Energy Union Law | Contribution to book
In search of a grand theory of European private law : social justice, access justice, societal justice and energy markets
16 December 2019
BY: Lucila de Almeida, ESPOSITO Fabrizio
A theory is grand when it is bold enough to embody ‘ the sociological imagination’. Among theorists committed to the epistemology of science, grand theorists that embody the sociological imagination are those who seek big visions in order to achieve lucid summations of what is going on in the world. It is the quality of all that is intellectually ambitious to tie micro-levels of reality to explain social reality. In times of specialisation in all social science, H-W Micklitz – the main character in this liber studentium – envisioned the development of a grand theory and stands alongside the grand theorists carefully chosen in his collection Privatrechtstheorie. Since 2007, the European University Institute has been the location of Hans’ intellectual journey to give meaning to Europe’s justice, in contrast to the emerging critique of Europe’ s justice deficit in the aftermath of the Eurozone crisis. This chapter engages with what is arguably the most ambitious outcome of the European Regulatory Private Law Project, namely an account of the justice dimension of the EU. The concept of access justice in European private law, as it stands, deserves deep reflection and extended discussion. In this chapter, however, we intend to do something less ambitious. We intend to start a conversation – something Hans finds very important in academia – on the descriptive, conceptual, and normative attractiveness of access justice. To achieve this end, this chapter is structured as follows. Section II articulates the mature account of access justice and relates it to social and societal justice. Section III put these three concepts of justice into the context of the energy markets, which Hans claimed play a prominent role in EU economic (or private) law. 10 Section IV introduces several critiques to earlier accounts of access justice. In Section V, this allows us to consider how the mature account of access justice addresses them. Section VI concludes.
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