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The harmonisation of private law in Europe and children's tort liability: A case of fundamental and children's rights mainstreaming

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image of The International Journal of Children's Rights

The debate around private law harmonisation in the EU has gradually moved from a narrow scope of market-related issues to the creation of a European civil code. The relationship between this process and children's rights is, however, rarely acknowledged. The political, social and legal legitimacy of these harmonisation efforts have come under strict scrutiny, but hardly ever from the point of view of children. This article explores the impact of the process of legal harmonisation on children's rights, and uses the issue of children's tort liability as a case-study. The legal solutions in this field are analysed and compared, and the academic proposals for harmonisation are assessed. This choice of subject and approach allows us to assess the advisability of further harmonisation, illustrate the importance of socio-economic factors in this process, and highlight the relevance of children's rights and fundamental rights to this debate.

Affiliations: 1: School of Law of the University of Manchester;, Email:


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