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What does a German swimming pool have to do with the European Court of Justice?

9 March 2018 | By:
Prof. Daniel M. Klocke
Insights into business law with EBS Professor Daniel M. Klocke

Professor Daniel M. Klocke has held the Chair of Civil Law, Commercial Law, Labour Law and Legal Theory at EBS University since 1 September 2017. In this interview, he talks about the consequences of even the smallest differences in German and European contract law and about the special features of the EBS law study programme.

Professor Klocke, why did you decide to come to EBS?

I was attracted by the general structure of EBS as a small private university where one can work with small groups. In labour law, for example, there are always two points of view: the employee-friendly and the employer-friendly viewpoint. My teaching is aimed at not taking sides, but putting jurisdiction up for discussion by the students. This simply works better the smaller the groups are.

Can you name a central question from your field of research that you are currently working on?

In consumer law, I am currently working, among other things, on an annotation for an interesting case, in which it is a matter of distinguishing between a sales contract for a service or work performance contract.

Can you elaborate on this case?

The case is as follows: The swimming pool was damaged. The spouses hired a technician to carry out the repair, but in the course of this some parts necessary for the repair were delivered damaged. The spouses have now made the mistake of immediately hiring a second company to correct these shortcomings. In Germany, however, you have to set a deadline for the first contract partner before you do this. European law is unclear at this point. However, the European Court of Justice said: we do not have jurisdiction, because this is a repair and therefore a contract that does not fall under the Consumer Goods Sales Directive. Outcome: German law is applicable and the couple will probably have to bear all the costs themselves.

Are such cases what make the subject of law so exciting for you?

There is something for everyone in law. For example, I have always been very interested in economics and in law you can specialize in business law. That’s why I feel at home here at EBS. I appreciate the discourse with the business economists very much. They are always a little more direct in their questions and in what they intend to do. Then visions become apparent.

What makes studying law at EBS special for you?

What I find very good is the close contact between the students and the professors. You simply communicate well, both professionally and personally.

Which particular skills would you like to equip your students with?

I want to tell them: “It is the path you wish to follow!” Individuality is very important and it is a big EBS plus factor that students can do “their thing” here. They can go their own ways and set their own priorities. We are happy to support them in this.

Thank you for this interview!

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