19 May 2011 | NJB-salon ‘Interaction between legal systems’ in Leiden
On May 19th, Leiden hosted the NJB-salon ‘Interaction between legal systems’. This symposium, which was initiated and hosted by young researchers, gave practicing lawyers and researchers an opportunity to discuss the increasing interaction between different legal systems.
Introductions were provided by Walter van Gerven and Steven Lierman, the authors of the recently published book ‘Algemeen Deel’, which demonstrates the shifting and blurring of borders between different legal systems.
During the symposium, much time was allowed for discussion, expertly chaired by Tom Barkhuysen. A panel, consisting of Willem Witteveen and Carel Smith, provided insightful responses to the readings by van Gerven and Lierman. From the lively debate that followed, it can be concluded first that the topic of Interaction between legal systems is very much alive: in all sorts of legal areas, questions arise as to which law must be applied and how it can be justified. A second and unavoidable conclusion is that questions concerning the interaction between areas of law do not lend themselves to easy answers. For example, should one design choice of law rules for the relation between different legal systems or rather adhere to the existing hierarchy of norms? Given such a choice, how can the consistency of the law be secured? And, perhaps most importantly, are these questions even new or are they in fact old questions, which are becoming ever more pressing due to the increasing influence of European law and the constitutionalisation of legal orders?
In short, many challenges remain for those who are affiliated with the profile area ‘Interaction between legal systems’, or who simply appreciate a good question mark.