In her inaugural lecture Chantal Mak focuses on the important role private law plays in developing ideas about justice in the multi-layered legal system of the European Union.
To what extent should judges in civil matters take moral views into account when judging cases? The answer to this question depends on the way we define the relationship between morality and the law. If we see law as an offshoot of political morality, judges should already take social considerations into account when defining the legal question that is at stake in a case. If, on the other hand, law and morality are seen as connected but not entirely overlapping phenomena, the influence of social considerations will not play such an important role.
Using examples from a number of European countries (the Netherlands, England, Spain, Germany) and legal precedents from the Court of Justice of the European Union, Mak examines the perspectives on law, morality and justice that are expressed in European civil case law. She argues that European private law provides arguments supporting the position that judges should in certain cases refer to the moral dimension of a legal question to provide insight into ideas about justice that are fundamental to European integration.
C. Mak, hoogleraar Privaatrecht: Justice through European private law.
This event is open to the public.