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Article

The Impact of Europeanization of Contract Law on English Contract Law

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2-3 2012
Keywords Rome I and II Regulations, Europeanization, contract law, Common European Sales Law, faulty goods
Authors Omar Abdelaziz
Abstract

    The ongoing process of Europeanization for promoting cross-border transactions and conferring better protection for consumers and small businesses has had its impact all over Europe. It represents a new step towards a harmonized set of legal rules to govern cross-border transactions in the field of contract law. So what is its exact scope? Who will benefit from it? What are its risks? What is its methodology? Does it represent a codification of common law rules? What will be its impact especially on common law countries such as the United Kingdom? The effectiveness of Europeanization depends almost entirely on the correct implementation into national law of the various directives; every member state is obliged to fully implement a harmonized measure into its domestic laws. This is accomplished by ensuring that (1) the relevant legal framework meets the requirements of the harmonized measure and (2) the application of the domestic rules giving effect to a harmonizing measure does not undermine the effectiveness of the European measure. English contract law is largely an uncodified law. Accordingly, the approach taken and the methods used by this jurisdiction to implement European directives into its national laws with the aim of harmonization are different. How did the English courts interpret legislations that implement EU legislations? Will Europeanization affect the deep-rooted principles and doctrines of English contract law (issues of commercial agency), good faith in pre-contractual obligations, unfair contract terms and specific performance? Finally, what could be the clash between European contract law, Rome I Regulations and the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods? Could this optional instrument be an exclusive law to either national or international mandatory rules for consumers in member states? What will be the qualification for a genuine consent of consumers in cross-border contracts? Will it lead to the development of the internal market as envisaged by the Commission?


Omar Abdelaziz
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