Essential Principles of Contract and Sales Law in the Northern Pacific: Federated States of Micronesia, the Republics of Palau and the Marshall Islands, and United States Territories
60 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2012
Date Written: January 29, 2009
The Northern Pacific region, which includes Micronesia, the State of Hawaii, the American territories of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa, and the Republics of Palau and the Marshall Islands, either follows or are heavily influenced by the Anglo-American common law tradition and statutes governing contract and sales. Islands in this region have made efforts to adopt recognized uniform international contract standards, particularly the Restatement (Second) of Contracts, but customary law and traditional rights still have a significant impact upon the development of contract and sales law creating a unique amalgam of substantive law in the Northern Pacific region.
The author includes a comparison to contract and sales law that is prevalent in the United States and applicable in its Northern Pacific State of Hawaii and in its Pacific territories of Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Other U.S. territories in the Northern Pacific including Midway, Wake, Johnston Atoll, Baker, Howland and Jarvis, Palmyra, and Kingman are outside the scope of his anaylsis. The article emphasizes divergence, and highlights regional anomalies in the substantive law of contract and sales. It also examines the inter-relationship between customary and traditional law and the law of contract and sales. This anthropological approach highlights how regional custom and traditional law have interacted with Anglo-American concepts of contract and sales law to produce a unique blend of contract and sales law in this Northern Pacific region.
The author notes two significant developments; 1) that the American Law Institute’s Restatements of Law have been elevated from simply persuasive authority to the rule of decision in some of these Pacific Island nations, and 2) that the anthropological implications of local custom and traditional law in substantive contract and sales law have created a unique regional amalgam.
Keywords: contract law, Northern Pacific Region, sales, customary law, Restatement of Contracts
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