INTERVIEW WITH EJAN MACKAAY

Why did you enter the Prix Vogel?

In the middle of the twentieth century, French culture had a very prestigious image in my eyes I find this same image today in the very wording of the Prix Vogel: originality and openness, the quest for excellence at the global level, attachment to, and pride in French legal culture. These values seem to me to reflect what is most noble in French culture, legal or otherwise. They are the values I have sought to pursue throughout my career.

Why an economic analysis of the law?

Lawyers running legal departments of multinational corporations, as is the case for most members of the jury, need to be able to quickly grasp the nature of the legal problems that arise in every corner of the globe where the company does business. They can’t know all the details of the relevant legal context - local lawyers can brief them in that regard - but they must understand the nature of the problem and the available solutions and be able to provide the best one. To accomplish this, a functional language is needed. An economic analysis of the law provides this functional language.

What influence does legal analysis have on civil law?

Those lawyers also have to make complex contractual arrangements for their companies that are able to create win-win conditions for contractors. The best deal is not necessarily the one that protects the client at all costs – the co-contractor will want a good deal too and reaching a consensus can be difficult, if not impossible. The best deal formalizes a win-win solution and to reach it you have to fully understand and harmonize the interests of all the parties. Once again, an economic analysis of the law provides the intellectual tools to get a handle on those interests.