The Global Sales and Contract Law book has brought together people from a number of legal systems to share their legal backgrounds, traditions and experiences with the intention of forging a global view of international sales law today. This work is not only the most expansive and thorough compilation of basic research in the field of international sales law, but also a reliable source for any practitioner dealing in international commerce. The book is now available for purchase through Oxford University Press.
Under the leadership of Professor Ingeborg Schwenzer, the project is headquartered at the University of Basel, Switzerland. Professor Schwenzer is supported by two senior research assistants and co-authors, Pascal Hachem and Christopher Kee.
Almost fifty years have passed since the invaluable books on sales law written by the comparativist Ernst Rabel were published. Rabel's work was the starting point for harmonisation and unification of at that time irreconcilably contradicting national sales laws. However, since then the world has seen the diverging application and varying interpretations of uniform laws such as the 1980 United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) on the one hand, and national preconceptions of certain legal concepts and terms on the other. Global Sales and Contract Law resumes the challenge of producing a comprehensive work on sales law encompassing all legal systems and taking into account present day problems.
The central focus of Global Sales and Contract Law is the CISG. Numerous court decisions and arbitral awards, its influence on modern legislation, as well as its ratification by 78 Contracting states, demonstrate the CISG has been the most successful private law convention to date.
However, international sales law is not the exclusive domain of the CISG. Whether it should be is itself a controversial question. The harmonization aspirations of the CISG have been endangered on two principle grounds. The first is that the CISG itself does not cover all issues relating to international sales contracts. Thus it must necessarily be supplemented by domestic law in various areas such as validity, judicial control of standard form contracts, concurrent tort remedies, the effect of unwinding contracts and so on. The second ground is the national preconceptions of certain legal concepts and terms that have lead to different interpretations of uniform law.
Thus Global Sales and Contract Law looks beyond the CISG in two directions - in one direction are the sales and contract laws of individual countries; and the other direction are the endeavours undertaken during the last 20 years to further harmonize and unify the law of sales in a multi-national forum.
To do this the Global Sales and Contract Law team comprises native speakers in all six official languages of the United Nations, as well as German. Up until now no single author, even a true comparativist, has been able to reflect upon more than a few legal systems and to break away from the constraints of his or her own mother tongue, legal tradition and culture.
In the words of the immortal Sherlock Holmes "The game is afoot!"
Global Sales and Contract Law