Legal harmonization is a fundamental notion of comparative contract law that has been on the international and national agendas for at least six decades. There have been a number of endeavours seeking for similarity between legal rules from different jurisdictions; however, their achievements remain contested since there is no comprehensive understanding of the nature and extent of harmonization. This article examines different facets of harmonization by looking at it as a legal phenomenon instead of a distinct process of drafting similar rules. This article discusses that, conceptually, harmonization is better understood as encompassing the meanings given, and the goals pursued, by the various agents promoting its implementation. Four cases of harmonization show that the different meanings of harmonization converge on the same multifaceted referent irrespective of operating at the supranational, international, or federal level. This article brings together at least four explanatory models responding to different approaches to the same phenomenon as they focus on inputs and outcomes, the greater or lesser diversity between rules, the sources of the law, and the processes of harmonization themselves. Adopting a comprehensive understanding of harmonization as a legal phenomenon may help to better assess the strengths and weaknesses of the implementation processes as well as to formulate adequately new endeavours.
Eliezer Sanchez Lasaballett, Conceptualizing harmonization: the case for contract law, Uniform Law Review, https://doi.org/10.1093/ulr/unz007. Published: 19 April 2019.