Making Commercial Law: Essays in Honour of Roy Goode

By Ross Cranston; Royston Miles Goode | Go to book overview

5
Harmonization of Private Laws in Federal Systems of Government: Canada, the USA, and Australia As

JACOB S. ZIEGEL


Introduction

Roy Goode1 is an acknowledged master of commercial law who has made enduring and magnificent contributions both to the national and international branches of the discipline. He has given it a rigour and conceptual structure which it frequently lacked before. No less important, he has been able to bring to bear his great practical experience -- as a former solicitor and now as a silk, as a law reformer, and as a prominent participant in UNIDROIT and International Chamber of Commerce projects -- to illuminate the actual operation of domestic and international rules and to ensure that new legislative structures and voluntary rules are tempered by good sense and guided by practical feasibility.

For more than a hundred years international lawyers have grappled with the consequences of the sovereignty of states and the diversity of legal systems by seeking to harmonize the laws, rules, and practices governing the many aspects of international commerce. Here, as elsewhere, Roy Goode has made his multifaceted contributions and has written about the problems with his usual grace and perceptiveness.2 My essay is concerned

____________________
1
Roy Goode and I first met at a Law Society conference at Exeter College, Oxford, in 1962. E. A. Williams and I had been invited to present a joint paper on hire-purchase reform. In it we argued that the English hire-purchase agreement was not a genuine leasing agreement with an option to purchase but was in substance a security agreement, and we urged the reconceptualization of the hire-purchase agreement and other financing agreements serving a security function along the lines of Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code.

Roy, who was in the audience, was much provoked by our heretical ideas and he engaged me in a lively discussion after our presentation. We continued our discussions for the balance of the spring and into the summer until it was time for me to leave for Saskatoon where I had taken up a teaching appointment. We formed at the same time a close personal friendship which survives to this day and continues to give me enormous satisfaction. After Roy's marriage to Catherine, I found in her an equally convivial and wonderfully hospitable friend.

For these reasons, and many more, I am delighted to be able to join Roy's worldwide coterie of friends and admirers in paying tribute to his remarkable accomplishments and his contributions to all branches of commercial law, and to be able to offer this essay as an expression of our friendship.

2
See in particular Roy Goode, "Reflections on the Harmonization of Commercial Law" in Ross Cranston and Roy Goode, (eds.), Commercial and Consumer Law: National and International Dimensions ( OUP, 1993), Ch. 1.

-131-

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