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Archive for November, 2011

COMMON EUROPEAN SALES LAW – Views from BEUC, minutes from EP May meeting, article from the UK

November 18, 2011 By: Admin Category: European Sales Law


In an article for the Guardian, Alex Aldridge comments on how a European single contract law could erode English hegemony with the UK legal profession viewing it as a threat to its dominance (with Ken Clarke describing the proposal as an „Esperanto fallacy„) and that the real fear is not over b2c contracts but business-to-business contracts where the English law (and New York law) is currently the dominant jurisdiction for international transactions. European justice commissioner Viviane Reding is quoted as saying „A widespread European contract law would be an important advantage in the global competition between the civil and common law systems, particularly in view of a growing Asian market.“ The article says that „still, a European contract law would have a long way to go before it toppled. But it could be helped to become a serious global player if, in the future, it were to be made compulsory across the EU (rather than optional as is the case under the current proposal), or extended beyond sale of goods contracts. The possibility of creeping influence worries Law Society president John Wotton. „If the new law is established, there would likely be pressure to expand it to other areas like financial services and insurance,“ he says.“

A copy of the minutes of the May 3 2011 hearing (here), shows that the Commisioner’s quoted statistics were questionable (the price for a company wanting to sell products through all 27 EU Member States reaches 150,000 euro just for legal fees to ascertain the applicable law) and that statements indicated that the small businesses in question simply do not view a forced choice of foreign law as an issue (see research such as Gilles Cuniberti, Is the CISG Benefitting Anybody? 39 Vand. J. Transnat’l L. 1511, (Nov.) 2006) (available at SSRN: that suggests that in fact choice of law is not an issue which is dealt with by the majority of businesses engaged in cross-border transactions)

Some links to related research

November 17, 2011 By: Admin Category: Contract Law

Below some recent papers of potential interest:

Hesselink, Martijn W., How to Opt into the Common European Sales Law? Brief Comments on the Commission’s Proposal for a Regulation (October 26, 2011). Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2011-43; Centre for the Study of European Contract Law Working Paper Series No. 2011-15. Available at SSRN:

Hesselink, Martijn W., The General Principles of Civil Law: Their Nature, Roles and Legitimacy (September 22, 2011). Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2011-35; Centre for the Study of European Contract Law Working Paper Series No. 2011-14; THE INVOLVEMENT OF EU LAW IN PRIVATE LAW RELATIONSHIPS, Dorota Leczykiewicz & Stephen Weatheril, eds., Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2012; Post-National Rulemaking Working paper No. 2011-03. Available at SSRN:

Rosenberg, Anat, Classical Contract Law, Past and Present (September 15, 2011). Available at SSRN:

Purnhagen, Kai Peter, The Architecture of Post-National European Contract Law from a Phenomenological Perspective – A Question of Institutions (September 5, 2011). Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2011-25; Centre for the Study of European Contract Law Working Paper Series No. 2011-11; Post-National Rulemaking Working Paper Series No. 2011-01. Available at SSRN: