IL Why Harmonize the General Principles of Contract Law?. III. The Purposes of the Principles of European Contract Law. IV. The Subjects and the. PRINCIPLES OF EUROPEAN CONTRACT LAW. Text of articles in English: Parts I and II (complete and revised version ). Quick Index‎Section 2: Direct · ‎Article Application of · ‎Article Fundamental. The Restatements consist of non-binding rules, "soft law". They purport to restate the Common Law of the United States. The Principles are also "soft law", but their main purpose is to serve as a first draft of a part of a European Civil Code. Furthermore a common law does not to exist in the European Union.


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I am not quite sure what is intended by the various headings.


The annex gives as examples: Concerning the definition of a contract, the definition could for example also explain when a contract should be considered as concluded. Obviously, some brief definitions in european contract law principles narrow sense would be needed, but in the PECL there is a very limited number of these.

The Principles of European Contract Law, Parts I & II | Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory

Perhaps what is intended is the kind of broad statement that of itself carries no force but is merely a reference to other, more detailed, provisions. If this is right, then european contract law principles difference from the PECL is largely one of drafting technique.

Thus, I think that in terms of its form, the core of the CFR is envisaged as being similar to the articles of the PECL — a set of principles that set out basic concepts and how they interrelate in the form of a series of rules.

I hope that the CFR european contract law principles include not only rules, similar to the articles of the PECL, but also a commentary explaining the interrelationship of the rules and giving examples.

The Principles of European Contract Law, Parts I & II

It would be a great shame if the CFR did not include comments on the rules. In terms of content, the model rules that european contract law principles envisaged by the annex to The Way Forward seem to be the equivalent of the rules of the PECL.

This suggests that the core of the CFR will be general principles of contract law, the infrastructure on which rules governing specific contracts are built. Indeed, that is just where a CFR is most needed, because it is in those general principles that we find the greatest divergences in concepts and terminology.

However, The Way European contract law principles contains additional items that are of considerable significance. First, the paper envisages that the CFR will deal not only with general principles but with some specific contracts.

Annex I lists sales and insurance contracts.

EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

The Action Plan had stated that service contracts as well should be covered. Secondly, The European contract law principles Forward makes it clear that the primary purpose of the CFR is to help in the revision of the acquis, and it goes european contract law principles the Action Plan in setting out a plan and a timetable for this revision.

Most of the acquis deals with consumer contracts, and it is evident that the Commission intends that the CFR deal with specific issues relating to consumer contracts as well as lay down general rules that might apply to business-to-business contracts.

A distinction between model rules applicable to contracts concluded between businesses or private persons and model rules applicable to contracts concluded between a business and a consumer could be envisaged. That will be quite a contrast to the PECL, which do not have specific consumer provisions.

The point is made even clearer in Annex I. Section II of the model rules might deal with pre-contractual duties and, in particular, pre-contractual information obligations european contract law principles phrases that to an English lawyer at least suggest consumer protection rules rather than rules for contracts in european contract law principles.

The Principles Of European Contract Law (Parts I, II, and III)

I will return to this issue later. I think that the CFR needs to contain even more than rules dealing european contract law principles consumer contracts, however. We have to remember that the CFR is not to be a set of binding rules.


Rather, it is to provide definitions and concepts, and european contract law principles be a model that legislators may apply or otherwise follow when drafting or revising Community instruments.

The legislators will want to know why one approach or concept might be preferable to another. This might be for reasons of tradition — that the approach in question reflects the laws of the majority of member states or of the majority of the existing Community instruments that touch the european contract law principles.

Here detailed notes on the derivation of the rules and a comparative evaluation would seem to be essential.

Principles of European Contract Law - Wikipedia

There may need to be some general discussion of competing policy approaches or philosophies of contract law in general, and of how a suitable balance between the competing approaches may be achieved.

As to how european contract law principles CFR is to be produced, the Action Plan referred to the ongoing research process and stated explicitly that it did not wish to reinvent the wheel; further research projects should be undertaken only where ongoing research leaves a gap.


European contract law principles, it seems that the Commission intends to rely largely on the work of the various groups that are already in existence. The Way Forward makes it clear, however, that it does not wish to rely on a wholly academic product.