The Language of Standard Contract Terms in Online B2C-Contracts

Book chapter in M.B.M. Loos (ed.), New International Perspectives in Standard Terms Legislation, Cambridge: Intersentia, Forthcoming

Amsterdam Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-45

Centre for the Study of European Contract Law Working Paper No. 2016-09

13 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2016

See all articles by Marco Loos

Marco Loos

University of Amsterdam - Centre for the Study of European Contract Law (CSECL)

Date Written: September 23, 2016

Abstract

European legislation currently does not clearly determine in what language standard contract terms must be drafted in order to be validly incorporated into consumer contracts so they can be relied upon by a trader. This may be particularly problematic in the case of a cross-border contract as parties may not speak the same language. In this paper, I indicate to what extent the transparency requirement may play a role in determining the language in which the standard contract terms are to be drafted. Finally, on the basis of experiments I conducted with colleagues, I conclude that traders should be required to provide the standard contract terms in the contracting language, but that there is no need to require them to provide the standard contract terms in the consumer’s mother tongue.

Keywords: standard contract terms, language, transparency requirement, experimental testing of consumer behaviour

JEL Classification: K12

Suggested Citation

Loos, Marco, The Language of Standard Contract Terms in Online B2C-Contracts (September 23, 2016). Book chapter in M.B.M. Loos (ed.), New International Perspectives in Standard Terms Legislation, Cambridge: Intersentia, Forthcoming , Amsterdam Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-45, Centre for the Study of European Contract Law Working Paper No. 2016-09, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2847134

Marco Loos (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Centre for the Study of European Contract Law (CSECL) ( email )

P.O. Box 1030
Amsterdam, 1000 BA
Netherlands

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