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This book explores the international jurisprudence on Article 79 of the 1980 United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), which is, perhaps, one of its most contentious provisions.
The author's premise is that Article 79 - which concerns exemptions for contractual non-performance due to an "impediment" beyond a party's control - should be interpreted autonomously, that is, as an international norm, without reference to domestic legal concepts and principles. To this end, he considers the application of Article 79 by courts and arbitral tribunals across a number of signatory states.
The examination of Article 79 provides the focus and the depth of analysis necessary to draw firm conclusions regarding the development and treatment of an important, but problematic, legal doctrine. This doctrine is common, in various guises, to all the major legal regimes of the world. By studying the treatment of Article 79 by the courts and arbitral tribunals of various states, differences in doctrine and case law are discerned.
Disparities in the national treatment of Article 79 are also examined within the context of globalization and the advent of international trade. The extent of conceptual differences towards the doctrine of excuses for non-performance helps to determine whether the CISG's goal of sales law harmonization and uniformity is ultimately achievable. The answer is of crucial importance to the international commercial parties involved in the burgeoning realm of global trade.