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On 28 and 29 September 2017 a workshop on the changing role of the judiciary in European private law is organized by Chantal Mak, Laura Burgers and Anna van Duin within the framework of the Vidi-project Judges in Utopia.

Event details of Judges in Utopia – Judicial law-making in European private law
Start date 28 September 2017
End date 29 September 2017
Time 13:00


Theory and practice suggest that the authority of rulemaking in the European Union is shifting from the legislature to the judiciary. The courts are increasingly called upon to balance different values and to reconcile conflicting interests, both public and private, and in vertical as well as in horizontal relationships. The ‘Europeanisation’ of private law leads to an interplay of national and supranational rules governing legal relations among private actors in the multi-layered order of the EU. Courts may find themselves confronted with ‘hard cases’, which reveal diverging ideas of justice and principles of law at the interface of EU and national private laws. Those ‘hard cases’ may provoke innovative case law.

The workshop’s general theme can be approached from a descriptive and from a normative perspective. Descriptively, the question arises what is expected from civil courts in light of EU law. Normatively, the question could be asked how the judicial deliberation of values in private legal disputes should take place, and how it may contribute to building a shared legal culture in Europe.

During the workshop, academics from all over Europe engage with each other on these matters.


  • PMaciej Szpunar
  • Fabrizio Cafaggi
  • Floor Fleurke
  • Jaap Spier
  • Luc Lavreysen
  • Jose Maria Fernández Seijo
  • Aida Torres Perez
  • Dorota Leczykiewicz
  • Oliver Gerstenberg
  • Hans Petter Graver
  • Aurelia Colombi Ciacchi


The symposium will be held in Artis (Blauwe Sterrenzaal), Plantage Kerklaan 30-40, Amsterdam.

By public transport

Tram 9, stop Plantage Kerklaan (Artis)

Metro, stop metro Waterlooplein (exit Hortus)


This symposium is invitation-only but if you would like to attend, please send an email to Laura Burgers or Anna van Duin.


L.E. (Laura) Burgers

Faculty of Law

Dep. Private Law

J.M.L. (Anna) van Duin

Faculty of Law

Dep. Private Law