Teaching the CISG in Contracts
50 J. Legal Ed. 72 (2000)
23 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2016
Date Written: 2000
The failure to teach the CISG in first-year Contracts is problematic. As a treaty the CISG is federal law, which preempts state common law and the UCC. Whenever a party whose place of business is in the United States contracts for the sale of goods with a party whose place of business is in another country that has joined the CISG, it is the CISG and not the UCC or the common law that governs the formation of their contract and their respective rights and obligations under it. Incorporating the CISG into first-year Contracts may seem a daunting task. Almost none of the existing casebooks devote much space to the CISG. Many Contracts teachers feel that there is already too much for them to cover in the allotted hours, and some may fear that teaching the CISG will require them to become experts in international law. My purpose in this article is to overcome such inhibitions. First, I hope to convince my fellow Contracts teachers (and perhaps some casebook authors as well) that they have a professional obligation to introduce students to the CISG in first-year Contracts. Second, I will try to make it easier for them to do so by offering suggestions about where to raise the CISG and even a few cases with which to supplement whatever casebook they use.
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