Skip to main content
Contribution to Book
Private Law and Fundamental Rights: A Sceptical View
Constitutionalisation of Private Law (2006)
  • Jan M Smits, Maastricht University
Over the last decade or so, many European countries have seen a growing influence of fundamental rights in contract, tort and property law. This development, sometimes referred to as the 'constitutionalisation' of private law, is often regarded as highly beneficial. It seems after all to be a noble idea to allow fundamental rights to play a role in relationships between private persons. However, the application of universal standards of what is regarded as fair in the relationship between the State and the citizen to private parties can also be looked at with suspicion. The aim of this contribution is to reflect on the desirableness of the constitutionalisation of private law and to show the adverse effects of this development.
  • Private law; Fundamental rights
Publication Date
September, 2006
T. Barkhuysen and S. Lindenbergh
Citation Information
Jan M Smits. "Private Law and Fundamental Rights: A Sceptical View" Leiden-BostonConstitutionalisation of Private Law (2006)
Available at: