On occasion, lawmakers justify their moves with the argument of enhanced legal certainty. But what does ‘legal certainty’ mean? This chapter explains the certainty concept by taking a look at some more recent European (Union), Austrian and Japanese private law issues. In doing so, it argues that the certainty concept shows various facets that address different legal issues, comprising ideas of inter alia legal clarity, legal stability and legal peace. Although improved legal certainty should generally be welcome, the chapter indicates that an overemphasis of this concept might create some tension with other arguably important considerations – most notably with legal flexibility. The examples given in this analysis illustrate how policy makers try to react to this. Although the strategies taken in the discussed jurisdictions might differ, they all aim to reconcile the interests of natural and legal persons affected by lawmaking.
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