2022 ELI Annual Conference: Fourth Ole Lando Memorial Lecture by Prof Ramberg


On 5 September 2022, the Fourth Ole Lando Memorial Lecture took place as part of the 2022 ELI Annual Conference. This year’s speaker was Christina Ramberg (Professor, University of Stockholm), who delivered a speech on ‘The Interaction Between Soft Law and Case Law – How Precedents Fulfill Ole Lando’s Ambitions to Harmonise European Contract Law’.

In it, Prof Ramberg contrasted judge-made law in Sweden, France, Brazil and China from statutory law. In doing so, she advocated for the former as a source of law that contributes to efficiency and certainty. Prof Ramberg said that efficiency is promoted when judges rely on prior decisions instead of making new independent ones that as doing so facilitates amicable settlements and decreases inclinations to take disputes to court. Furthermore, she continued that judge-made law may be tailored in later cases to encompass situations that were not considered in initial precedents, whilst statutory law does not provide any real predictability due too general or too casuistic terms. To conclude, she gave a brief overview of some advantages and disadvantages relating to harmonisation through precedents.

The lecture was followed by a lively Q&A session in which Prof Ramberg addressed several questions, including on the topics of democratic deficit, excessive abstraction of law, and the need for the adequate training of judges and students on precedents.

To read the text of Professor Ramberg's lecture, please click here.

Attendees and viewers also heard from friends and colleagues of Ole Lando who had sent in video messages on their memories of him. You can watch the Ole Lando Memorial video here.

The Ole Lando Memorial Lecture series was launched in 2019 in memory of the Danish lawyer Ole Lando (1922–2019). Lando was a Founding Member of ELI, a professor and a leading private international lawyer. Among many achievements of his long and varied career were the ‘Principles of European Contract Law’ which have been highly influential in the development of both EU and national contract laws.

Read more on previous Ole Lando Memorial Lectures: