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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

Book of the Month

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Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

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The New German Law of Obligations: Historical and Comparative Perspectives

ISBN13: 9780199291373
ISBN: 0199291373
Published: November 2005
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £61.00

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On 1 January 2000 the German Civil Code (BGB) became one hundred years old. It had been remarkably resilient throughout a century marked by catastrophic upheavals and a succession of fundamentally different political regimes. Two years later, however, the most sweeping individual reform ever to have affected the Code entered into force. This was the Modernization of the Law of Obligations Act: triggered by the necessity to implement the European Consumer Sales Directive, but going far beyond what was required by the European Community.

The most important practical implication of the Modernization Act is the fundamental reform of the German law of prescription. However, the most remarkable feature of the revised BGB in terms of innovative doctrine is the new regime concerning liability for general non-performance, and for non-conformity in sales law. Radically, the face of the BGB has been changed by the incorporation of a number of special statutes aiming at the protection of consumers.

The draftsmen of the new law have thus made an effort to streamline, or harmonize, general contract law and consumer contract law. The four topics covered in Chapters 2-5 of the book are prescription, remedies for non-performance, liability for non-conformity, and consumer contract law. In all these cases a historical or comparative perspective is adopted in order to analyze and assess the new rules of German law.

Even in its radically new form the German Civil Code continues to be a characteristic manifestation of German legal culture. At the same time, however, the reform has moved German contract law considerably closer to European thinking patterns. Termed 'a milestone on the path towards a European Civil Code', this book offers a unique and authoritative insight into the new German law of obligations.

  • Examines reform of the German law of prescription and liability in sales law from a comparative and historical perspective
  • Reflects on the position of German contract law in relation to Europe, and theorizes about the possibility of a future European civil code

European Jurisdictions
1. The German Civil Code and the Development of German Private Law
2. Remedies for Non-Performance, Viewed again the Background of the Principles of European Contract Law
3. The Development of Liability for Non-Conformity in German Sales Law
4. The New German Law of Prescription and chapter 14 of the Principles of European Contract Law
5. Consumer Contract Law and General Contract Law - the German Experience;