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Vol 21 No 10 Oct/Nov 2016

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The Politics of European Sales Law: A Legal-Political Inquiry into the Drafting of the Uniform Commercial Code


ISBN13: 9789041127525
Published: October 2008
Publisher: Kluwer Law International
Country of Publication: Netherlands
Format: Hardback
Price: £81.00



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We like to think that sales law is technical. The presumption that it is possible to draft a Civil Code without making ideological choices - and that codification can be regarded as essentially technical - would appear to be the leading view. This book investigates the political stakes involved in the drafting of private law, more particularly in the drafting a European contract law. As is demonstrated by this original and powerful book, the drafting of private law - sales law in particular - cannot be considered apolitical or value-free. Many crucially important issues rise to the surface of debate in the process of this analysis, including the following:

  • the roles of scholars, interest groups, and constituency factors in legislative processes;
  • the conception of technicality of legal doctrine;
  • the use of policy argument based on the premise of its neutrality;
  • movements or rule alternatives along continuums of altruism/ individualism and buyer/seller interests.
  • the development of the provisions on scope, the possibility to derogate, distribution of liability and remedies during the legislative processes of five instruments of sales law; and
  • transparency in legislative processes. Rather than having a reformist agenda, the author’s intent is to contribute to the understanding of the political stakes in legislative processes, and in the area of sales law in particular. In offering those involved in the ‘Europeanisation’ of private law an alternative view to the received understanding, this book provides ample evidence that the development of sales law is politics and argues that the organisation of the drafting process of European private law may lead to results inconsistent with the project’s ambitions.