Inequality in exchange and comparative law: the geography of legal evolution in the 20th century

Grebieniow, Aleksander (9 June 2017). Inequality in exchange and comparative law: the geography of legal evolution in the 20th century (Unpublished). In: 7th Annual International Conference on Comparative Law. Warschau. 09.06.2017.

Comparative Law means not only travelling in space, but travelling in time as well. It’s the essence of legal evolution: Law undergoes changes in different countries at different times. The story of inequality of exchange serves as a good example.
Inequality in exchange as a legal figure of the old Roman laesio enormis has long been a popular topic for comparative studies. However, the comparison was mostly limited to the French, German and English legal systems, even though they form model solutions for their legal families. In the historical perspective, it meant tracing the legal evolution of laesio enormis and the unfair advantage (unconscionable contract) until the implementation of the German BGB in 1900 only. But it is not how the whole story goes.
This paper aims at showing how Comparative Law has served to shape the legal consequences of unfair advantage in the 20th century. Its modern “legal geography” is a perspective of so called “derived legal systems”: the Swiss, the Polish, the Italian and the Dutch. Each of them marks a new stage in the legal evolution of the institution of unfair advantage. The path of development starts from the Swiss Code of Obligations of 1911 and proceeds gradually towards the soft law of the 21st century. Its main feature is the striving for more flexibility meaning favour of private autonomy and certainty of contractual relations.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


02 Faculty of Law > Department of Legal Theory and History of Law > Institute of Roman Law

UniBE Contributor:

Grebieniow, Aleksander


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 340 Law




Linda De Maddalena

Date Deposited:

14 Jun 2017 09:38

Last Modified:

06 Mar 2019 09:38


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