Contractual Choice of Law in Contracts of Adhesion and Party Autonomy
Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law
Akron Law Review, Vol. 41, 2007
Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2007-25
Contractual choice of Law in contracts of adhesion is an issue that poses great challenge to the conflict of law theory. The issue is also practically important because the increasing use of form contracts in the traditional "paper world", and particularly in the Internet based business transactions. In the US, the enforceability of contracts of adhesion remains unsettled and the choice of law question in the contracts as such is left unanswered. The article analyzes the nature of contracts of adhesion as opposed to the party autonomy principle in contractual choice of law, and argues that contracts of adhesion do not conform to the basic notion of party autonomy. The article suggests that the choice of law clause in contracts of adhesion shall not take effect unless adherents meaningfully agree. The article proposes a "second chance" approach for contractual choice of law in contracts of adhesion. The approach is intended to set a general rule that a choice of law clause in an adhesive contract shall not be deemed enforceable prior to affirmation of the true assent of adherent.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 40
Keywords: Conflict of Law, Contractual Choice of Law, Contracts of Adhesion
Date posted: October 1, 2007 ; Last revised: December 21, 2009