Cologne Gathering

“What Could Private Law Theory Mean? Constituting a PLT Network”

May 07-08, 2010, Albertus-Magnus-University, Cologne, Germany
organized by Dan Wielsch and Bertram Keller

The constitutive gathering of the PLT network in Cologne was opened by the initiators Dan Wielsch and Bertram Keller with the question what PLT could mean and what a PLT network could serve for. In his keynote speech Gunther Teubner demanded a liberating move of private law to free itself from its instrumental use by the national states. For him PLT has to strengthen the constitutional role of private law, i.e. to redefine public within private law.

In the following two days the present twenty scholars discussed the function and future of PLT around small presentations. Among others Brigitta Lurger showed how theory could help to overcome national boarders. Even if there might not yet be a standing body of private transnational law, private law eversince has been an answer to “transnational problems”. Martijn Hesselink emphazised the importance of PLT for the making of European private law. PLT has the task to add the dimension of political philosophy to positive “black letter law”. For Marietta Auer PLT should regard private law as a social fact with historical, sociological and economic eyes. Florian Rödl sees two projects of PLT. One project is a conceptual enterprise, which analyses the concepts of subjective rights, family, contract, etc. The other addresses the social theory of private law with conflicting interests and power structures. Kenji Saigusa stressed that theory is never neutral. PLT should reveal the policies behind theories.

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