Eric Descheemaeker joined Melbourne Law School as a Professor in 2017, having previously been Reader in European Private Law at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom. Originally from France, he studied law at Paris-I Panthéon-Sorbonne University (bachelor’s and master’s degrees), the London School of Economics (LL.M.) and the University of Oxford (D.Phil.), where he was also a Fellow of St Catherine’s College for five years. His doctoral dissertation was published as The Division of Wrongs: A Historical Comparative Study (OUP 2009).
He is a private lawyer whose main interests lie in the field of non-contractual obligations (tort and unjust enrichment). He is interested in the comparative legal history of these subjects in the common-law world, the civilian tradition and mixed legal systems. He has written extensively, in particular, on the law of defamation and privacy, the law of damages, unjustified enrichment and structural issues within private law. In 2012 he received a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for a project on “Reconstructing the Law of Defamation”; the same year, he was was elected to the International Academy of Comparative Law.
He holds honorary positions as a Visiting Research Fellow of the Institute of European and Comparative Law (University of Oxford), a Research Scholar at the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law (McGill University) and a Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Private Law at the University of Cape Town. Besides these, he has also been a visiting professor or scholar in a number of institutions, including the University of Cambridge (Herbert Smith Freehills Visitor, 2017), Paris-II Panthéon-Assas University (2016), the University of Queensland (Distinguished Research Fellow, 2015), Sciences Po Paris (2012) and the University of Pennsylvania (2004).
He is the founder and former organiser of the Oxford French Law Moot, now in its 10th edition, and a book reviews editor for the Revue trimestrielle de droit civil, the leading journal of private law in the French-speaking world. He is also an editorial board member or foreign correspondent for the Revue marocaine d’histoire du droit, the Revue Tribonien and, again, the Revue trimestrielle de droit civil.