Contract Law & the Moral Limits of Markets

In the 2017 CSECL International Summer School we will examine contractual aspects relating to basic question of the moral limits of markets.

Most people believe that there are some things that should not be sold on markets, and that there are certain background conditions and terms that are antithetical to meaningful market exchange. The basic question of moral limits of markets has been a topic of debate among philosophers, legal scholars and economists. There are multitude of controversies over the moral limits of markets. From a legal standpoint, however, concrete answers are required to the question of what things and terms should be legally permissible.

This summer school facilitates a multidisciplinary exchange on questions at the intersection of contract law and the moral limits of markets. In a just society, what is the appropriate role of contract law in demarcating the moral limits of markets? And how ought a society treat exchanges that are morally controversial from a contractual perspective? We will discuss these and other questions,including whether any moral limits of consumption should have a bearing on consumer contract law.

The participants will explore ‘Contract Law & the Moral Limits of Markets’ and will have opportunities to present, and link the teaching materials to, their own research.


 28 June - 1 July 2017

Application deadline:

 Monday 24 April 2017


Each day will be devoted to exploring and discussing a different contract law theory and its implications for moral limits to markets. The teachers will explore, with the group, central questions regarding contract law and the moral limits of markets. Participants will be able to bring their own research agendas and alternative views into the discussion. Part of the day will be dedicated especially to the individual work of participants within the summer school theme: papers will be presented to and discussed with the group and the teacher.

June 28




Inequality and the Problem of Porous Entitlements

Workshop by Aditi Bagchi


Participant Paper Discussions

June 29





Contractual Externalities Beyond Frontiers

Workshop by Lyn Tjon Soei Len


Participant Paper Discussions

June 30




Just Markets

Workshop by Hanoch Dagan


Participant Paper Discussions

July 1




Immoral Contracts in a Pluralist Society

Workshop by Martijn Hesselink


Participant Paper Discussions (Tentative)

For whom?

We kindly invite advanced Master's students, Graduate/PhD students, Postdoctoral researchers and other junior scholars in law, philosophy, political science and economics to apply for the CSECL International Summer School. Participants should express an interest in private law, legal theory and/or philosophy of law, as the summer school will focus specifically in the role that contract law plays in demarcating moral limits of markets. Those admitted will be expected to attend all the sessions in order to benefit from the in depth discussions that the summer school aims to facilitate.


Thanks to funding from the European Commission, as part of an award of Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence status to ACCESS EUROPE, there is no fee for attending the summer school. However, participants are in principle expected to cover their own costs of their travel to Amsterdam and accommodation and living expenses for the extend of the summer school. The CSECL can offer some assistance with suggesting and arranging accommodation. For information contact Yvonne ter Horst at


There are ten scholarships (up to 500 euros each) to cover the costs of travel and accommodation. These will be awarded on the basis of merit and need. Those who would like to be considered for a scholarship should state this in their application letter, and confirm that they are unable to raise sufficient funds from their home institution. Among eligible candidates, preference will be given to those who are unable to attend the summer school without financial assistance.

How to apply

Applications should consist of a CV; an abstract (max 500 words) of a proposed paper, or work in progress, to present and discuss; a letter of motivation which includes a brief description of the applicant’s own research, and the contact information of one referee who may be contacted. The referee should be someone who knows the applicant’s work well, such as a supervisor or other professor. Applications should be emailed to or

Admission will be competitive, based on CV, the abstract, the letter of motivation, and the overall relevance of the summer school for the applicant’s own research.


Applications should be received by 24 April 2017. Decisions on admission and scholarships will be taken by the end of April.


The summer school will take place in the Law Faculty of the University of Amsterdam, located in the center of Amsterdam. Amsterdam Central Station is easily accessible from Schiphol airport by train, and the Law Faculty is only a ten-minute walk, or 5-minute trip by tram or bike from there. The center of the Amsterdam City is easily accessible by foot and offers an excellent selection of museums, restaurants, bars, and shops.

Classes take place in the Oudemanhuispoort building, room A0.09.

  • Oudemanhuispoort

    Oudemanhuispoort 4-6 | 1012 CN Amsterdam
    +31 (0)20 525 3361

    Go to detailpage


For questions about the summer school you can contact Lyn Tjon Soei Len at or Yvonne ter Horst at


This four day, intensive summer school is organized by the Centre for the Study of European Contract Law ( and ACCESS Europe ( In 2017, the Centre for the Study of European Contract Law (CSECL)  launched a new joint programme and ‘research priority area’, together with the European and international law centers ACELG and ACIL, on ‘Law and Justice across Borders’. One of its three subthemes is ‘Markets and Society’.
ACCESS Europe is a co- operative venture between VU University and the University of Amsterdam, providing a platform for research and debate on Europe, the European Union and its Member States. It has recently been awarded Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence status. Within the ACCESS Europe research theme ‘European Constitutionalism’ questions regarding the common European market and its moral limits are of central, normative concern.

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