the object either ex ante or ex post?

  39. 39.

    See Case Concerning Arbitral Award of 31 July 1989 (Guinea—Bissau v. Senegal), ICJ Reports 1991; see also Heidemann (2018a), p. 914.

  40. 40.

    Buffard and Zemanek (1998), p. 315.

  41. 41.

    Minority Schools in Albania, PCIJ, Series A/B, No. 64 (1935), 15.

  42. 42.

    Buffard and Zemanek (1998), p. 316.

  43. 43.

    This doctrine was developed in the context of the standard for the exercise of administrative discretion and is attributed to Bonnard (1923); see Buffard and Zemanek (1998), p. 325.

  44. 44.

    Buffard and Zemanek (1998), p. 318.

  45. 45.

    Even though the German author Ress, for instance, used the expression Gegenstand, subject matter, in the context of subsequent practice, which is a fitting synonym for the word object, but was used to refer to both object and purpose, again as a standard expression, see Ress (1987), as Buffard and Zemanek (1998) explain.

  46. 46.

    Buffard and Zemanek (1998), p. 343.

  47. 47.

    See in detail Heidemann (2015).

  48. 48.

    Doc. 3201 (S-VI). Declaration on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order, available at

  49. 49.

    See Heidemann (2017).

  50. 50.

    The EU is my view not remotely reaching its potential regarding the use of service portals.

  51. 51.

    See D. Corapi in this volume.

  52. 52.

    See S. Ando and Somma in this volume.

  53. 53.

    Teubner (2002).

  54. 54.

    See Dalhuisen in this volume.

  55. 55.

    See Alpa in this volume.

  56. 56.

    Long may it last in view of events at the time of writing.


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Heidemann, M. (2024). Transformations: An Introduction to this Volume and Reflections on Uniform Law Conventions as Public and Private Law. In: Heidemann, M. (eds) The Transformation of Private Law – Principles of Contract and Tort as European and International Law. LCF Studies in Commercial and Financial Law, vol 2. Springer, Cham.

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