European Contract Law: Scots and South African Perspectives

European Contract Law: Scots and South African Perspectives

European Contract Law: Scots and South African Perspectives

European Contract Law: Scots and South African Perspectives

Excerpt

This volume set out initially to test the claim that, as combinations of Civil and Common Law influences, the mixed systems of contract law in Scotland and South Africa have in some sense anticipated the content of the Principles of European Contract Law (PECL) concluded and published in 2003 by the unofficial Commission on European Contract Law presided over by Professor Ole Lando (Copenhagen). In a way, therefore, the volume was supposed to build on the foundations laid by a trilogy of historical and comparative studies on Scots and South African law, culminating in a volume affectionately dubbed Double Cross, but in reality entitled Mixed Legal Systems in Comparative Perspective: Property and Obligations in Scotland and South Africa (2004). At the Edinburgh conference where the papers were first presented in December 2004, however, it became clear that the studies could and should go much further. For example, how far might the Scots and South African contract laws benefit from reform along the lines proposed by PECL? And given that PECL appeared likely to become the basis for some sort of European contract law (see further below), what criticisms might be made of it in the light of experiences made in Scotland and South Africa? Nor is PECL the only possible model for a European–or indeed global–contract law. Account has also to be taken of such projects as the (also unofficial) Code of Contract Law prepared by the Academy of European Law under the leadership of Professor Giuseppe Gandolfi (Pavia) and of the Principles of International Commercial Contracts (PICC) first published by UNIDROIT in 1994 and issued in a second edition in 2004.

The development and nature of PECL and the other instruments just mentioned are set out in Reinhard Zimmermann's opening paper, and therefore need not be further explained here. But it may also be helpful to readers to know something of the current official moves towards a European contract law within the European Union, which lend the critiques of PECL

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