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The book provides rule-by-rule commentaries on European contract law (general contract law, consumer contract law, the law of sale and related services), dealing with its modern manifestations as well as its historical and comparative foundations.
After the collapse of the European Commission's plans to codify European contract law it is timely to reflect on what has been achieved over the past three to four decades, and for an assessment of the current situation. In particular, the production of a bewildering number of reference texts has contributed to a complex picture of European contract laws rather than a European contract law.
The present book adopts a broad perspective and an integrative approach. All relevant reference texts (from the CISG to the Draft Common European Sales Law) are critically examined and compared with each other. As far as the acquis commun (ie the traditional private law as laid down in the national codifications) is concerned, the Principles of European Contract Law have been chosen as a point of departure. The rules contained in that document have, however, been complemented with some chapters, sections, and individual provisions drawn from other sources, primarily in order to account for the quickly growing acquis communautaire in the field of consumer contract law.
In addition, the book ties the discussion concerning the reference texts back to the pertinent historical and comparative background; and it thus investigates whether, and to what extent, these texts can be taken to be genuinely European in nature, ie to constitute a manifestation of a common core of European contract law. Where this is not the case, the question is asked whether, and for what reasons, they should be seen as points of departure for the further development of European contract law.