Changing Contract Lenses: Unexpected Supervening Events in English, New Zealand, U.S., Japanese, and International Sales Law and Practice
43 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2008 Last revised: 8 Jul 2008
This article compares differences in the reasoning underlying contractual relationships between (more formal) English and New Zealand law versus (more substantive) U.S. and Japanese law. It builds upon the framework proposed by Atiyah and Summers by adding the notion of "didactic formality" to identify another important contrast between the laws of these countries. In more formal systems, as in England and New Zealand, stronger didactic formality involves the "law in books" trying to dictate or direct the "law in action", rather than vice versa. The article also discusses how CISG (the UN Sales Convention) and UPICC (UNIDROIT Principles) fit in to this spectrum. The article therefore concludes by questioning "strong convergence" theory in commercial law worldwide.
Keywords: contract law and practice, comparative law, Japanese Law, Anglo-Commonwealth law
JEL Classification: K10, K12, K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation