The protection of non-pecuniary contractual interests within the law of damages
PhD student: Mr M.Th. Beumers
Promotor: Prof W.H. van Boom
Duration: 1/2/2015 - 1/2/2021
PhD defence: Leiden, 30/6/2021
In my thesis, I conduct a comparative research into the protection of non-pecuniary contractual interests of consumers with the remedy of damages. In most cases, a consumer concludes a contract for entirely different reasons than a commercial party does. The latter generally aims to generate profits, whereas the former often concludes a contract in order to satisfy subjective, non-economic needs and desires. A consumer books a holiday, takes his lover out for a romantic dinner or buys an expensive new suit for his wedding. He does not pursue any economic benefits with such contracts, but aims to get pleasure, enjoyment or some other kind of intangible benefit from them. This seems fairly obvious. However, it is less obvious how these non-pecuniary contractual interests are, and should be, protected with the remedy of damages. Non-performance by the other party can harm a consumers non-contractual interests: the flight to the holiday destination is cancelled, the main course of the romantic dinner is uneatable and the new wedding suit is two sizes too small. In my thesis, I firstly address the normative question of how these non-pecuniary contractual interests of consumers should be protected. Furthermore, I describe how within Dutch, English and German law such interests are currently protected with the remedy of damages. Finally, I assess whether, in light of my normative framework, these three jurisdictions sufficiently protect the aforementioned interests with the remedy of damages.