This paper intends to discuss some major European legal issues by building on the critique of a certain narrow relevance of human basic needs, according to traditional Western legal conceptions of the subject as well as of the public-private divide. In particular it aims at verifying the potentiality of consumer law for rethinking the right to housing, within recent trends of European Private Law, by adopting a remedial approach. For this reason the paper analyzes three well-known cases decided by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) – namely Aziz, Sanchez Morcillo and Kušionová – as examples of this meaningful trend. Through the combination of the fairness test over contractual terms with the criteria of effectiveness and proportionality, a broader protection of right to housing is recognised even in horizontal private relationships. Art. 7 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (CFREU) could represent the constitutional reference for this new perspective. The paper also intends to show how the relevance of the basic need for housing is traced to debtor’s families. CJEU’s interpretative itinerary seems to start from a fairness test about contractual terms, but eventually comes to give protection to subjective situations that are even out of the domain of the contract.
Rocco Alessio Albanese, Within the Public-Private Divide. Right to Housing and Consumer Law in Recent European Private Law Trends, Global Jurist. Published Online: 2018-09-29. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/gj-2017-0040.