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Interpretation of Commercial Contracts in European Private Law

Paperback Engels 2020 9781780689593
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This book presents a unique and extensive comparative study of commercial contract interpretation across 14 selected jurisdictions, namely Croatia, England and Wales, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, South Africa, Spain and Sweden. Using a dynamic comparative case method, the focus is centered on the discussion of key legal problems, further examined in a detailed and comprehensive comparative analysis. In this way, the book makes important advancements in the general understanding of contract interpretation in European private law in three respects. First, it enriches the conventional conceptual framework for the methods of contract interpretation by distinguishing between interpretation aims and means. Second, it challenges the presumptive division of common law and civil law jurisdictions, for example, the assumption that civil systems follow a subjective approach and common law systems an objective approach to interpretation of contract. Third, the book provides a more subtle analysis of the role of standards of ‘good faith’ in contract interpretation.

A common core of contract interpretation in European private law that is inferred from the national reports is that every legal system strives to reach a compromise between staying true to the intentions of the parties, assessing what a reasonable person would understand from the contract drafting, and preventing outcomes that are unfair or unjust. Each court draws on the material available to it in order to reach this compromise. Conversely, the differences between the jurisdictions pertain to what constitutes a common intention between the contracting parties and reasonableness, and what the appropriate methods are by which these could best be ascertained. Here, the jurisdictions reveal a variety of conceptual, doctrinal and pragmatic similarities and distinctions.

Contributions written from law and economics, and European private law perspectives place the key legal issues into context and make Interpretation of Commercial Contracts in European Private Law a coherent and valuable resource for academics and practitioners with a European or international focus.


With contributions by C.J.W. (Jaap) Baaij (Leiden University), David Cabrelli (University of Edinburgh), Laura Macgregor (University of Edinburgh), Katharina Erler (University of Bayreuth), Nicole Kornet (Maastricht University), Adam Kramer (3 Verulam Buildings), Ivana Kunda (University of Rijeka), Antonio Las Casas (University of Catania), Joasia Luzak (University of Exeter), Kalle Mäenpää (District Court of Helsinki), Adelaide Menezes Leitão (Lisbon University), Emilia Mišćenić (University of Rijeka), Anastasios Moraitis (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP), Franziska Myburgh (University of Stellenbosch), Ville Pönkä (University of Helsinki), Lorna Richardson (University of Edinburgh), Isabelle Rueda (University of Exeter), Joel Samuelsson (Uppsala University), Martin Schmidt-Kessel (University of Bayreuth), Gema Tomás (University of Deusto), Vesna Tomljenović (General Court of the European Union), Remus Valsan (University of Edinburgh), and Aneta Wiewiórowska-Domagalska (Osnabrück University).


Aantal pagina's:454
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Part I. Introductory Matters
Introduction (p. 1)
Designing a Method to Compare Interpretation Methods (p. 17)
The Law and Economics of Contract Interpretation (p. 31)
Interpretation in the Principles of European Contract Law, the Draft Common Frame of Reference and the Common European Sales Law (p. 55)
Opening Remarks on the National Reports (p. 87)

Part II. Case Studies
Case 1: Jewellers King (p. 139)
Case 2: Botanical Fruits (p. 181)
Case 3: Cocktail Parties (p. 213)
Case 4: Animal Waste (p. 245)
Case 5: Shower Valves (p. 261)
Case 6: Call Centre (p. 287)
Case 7: Biscuit (p. 311)
Case 8: Crates of Beer (p. 331)
Case 9: Crystal Vases (p. 351)
Case 10: The Machine (p. 371)

Part III. General Conclusions
Conclusions (p. 403)

References (p. 413)
Appendix I: The Editorial Instructions for the National Reporters (p. 433)
Appendix II: The Questionnaire (p. 439)
Index (p. 449)

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