Common Frame of Reference and UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts: Coexistence, Competition, or Overkill of Soft Law?
European Review of Contract Law, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2010
48 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2010 Last revised: 2 May 2010
Date Written: October 23, 2009
This paper compares the scope, the purpose, the legal effect and the content of the emerging Common Frame of Reference on the one hand and the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts on the other. It predicts that the two instruments will largely coexist side by side, rather than compete for potential users. The author further argues that, in the area of commercial law, there is no strong need for a non-binding, or ‘soft’ Common Frame of Reference because the UNIDROIT Principles are sufficiently capable of performing the functions that such a Frame of Reference can legitimately claim to fulfil: the Common Frame of Reference may be just one soft law instrument too many.
Keywords: comparative law, European private law, contract law, commercial law, consumer law, civil procedure,
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