CONTRACTS & COMMERCIAL LAW eJOURNAL

"Financial Consumer Protection in the EU: Towards a Self-Sufficient European Contract Law for Consumer Financial Services?" Free Download
European Review of Contract Law, Vol. 10, No. 4, pp. 476-495, 2014
University of Groningen Faculty of Law Research Paper 2015-07

OLHA O. CHEREDNYCHENKO, University of Groningen - Faculty of Law
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The rapid expansion of European contract law in the field of consumer financial services gives rise to the question to what extent it is self-sufficient. A self-sufficient European contract law presupposes the existence of an EU-made and EU-enforced contract-related legal order which is largely distinct and independent from national private legal orders. In order to understand to what extent European contract law for consumer financial services reflects this pattern, the author explores the interaction between this supra-national regulatory legal order and traditional national private legal orders, and the consequences of this interplay for the extent of financial consumer protection. The author concludes that the self-sufficiency of European contract law is a matter of degree rather than an absolute; besides, a high degree of its self-sufficiency is not a must for ensuring a high level of consumer protection in financial services.

"The Uniform Voidable Transactions Act; or, the 2014 Amendments to the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act" Free Download
Business Lawyer , Forthcoming

KENNETH C. KETTERING, Visiting Professor at Large
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In 2014, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws approved a set of amendments to the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act. Among other changes, the amendments renamed the act the Uniform Voidable Transactions Act. In this paper, the reporter for the committee that drafted the amendments describes the amendment project and discusses the changes that were made to the act.

"Choice of Law in the American Courts in 2014: Twenty-Eighth Annual Survey" Free Download
American Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 63, No. 2, 2015

SYMEON C. SYMEONIDES, Willamette University - College of Law
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This is the Twenty-Eighth Annual Survey of American choice-of-law cases. It was written at the request of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Conflict of Laws and it is intended as a service to fellow teachers of conflicts law, both in and outside the United States.

This Survey covers cases decided by American state and federal appellate courts from January 1 to December 31, 2014, and posted on Westlaw by midnight, December 31, 2014. Of the 1,204 cases that meet these parameters, the Survey focuses on those cases that may contribute something new to the development or understanding of conflicts law — and, particularly, choice of law. The following are some of the highlights of the year:

One U.S. Supreme Court decision dealing with general jurisdiction, the second in three years, after a thirty-year silence; Seven cases deciding whether the Alien Tort Statute applies to actions filed by foreign plaintiffs against American defendants alleged to have aided and abetted the commission of international law violations outside the United States; a case involving a cross-border shooting of a Mexican boy by a U.S. Border Patrol agent; and a case arising from the imprisonment of U.S. contractor Alan Gross in Cuba;

Fifty-six court rulings striking down as unconstitutional the prohibition of same-sex marriages in 26 states, one ruling upholding the prohibition in four states, and a Texas case recognizing a California judgment that declared both male partners in a same-sex marriage to be the parents of a child conceived through artificial insemination and carried to term by a surrogate mother;

One more xenophobic statute, the eighth in four years, banning the use of certain foreign laws;

Several tort cases involving conduct-regulation conflicts and applying the law of the state of the tort, rather than the parties’ common domicile;

One state supreme court case joining the minority of courts that have rejected the doctrine of severability of choice-of-forum clauses, and several cases involving the interplay of those clauses and choice-of-law clauses;

A California Supreme Court case holding that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) did not preempt a California statute that prohibited waivers of “representative actions? filed by employees against employers for violating the state’s labor laws, and two cases disagreeing on whether contracting parties may avoid FAA preemption by choosing the “non-federal? part of a state’s law;

A New York case recognizing a foreign judgment, even though New York had no jurisdiction over the debtor or his assets; a Pennsylvania case giving full faith and credit to the New York judgment; and a D.C. case refusing to do so — and not only because New York did not have jurisdiction; and

Many other interesting conflicts cases involving products liability, other torts, contracts with and without choice-of-law clauses, insurance contracts, statutes of limitation, marriages by proxy, divorce, marital property, and successions.

"The Great War and Dutch Contract Law: Resistance, Responsiveness and Neutrality" 
Comparative Legal History, Volume 2, Number 2, December 2014, pp. 303-324

WILLEM H. VAN BOOM, Leiden Law School
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Throughout the Great War, the Netherlands tried frantically to remain a neutral nation between the warring Central Powers and the Entente Forces. Notwithstanding its neutrality, the war left distinct marks on Dutch society and economy. This article argues that it also left marks, both temporary and lasting, on Dutch contract law. Never since the introduction of the Dutch Civil Code in 1838 had the Netherlands been exposed to such a disruptive international conflict as the Great War. Therefore, the war presented the first systemic test of Civil Code doctrines such as impossibility and force majeure. As far as these doctrines are concerned, some have argued that the Great War was no different from other, less disruptive economic events. However, on closer inspection one may find that the application of private law doctrines under war conditions seemed to reflect the Dutch neutrality doctrine. The courts strictly construed and enforced contracts, mostly rejected defences involving 'impossibility' and vis maior, and often held that contracting parties had knowingly assumed the risks associated with contracting during a war. Moreover, the Great War marked the end of nineteenth-century laissez-faire notions in regulatory policies, which in turn caused a gradual shift in balance between public law and freedom of contract. In hindsight, the war can also be regarded as the turning point in Dutch doctrinal thinking on the respective roles of and the relationship between force majeure, unforeseen circumstances and good faith. Another way of looking at judicial application of contract law during the Great War is to consider this as an extension of the Dutch neutrality doctrine. Both viewpoints are explored in this article.

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Northwestern University - School of Law, Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
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Stanford Law School, Columbia Law School, European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
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Advisory Board

Contracts & Commercial Law eJournal

IAN AYRES
William K. Townsend Professor of Law, Yale University - Yale Law School, Yale University - Yale School of Management

RANDY E. BARNETT
Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory, Georgetown University Law Center

LISA E. BERNSTEIN
Wilson-Dickinson Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School

CLAYTON P. GILLETTE
Max E. Greenberg Professor of Contract Law, New York University School of Law

ROBERT A. HILLMAN
Edwin H. Woodruff Professor of Law, Cornell Law School

AVERY W. KATZ
Milton Handler Professor of Law, Columbia University - Law School

RANDAL C. PICKER
Leffmann Professor of Commercial Law; Senior Fellow, The Computation Institute of the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, University of Chicago - Law School

ALAN SCHWARTZ
Sterling Professor of Law, Yale Law School

MICHAEL J. TREBILCOCK
Professor and Chair in Law and Economics, University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

ELIZABETH WARREN
Leo E. Gottlieb Professor of Law, Harvard Law School