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8 The Constitutionalisation of Private Lawin the Netherlands

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Chapter Summary

The issue and significance of fundamental rights (basic rights and human rights) in private law relationships has started to attract more and more attention in the Netherlands. For the Netherlands the topic of the effect of basic and human rights on private law is anything but new. The new family law and law of persons, which was introduced in 1970, has frequently been tested against the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), with very far-reaching consequences. This chapter describes the state of affairs relating to the constitutionalisation of private law in the Netherlands. For this purpose, the sources and nature of the fundamental rights relevant to Dutch law are addressed. Subsequently, attention is focused on the ways in which fundamental rights may affect private law in the Netherlands. Next, the practical significance of fundamental rights for two branches of civil law is dealt with: contract law and extra-contractual liability law.

Keywords: constitutionalisation; contract law; European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR); extra-contractual liability law; fundamental rights; Netherlands; private law



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