Announcement: European and National Constitutional Law Closing Conference

‘The European Constitution is best perceived as a composite Constitution, comprising constitutional rules and principles developed at European level, complemented by (common) national constitutional rules and principles as well as those from other sources such as the ECHR and international law. Crucially, European as well as national law are involved in defining a European constitutional law’.

The ERC-funded European and National Constitutional Law (EuNaCon) project (2008 – 13), headed by Prof. Monica Claes, was set up to better understand and improve the body of knowledge on the national component of Europe’s composite Constitution. As such, national constitutional traditions and principles have been analysed and compared in four key areas of constitutional law, and the insights obtained have been used to formulate a better understanding of Europe’s composite Constitution.

EuNaCon marks its successful conclusion with a Closing Conference that takes place between 20-22 February 2013 in Maastricht, The Netherlands.

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MEPLI Roundtable on Smart Regulation of European Private Law

MEPLI’s first roundtable (June 2011) was on an evergreen topic – methodology in European property law. Its second (Dec 2o11) dealt with the proposed Common European Sales Law, which had (then) just been published. The third (June 2012) was on choice and competition in international sales law. The topics chosen were well within the realm of private law. MEPLI’s most recent roundtable (Oct 2012), hosted jointly with MCEL, departs from its comfort zone to consider the European public/private divide. Our next conference is along the same theme, and may appeal to both public and private lawyers alike.

Organised by Dr Kristel de Smedt, it is a full-day conference entitled ‘Smart Regulation of European Private Law”, taking place on 18 January 2003 at the Maastricht Law Faculty. As usual, attendance is free but please register to k.desmedt[at] with your name and designation by 11 January 20013. This is since space is limited. 

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Maastricht Law Student Research Prize 2012

Just a caveat to our international readership: this post is aimed at the Maastricht law student, and is not strictly on European private law.

I am pleased, on behalf of the faculty, to announce the Maastricht Law Student Research Prize 2012 – an essay competition aimed at encouraging high-level research amongst our student body. Prizes are awarded in the Bachelors and Masters categories, and all students enrolled in the law faculty’s undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are in principle eligible to apply. Essays may be written in Dutch or in English, and there is no restriction as to the topic of choice.

Registration of interest may be made by Friday 30 November 2012 to gary.low[at], and consists of a resumé, transcript, and a 400-word abstract of your research question. The closing date for submission of the essay is 19 April 2013.

More information can be found here:

Research Prize EN  Research Prize NL

Furthermore, an information session will be held between 1 and 1.30 pm on Friday 2 November in room B.0113 (conducted in English) and room D.0225 (conducted in Dutch). Please spread the word – and I hope to see you there!



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EU Law in the Private Sphere – Helping Hand or Officious Intermeddler?

Save the date: Friday 26 October 2012. Registration is free. Register by sending an email to Dr Gary Low at mepli[at] with your name, designation, and contact details.

The aim of this one-day international conference is to evaluate EU Law’s evolution from one initially limited to the sphere of public law to its increasing stake in regulating private relationships. Such an evaluation has fundamental and applied consequences for how a multi-levelled European legal order ought to be regulated: What is the extent to which EU Law’s regulation of private relationships is justifiable? How is the State’s traditional role affected? What is its impact on the current system of rights and remedies? Given the topic’s salience to two distinct but related groups of scholars, this conference is co-organised by Dr Gary Low of the Maastricht European Private Law Institute (MEPLI) and Dr Elise Muir of the Maastricht Centre for European Law (MCEL).

The tentative programme is as follows:

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Competition in International Sales Law – Perspectives on Choice

* Note: Programme updated as of 16 May 2012*

2012 is a significant year. It marks the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the CISG, and the introduction of CESL. Placed within the context of other international and regional sales laws, one may say that those who shop in the market for laws are now spoilt for choice. But how is such choice to be exercised? Choice implies the selection of one instrument over the other, giving rise to notions of competition. It is in that sense important to understand how parties make such choices.

Choice in international sales law is in that respect the theme for MEPLI’s one-day roundtable conference scheduled for Friday 15 June 2012 and hosted at the Feestzaal of Maastricht Law Faculty.

This roundtable is divided into three panels, distinguished on the basis of perspective. Contributions in the first panel offer an institutional perspective on the choices available. A second panel focuses on competition between the instruments and how parties may be expected to choose. The third sheds some light on the similarities and differences between the instruments, suggesting criteria to evaluate these instruments, as well as views on what the best instrument is. Speakers are drawn from academia, legal practice, as well as commercial interests.

Attendance is free but do note that space is limited. You may register by Friday 8 June by email to Dr Gary Low (, and please include your full name, designation, and contact details. If you are subsequently unable to attend, please send an email to that effect to the same address.

The tentative programme is as follows:


1000 – 1025 Registration and coffee

1025 – 1030 Welcome address by Prof Jan Smits

Panel 1 – A view from the institutions

1030 – 1050 An arbitrator’s perspective, Prof Christina Ramberg (Stockholm)

1050 – 1110 The CESL on the European Law Market,  Prof Jan Smits (Maastricht)

1110 – 1130 A view from Uncitral, Mr Renaud Sorieul (UNCITRAL)

1130 – 1200 Discussion

1200 – 1330 Lunch

Panel 2 – How parties (ought to) choose

1330 – 1350 A psychology of choice of laws, Dr Gary Low (Maastricht)

1350 – 1410 Choice of jurisdiction, Prof Jan Dalhuisen (King’s College London)

1410 – 1430 A commercial perspective, Mr Eric Poelman (Philips CE)

1430 – 1500 Discussion

1500 – 1520  Coffee break

Panel 3 – Comparing choices

1520 – 1540 Formation/Incorporation, Dr Sonja Kruisinga (Utrecht)

1540 – 1600 interpretation of Contracts, Dr Nicole Kornet (Maastricht)

1600 – 1620 Remedies for Breach, Dr Olaf Meyer (Bremen)

1620 – 1650 Discussion

1650 – 1700 Closing remarks

1700 –             Reception

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