Dr Peter Cserne


I am a legal theorist with special interests in comparative, economic, and philosophical approaches to private law. I am especially interested in contract law and theory and regulatory aspects of private law; nudges and techno-regulation; the methodological and philosophical foundations of law and economics and the limits of the autonomy of law as an institutional practice. Private law is both an old-timer and an empty shell. Amid social and technological dynamism, its doctrinal techniques have remained largely unchanged since Roman times. The technique of civil liability suggests that private law is transactional: it is concerned with corrective justice and interpersonal accountability. Yet private law solves societal problems: it provides the infrastructure of economic exchange and social cooperation. Governments occasionally reform it in light of external goals such as distributive justice or welfare maximisation. Promoting and channelling innovation may be seen as a particular, related external goal; this renders private law a technique of enabling innovation. The assumptions and implications of this perspective are among the questions I would like to explore with fellow members of SCOTLIN.