European Private International Law (2nd edition) by Geert Van Calster

The second edition of van Calster’s European Private International Law provides an accessible, informed and up-to-date account of some of the private international law (PIL) topics covered at undergraduate level.

The foundations of PIL and its principles are presented in an approachable style. Among them are the usual suspects such as preliminary questions, characterisation, renvoi, prorogation, and the application of overriding mandatory rules, to name but a few.  These are introduced with reference to examples from European legislative instruments and case law; this practical approach will be welcomed by students and practitioners

The principal focus is on European PIL legislation in the fields of contractual and non-contractual obligations (including the Brussels I Recast Regulation, Rome I and Rome II Regulations, Insolvency Regulation), corporate social responsibility and the more recent Succession Regulation. While this edition does not profess to be an exhaustive book on European PIL, the only criticism that one may level – particularly from a reader interested in cross-border family law – is that the EU PIL instruments relevant to the field of family law are excluded from the analysis.

It is clear that van Calster is particularly interested in the impact of European harmonisation of all stages of PIL and the potential for regulatory competition in international dispute resolution. This adds an interesting perspective to how PIL can assist businesses in providing a level playing field and provide greater legal certainty to promote cross-border business integration.

Unlike many other texts on European PIL, van Calster draws from his experience in legal practice to provide examples of the reality of the application of PIL in practice. The case reviews add particular depth to the doctrinal principles and provide additional context to the application of the European PIL instruments discussed. This is one of the key strengths of the book.

The book will be of particular interest to academics, practitioners and undergraduate students. It can be ordered here (Hart Publishing).

Written by Dr Michael Wells-Greco, Maastricht University


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