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Leiden researchers contribute to the reform of French liability law

Researchers from Leiden University, KU Leuven and Paris II compared the French legislative proposal with the Dutch Civil Code. They published their findings in the Revue internationale de droit comparé (RIDC). Some recommendations have been adopted by Jean-Jacques Urvoas, the Minister of Justice.

La réforme de la responsabilité civile

The French legislature is reforming the law of obligations. The law of contract has already been adapted by means of an Ordonnance. At the moment, a reform of the remaining parts of the law of obligations is on the legislative agenda. In April 2016, the Ministry of Justice published a first proposal and gathered the views of interested parties in a public consultation process.

Comparative report and publication in RIDC

Researchers from Leiden University, KU Leuven and Paris II – united in the research group Grotius-Pothier – compared this proposal with the Dutch Civil Code. They presented their findings and recommendations to Charlotte de Cabarrus, the Cheffe du Bureau du droit des obligations responsible for the reform process.

The researchers also published a joint contribution in the Revue internationale de droit comparé (RIDC 2017, p. 5-44). In a separate section – with the heading ‘Dialogue entre la Chancellerie et le groupe Grotius-Pothier’ – Charlotte de Cabarrus responds to the recommendations.

Ministry of Justice adopts recommendations

On 13 March 2017, Minister of Justice Jean-Jacques Urvoas published a new proposal. Several recommendations have been adopted.

The Minister has, for example, changed Articles 1233 and 1234 on the relationship between contractual and extra-contractual liability. These adjustments are in line with the recommendations of Ruben de Graaff and Benjamin Moron-Puech. They also have an impact on Article 1240, regarding questions of alternative causality. This has been pointed out by Emmanuelle Lemaire and Gitta Veldt. They argued that Article 1240 could lead to uncertainties regarding the recourse between liable parties. Article 1240 now includes a second paragraph on this issue. Article 1263 on the duty to mitigate the damage has also been changed, as recommended by Thijs Beumers and Maxime Cormier.

Researchers involved

The RIDC publication has been coordinated by Diana Dankers-Hagenaars (University of Amsterdam), Alex Geert Castermans and Alice Dejean de la Bâtie (Leiden University). The following researchers have contributed to the project: Ivano Alogna, Jean-Sébastien Borghetti, Maxime Cormier, Emanuelle Lemaire, Marie Leveneur-Azémar, Benjamin Moron-Puech (Paris II), Thijs Vancoppernolle (KU Leuven), Thijs BeumersRuben de Graaff, Thijmen Nuninga en Gitta Veldt (Leiden University).

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