The validity of exemption clauses: towards an integrated, efficient and fair regime
PhD student: Mr M.F. Claes
Promotors: Prof B. Tilleman, Mrs Prof E. Terryn
Duration: 1/10/2019 - 30/9/2023
The current regime on the validity of exemption clauses is far from flawless: it is highly fragmented and seems to be arbitrary in the provision of protection to (weaker) parties in certain specific contractual relationships. Consequently, contracting parties that do not have such specific protection often rely on casuistic ad hoc solutions, such as the abuse of rights regime. In addition, the correct interpretation of several fundamental concepts remains in a persistent fog of haziness, such as the delimitation of the term "exemption clause" itself. The aforementioned shortcomings are not without consequence: the current regime does not allow one to reasonably estimate the possible legal consequences of certain exemption clauses and is therefore at odds with the principle of legal certainty. Moreover, the problems mentioned - and in particular the gaps in the provision of protection - do not seem to be compatible with the principle of equality. Therefore, the planned research is aimed at providing (conceptual) clarity and developing an integrated validity regime that is both economically efficient and legally fair and, moreover, attempts to remedy the gaps in the existing regime.