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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

Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 34/2010

48 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2010 Last revised: 2 May 2010

Stefan Vogenauer

Max Planck Institute for European Legal History

Date Written: October 23, 2009

Abstract

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,

Suggested Citation

Vogenauer, Stefan, Common Frame of Reference and UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts: Coexistence, Competition, or Overkill of Soft Law? (October 23, 2009). European Review of Contract Law, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2010; Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 34/2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1581352

Stefan Vogenauer (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for European Legal History ( email )

Hansaallee 41
Frankfurt, Hesse 60323
Germany

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