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Reproduced with permission of the UMKC [University of Missouri, Kansas City] Law Review (1998) 77-92

Favor Emptoris: Does the CISG Favor the Buyer?

Evelien Visser [*]

[The subject of this commentary is Issues associated with passage of title under national law and passage of risk under the CISG.]

The development and improvement of uniform commercial law is desirable since it leads to the facilitation of international trade,[1] as stated in several conventions, such as the 1980 Convention on the International Sale of Goods [2] and the 1980 Convention on the Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations.[3] However, uniform law is not something which can be drafted in the same way as domestic law. Despite this, the question no longer arises whether it is possible to create uniform law, but how it is done.[4] Generally speaking, two methods are employed: international conventions and model acts.[5]

International conventions are mostly concerned with limited issues. Where these issues lead to the change of domestic legal concepts, it is very likely that states will make reservations towards the parts relating to these issues.[6] Where the [page 77] possibility of making reservations is not provided for, they may not even begin a ratification process. Therefore, it is fundamental that research is done in order to establish the territory and feasibility of future international conventions.

Conversely, model laws are employed in order to achieve uniformity. These model laws have to go through a different implementation process [7] in order to become a binding body of law. This different implementation process is one of the main reasons why international conventions have proven to be favored in creating uniform law.

How to Create Uniform Law

The preparatory work of many international conventions consists of comparative legal studies.[8] These studies are used first, to determine the feasibility [9] of unification of the subject, and second, to determine the possible material sphere of application.

Auslandsrechtskunde [10] is concerned with the study of foreign law and is no more than a preliminary stage in the comparative process. Comparative law is the direct consequence of Auslandsrechtskunde and has value only as a method of study and research, for it does not form a distinct branch of law.[11] It has no immediate value or significance, because it is mainly focused on the similarities and [page 78] differences which can be found in the solutions of modern national legal systems. This does not mean, however, that comparative law does not have any practical meaning.[12] The practical meaning of comparative law becomes apparent in considering that its aim is the "study [of] those parts of modern legal systems which have most in common, in order to prepare uniform drafts of legislation in the hope that they will be adopted."[13]

Differences in legal systems lead to differences in legal reasoning.[14] A good comparative study should take these differences into account in order to establish an objective standpoint towards the usefulness and validity of certain domestic legal concepts. In general, two factors negatively influence the correctness and objectiveness of a comparative legal study: wrong translations [15] and subjective reasoning towards legal concepts which come from other legal cultures.[16] Therefore, some legal writers think comparative work in the field of law, as practiced over the last decades, is of a poor quality.[17]

The following comparative work will bear all of these problems in mind in order to establish a valuable conclusion.

Section 1: Theory and Practice

On April 11, 1980, the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (hereinafter: CISG) was approved, after more than fifty years of prepatory work initiated by Ernst Rabel,[18] in a Diplomatic Conference held in Vienna.[19] Therefore, the Convention is often referred to as the Vienna Sales [page 79] Convention.[20] Although its predecessors, ULIS and ULF, did not achieve tremendous success,[21] CISG is "rapidly becoming one of the most successful multilateral treaties ever in the field of agreements designed to unify rules traditionally addressed only in domestic legal Systems."[22]

This success [23] is also evidenced by the number of states which have ratified the Convention,[24] and by the fact that even legal scholars from non-Contracting States value this work.[25]

Despite this success, the Convention is not a perfect one because it does not cover all of the issues that can arise out of a sales contract.[26] There are in fact [page 80] several gaps in the Convention. Article 4(a) CISG,[27] for instance, explicitly excludes contract validity issues from the material sphere of application of the Convention.[28] Article 4(b) CISG [29] expressly excludes the transfer of ownership from the issues covered by CISG. This exclusion is due to the impossibility of drafting a uniform rule relating to the transfer of ownership. Indeed, as has been pointed out before, "there is such diversity of rules in municipal law on this point that unification was considered to be impossible."[30] Indeed,

"in some legal systems property passes at the time of the conclusion of the contract. In other legal systems, property passes at some later time, such as the time at which the goods are delivered to the buyer. It was not regarded possible to unify the rule on this point, nor was it regarded necessary to do so, since rules are provided by this Convention for several questions linked, at least in certain legal systems, to the passing of property."[31]

These examples show that the CISG does not exhaustively cover all issues that arise out of a sales contract. These can be divided into gaps praeter legem [32] and gaps intra legem.[33] Gaps praeter legem must be filled in conformity with the Convention's general principles,[34] according to Article 7(2) CISG.[35] Gaps intra [page 81] legem are also referred to in Article 7(2) CISG.[36] These gaps, however, must be filled by the concepts of law of the country to which the rules of private international law of the forum lead.[37] This will result in the adoption of domestic legal solutions.[38] In the case of Article 4(b) CISG, for instance, the Italian system of the transferring ownership [39] must be used, when the rules of private international law of the forum lead to the applicability of Italian law. Of course, this is not in conformity with the basic idea behind the drafting of CISG, which is creating uniformity.[40] This can be derived from Article 7(1) CISG.[41]

Apart from this conceptual issue, the gap of Article 4(b) CISG also causes a practical problem. This problem arises out of the relationship between the transfer of risk and the transfer of ownership. In many civil and common law systems the transfer of risk is closely related to the transfer of ownership.[42] This link is [page 82] summarized in the principle res perit domino.[43] Despite this close link,

"la Convention des Nations Unies sur les contrats de vente internationale de marchandises, à l'image de la convention de la Haye portant loi uniforme sur la vente des objects mobiliers corporels, a laissé la question du transfert de propriété en suspens, mais non celle, bien sûr, du transfert des risques."[44]

In order to determine the scope and severity of the problem caused by the absence of a uniform rule on the transfer of property and the existence of a uniform rule on the transfer of risk within the CISG, I will discuss two issues. First, I will determine the time of the passing of the property in the moveable goods sold and the transfer of the risk of loss in several legal systems, such as the French, Dutch, German, and the Louisiana system, as well as in English Common Law. Second, I will point out the consequences of these domestic solutions when CISG is applied.

Section 2: Auslandsrechtkunde [45] in Practice

France

In the French Code civil (hereinafter "C. civ.") Article 1583 C. civ. determines how the transfer of ownership takes place.[46] The transfer occurs solo consensu.[47] [page 83] This means that the transfer takes place immediately when the sales contract between the seller and the buyer is concluded.[48]

In Roman Law a period of time had to pass [49] between the sales contract and the actual transfer of property in the goods sold.[50] Under old French law, especially in the 14th century, this necessary period of time could also be found. However, the Roman traditio [51] had evolved and had obtained a fictive character.[52] This development was caused by the possibility of transferring property rights by adding a special clause in the sales contract: "la clause de desaissine-saisine; le vendeur declarait de desaissir de la chose vendue de droit et à l'instant."[53] However, "cette clause est rapidement devenue de style: la formule a remplacé l'ensaisinement."[54] Today, the mentioned formula is no longer needed in the C. civ. in order to transfer the property rights. As Article 1583 C. civ. clearly states, the transfer takes place at the conclusion of the contract.[55]

However, at the contract's conclusion not only the property rights pass to the buyer. Indeed, "risk follows property:"[56] the principles res perit domino is laid down in article 1138(2) C. civ.[57] Thus, in general, at the time of the conclusion of the contract, the risk of loss is transferred to the buyer.[page 84]

The Netherlands

The Old Dutch Civil Code, Burgerlijk Wetboek, (hereinafter "BW") of 1838, did not provide a clear rule in article 639 BW, as to how the transfer of property in the goods sold occurred.[58] This rule was clarified, after more than 150 years and many explanatory court decisions,[59] by the New Dutch Civil Code, Nieuw Burgerlijk Wetboek (hereinafter "NBW") of 1992 in Article 3:84.[60]

Article 639 BW [61] only required a titel [62] in order to establish the transfer. As the BW was based on the French law,[63] some legal scholars thought the consensus-principle dominated the BW-transfer system,[64] and thus, the BW should be interpreted in light of it. Following this reasoning, the transfer could only occur when it was based on a valid sales contract.[65] However, according to other legal scholars, the transfer could even occur without a valid sales contract.[66] The sole handing over [page 85] of goods,[67] the levering, was sufficient to establish the transfer. Neither article 639 BW nor the explanatory memoranda presented a solution which determined how the article should be interpreted.

In 1950, however, the Hoge Raad [Supreme Court] finally cut the knot by following Diephuis.[69] This solution was codified in 1992 in the NBW.[70] The transfer of property in the goods sold now occurs when the levering has taken place and only if the levering is based on a valid titel.[71]

The risk of loss in the goods sold is transferred when the goods are handed over to the buyer.[72] This seems to be in accordance with the principle res perit domino. However, Article 7:10 NBW explicitly states that the risk passes to the buyer "zelfs al is de eigendom nog niet overgedragen."[73] The legislature has not clearly codified the principle res perit domino, but in practice the risk generally passes at the time of the transfer of property in the goods sold, at the time of the levering. The principle does not apply [74] only when the property in the goods sold is transferred after the levering.

Germany

In Germany the basic rule of the transfer of ownership is laid down in section [page 86] 929 Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch (hereinafter "BGB").[75] Accordingly, the transfer takes place at the time of delivery, the Übereignung.[76] It is important to note that unlike Dutch and Swiss law,[77] no actual cause is needed to transfer the property rights.[78] This abstractism is also known as Abstraktionsprinzip,[79] which was introduced by Von Savigny.[80] In his opinion it was considered impossible to transfer the title in the goods sold solo consensu: the sales contract is only relevant as a general motive for the transfer of ownership. However, what parties actually try to achieve is not important, as "auf die umgebenden Umstände, Absichten, Zwecken kommt es nicht an; sie könnten nur als Indiz für das Vorhandensein des von ihnen in seiner Existenz unabhängigen Übertragungs- und Erwerbwillens dienen."[81]

The consensus of the agreement, which can be found in section 929 BGB, is also known under German law as Einigung.[82] Nevertheless, in light of the Abstraktionsprinzip, the consensus requirement is only a formality. When the sales contract appears to be void after the handing over of the goods, the transfer of the property rights will not be affected. The property rights therefore pass only at the time of the delivery of the goods.

Section 446 BGB [83] states that risk of loss passes immediately at the time of the delivery. Since the delivery is required for the transfer of ownership, this section leads to the establishment of the principle res perit domino. [page 87]

England and Wales

"It is not easy to speak of the passing of ownership under a contract of sale when one's legal system does not really recognize the concept of ownership."[84] However, since the Sale of Goods Act (hereinafter "SGA") was enacted . . . judicial application [85] and scholarly writings [86] have clarified the concept of ownership and the sales contract, as the SGA only applies to sales contracts.

The concept of the passing of ownership in English Common Law has developed differently from its civil law equivalents.[87] In the first legal system, the judgments of the courts were valued more than the opinions of legal scholars.[88] This is important since the historic development of the transfer of ownership is characterized by controversial court decisions. In 1833, in Dixon v. Yates,[89] the court decided that delivery pursuant to a sale was not necessary to let property pass in a specific chattel. This decision was the first step in developing one of the two main dispositive rules [90] of the transfer of ownership: ownership passes immediately in contracts for the sale of specific goods.[91] An earlier decision was the first step in developing the second of the two main dispositive rules: in sales of generic goods property passes only on dispatch, if the goods are then ascertained.[92] Indeed, in Doige's case, in 1441-1443,[93] the court held that it would be unfair if the buyer could only sue for delivery if he had a deed. Thus, under old English Common Law, the property in the goods sold could pass on two different occasions: at the time of the conclusion of the contract, and at the time of the ascertainment of the goods.[94] Today, property passes at the moment chosen by the parties.[95] Therefore,[page 88] the exact moment at which the property passes to the buyer cannot be determined unless a clear case is provided. However, if the parties have not agreed on a moment at which the property passes, it passes solo consensu.[96]

"As a general rule, 'res perit domino,' the old civil law maxim, is a maxim of our law; and when you can show that the property passed, the risk of the loss prima facie is in the person in whom the property is."[97] This leads to the conclusion that risk passes at the time determined by the contract, and when set forth by the contract, at the conclusion of the contract.[98]

Louisiana

The Louisiana law of sales is derived from the French Code Napoleon.[99] Nevertheless, Louisiana law has developed differently than French law. However, one can find some similarities in the field of the transfer of the property in the goods sold. In French law, for instance, the principle solo consensu [100] governs the time of the passing of ownership. In Louisiana law, the maxim also can be found, as "[t]he Louisiana solution to the transfer of ownership and risk in sales is based on the general rule that the contract of sale effects an immediate transfer of ownership and risk, even if no delivery has been made."[101]

In the Louisiana Civil Code (hereinafter "La. Civ. Code") a sales contract actually constitutes a sale when two essential points are met. First, there must be "an agreement . . .[102] and second, this agreement must be one, [b]y which one gives a thing for a price in current money and the other gives the price in order to have the thing itself."[103] The second point, which is laid down in Article 2439 La. Civ. Code, encompasses three different issues.[104] One of these issues relates to the [page 89] transfer of ownership.[105] This is the essential obligation, which takes place at the time the sales contract is concluded.[106] Accordingly, "the Louisiana solution, derived from French and Roman law, is premised on the concept of perfection by consent of the parties . . ." [107] and "the transfer of ownership and risk immediately [passes] upon the agreement of the parties even without delivery."[108] Again, as in other civil law systems, for instance France [109] and Italy,[110] the transfer principle solo consensu is laid down in the Civil Code. Thus, when the sales contract is perfected under Louisiana law, which occurs when the buyer and the seller have agreed on the sale of a specified object at a certain price,[111] the transfer of property takes place immediately and solely by the effect of the consensus, the agreement of the parties.

The perfection of the sales contract has another important consequence other than the transfer of property in the goods sold. When the sales contract is perfected, the sold goods are placed at the risk of the buyer.[112] This immediate transfer of risk is premised on the civil doctrine of res perit domino. "Thus, as a consequence of becoming owner of the thing sold upon perfection of the sale, the buyer bears simultaneously the risk of its loss."[113]

Section 3: Impact on CISG

The problem arising by the absence of a uniform rule on the transfer of property within the CISG, and the existence of a uniform rule on the transfer of risk, can best be illustrated by a simple example. Let us suppose French law applies, and accordingly, the French transfer of ownership system must be used in order to determine when the buyer will have the property in the goods sold. By applying Article 1583 C. civ.,[114] the property passes at the time of the conclusion of the contract.[115] Article 1138(2) C. civ. [116] is based on the principle res perit domino and, therefore, the risk of loss is transferred to the buyer at the time of the conclusion of the contract.[117] [page 90]

But now let us assume that the sales contract is governed by the CISG, which governs the passing of risk in Article 69 CISG.[118] Article 69(1) states that the risk passes to the buyer when he takes over the goods, in other words, when the goods are delivered.[119] This means, that where the CISG is applicable, the risk passes to the buyer at the time the goods are delivered. And, let us furthermore assume that the rules of private international law lead to French law as the applicable law [120] to the issue of the transfer of ownership.[121] This means that the property in the goods sold is transferred to the buyer at the time of the conclusion of the contract by virtue of the application of Article 1583 C. civ.[122] This results in an inequitable outcome. The buyer becomes the owner of the goods at the time of the conclusion of the contract, but he does not bear the risk of loss of these goods until delivery.[123] Where, for instance, the goods are lost after the conclusion of the sales contract and before they are delivered, the seller will have to bear the loss, although he no longer has the property in the goods sold.

Conclusion

The aforementioned problem arises because of the absence of a uniform rule on the transfer of property and the existence of a uniform rule on the transfer of risk provided for by the CISG. This problem can be solved in two ways: first, the seller could exclude the CISG by virtue of Article 6 CISG,[124] in order to avoid the occurrence [page 91] of inequity. This would lead to the avoidance of the imbalance created by the existence of two parallel sets of rules, namely those of the CISG (on the transfer of risk) and the domestic ones (on the transfer of ownership). Indeed, the exclusion of the CISG would result in the applicability of only one set of domestic rules, which, at least as far as the legal systems are concerned, is based upon the principle res perit domino.

There is, however, another way to approach this problem. It only exists because of the idea that it was considered impossible to unify the rules on the transfer of property.[125] There are several authors [126] who specifically state that uniformity in this field of law is possible. Indeed, they all suggest the adoption of the Traditionsprinzip,[127] the delivery principle, which has already been adopted in many legal systems. But if this principle is adopted as the uniform rule with respect to the transfer of property pursuant to international sales contracts, the problem would be avoided, because the CISG risk passes at the time of delivery. According to the new rule on the transfer of property; the transfer of property would occur at the time of the delivery. This is analogous to the principle res perit domino, which is, as evidenced, also contained in many legal systems and would avoid what can be labeled favor emptoris.[page 92]


FOOTNOTES

* J.D. 1997, Katholieke Universiteit Brabant, The Netherlands; L.L.M. 1998, University of Georgia School of Law, USA; Attorney at Law (Intern New York), Loeff Claeys Verbeke, The Netherlands. The author would like to express her most sincere gratitude to Franco Ferrari.

The bracket phrase page followed by a number is used to identify the page number of the original publication.

1. See Franco Ferrari, Specific Topics of the CISG in the Light Judicial Application and Scholarly Writing, 15 J.L. & Com. 1, 4 (1995) (stating that national borders are "an obstacle to economic relationships which constantly increases among citizens of different countries; an obstacle above all for the enterprises that are involved in international commerce and that acquire primary resources or distribute goods in different countries which all have different law"). See also Francesco Galgano, Il Diritto uniforme della vendita internzationale, in Atlante Di Diritto Privato Comparato 211 (Francesco Galgano & Franco Ferrari eds., 2nd ed. 1993).

2. See Roeland Bertrams & F. van der Velden, Overeenkomsten in het Internationaal Privaatrecht en het Weense Koopverdrag 133 (1994) (stating that "de internationale koop van goederen een zeer complexe is," and therefore, UNCITRAL has "een nieuwe eenvormige regeling van de internationale koop ontworpen").

3. Id. (stating that "hierdoor is de toegankelijkheid van dit stuk recht sterk vergroot en dat is een zegen voor de rechtspraktijk in de meest ruime zin").

4. See René David, The Methods of Unification, 16 Am. J. Comp. L. 13, 14 (1968). See generally René David, L’Unification internationale du droit privé, Cours de droit privé comparé, Les Cours de Droit (1968); The Unification of International Commercial Law, Tilburg Lectures (Franco Ferrari ed., 1998).

5. See David, supra note 4, at 19. With respect to the sale of goods, other methods are used in order to achieve uniformity. See Philippe Kahn, Le droit de la vente, Int’l Uniform L. Prac. 359 (1988). Kahn stated that:

"on constate un immense effort de structuration de l’espace intenrational par un maillage serré de conventions tendant à répondre aux différentes problèmes rencontrés selon une double méthode: une méthode répondant à des ambitions plus modestes et utilisant la technique des conflicts de lois, une méthode plus ambitieuse tournée vers l’unification des règles de droit materiel." Id. at 360.

6. An example of a reservation possibility for one section in an existing convention is article 95 of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, June 17, 1980, which states that "[a]ny State may declare at the time of the deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession that it will not be bound by subparagraph 1(b) of article 1 of this Convention."

7. See R. Lauwaars & C. Timmermans, Europees Gemeenschapsrecht in kort bestek 95 (1994) (referring to article 189 of the EC Treaty, the general article which is concerned with the applicability of EC directives (comparable with model laws)). EC directives are generally not self executing. However, in the case of Francovich, C-9/90, 1991 I-5357, the European Court of Justice decided that when an EC directive, which provides the European citizen with a clearly outlined right, is not transplanted within a certain period of time, the national government can be held liable for damages to citizens which are caused by the non-transplantation of the directive. Id.

8. See Konrad Zweigert & Hein Kötz, An Introduction to Comparative Law 23 (2d ed. 1992) (stating that "the final function of comparative law to be dealt with here is its significant role in the preparation of projects for the international unification of law"). See also Jean-Georges Sauveplanne, De ontwikkeling tot internationale eenmaking, in Een Inleiding tot het Rechtsvergelijende Onderzoek 43, 55 (Dimitra Kokkini-Iatridou ed., 1988) (describing the comparative legal research process as following: "in een voorbereidende fase worden de oplossingen die verschillende rechtsstelsels aan het gekozen probleem geven met elkander vergeleken, en aan de hand van die vergelijking worden de mogelijkheden tot eenmaking beoordeeld").

9. Note that even when unification of substantial law is not feasible, uniformity can be achieved. See Zweigert & Kötz, supra note 8, at 25 (stating that "where the substantive private law should not, or cannot, be unified, it may be possible to achieve a harmony of outcome by unifying the rules of conflicts of law, and hereby avoid differences attributable to the accident of the forum . . . ." The previously achieved unification results are more numerous than can be listed).

10. Willem Konijnenbelt, Discours de la Méthode en Droit Public Comparé, Comparability and Evaluation 121, 122 (1994) (stating explicitly that ". . . Auslandsrechtskunde . . . consiste en l’étude systématique d’un système de droit autre que celui qui est propre au chercheur ou en la présentation de quelques éléments ou caractéristiques du système national de l’orateur ou de l’auteur à un public étranger").

11. See L.C. Green, Comparative Law as a "Source" of International Law, 42 Tul. L. Rev. 52 (1967).

12. See Th. M. De Boer, The Missing Link, in Comparability and Evaluation 16, 17 (1994) (stating that comparative law is a source of inspiration to lawmakers of any kind, as evidenced by the fact that comparative legal research results in the possibility of drafting many conventions).

13. Green, supra note 11, at 53 (quoting G. Paton, A Textbook of Jurisprudence 32 (1946)). See also De Boer, supra note 12, at 16 (expressing similar thoughts).

14. See Pierre Legrand, How to compare now, in Legal Studies 232 (1996) (stressing the vital distinction within "the two legal traditions represented in Western Europe – known to anglophones as ‘the civil law’ and ‘the common law’" which obviously lead to different ways of legal reasoning).

15. See Rodolfo Sacco, Introdúzione al Diritto Comparato 40-41 (1992) (thinking that one should not translate foreign legal concepts so that the true meaning of the domestic concept is maintained.)

16. See Legrand, supra note 14, at 239 (stating that the two main law systems have a different "idiosyncratic epistomoligical trajectory," civil law is "nomological" and common law is "idiographic"). See also Christian Atias, La Défense à Execution Provisoire de l’Astreinte Liquidée, D. 1995, Chron. 272; Roderick Munday, The Common Lawyer’s Philosophy of Legalisation, in Rechtstheorie 191-196 (1983); timothy T. Tuggey, Note, The 1980 United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods: A Mandate to Abandon Legal Ethnocentricity, 16 J.L. & Com. 257 (1997).

17. See Alan Watson, Legal Transplants 10 (1993) (stating that this work is "superficial").

18. Ernst Rabel suggested in the 1920s to start with the work for the unification of the law of international sales of goods. His role in the unification of international sales law has been stressed by several authors. See, e.g., Michael Bonell, Introduction to the Convention in Commentary on the International Sales Law: The 1980 Vienna Sales Convention 3 (Cesare Bianca & Michael Bonell eds., 1987).

19. For the proceedings of this Conference as well as its results, see John Honnold, Documentary History of the Uniform Law for International Sales, the studies, deliberations and decisions that led to the 1980 UN Convention with introductions and explanations (1989) (providing the reader with an extensive report of the conference and elaborations on the formation of the articles of the CISG). See also United Nations Conference on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, Official Records: Documents of the Conference and Summary Records on the Plenary Meetings and of the Meetings of the Main Committees (Vienna, 10 March – 11 April 1980) (United Nations ed., 1981), in which the proceedings of the 1980 Diplomatic Conference as well as its results are reprinted.

20. See Axel Flessner & Thomas Kadner, CISG? Zur Suche nach einer Abkürzung für das Wiener Übereinkommen über Verträge über den internationalen Warenkauf vom 11. April 1980, in Zeitschrift für Europäisches Privatrecht 347 (1995) (giving an overview of the various names and abbreviations used instead of the Convention’s official title); see also Ferrari, supra note 1, at 8. For a general discussion of the CISG, see Harry M. Flechtner, Remedies under the New International Sales Convention: The Perspective from Article 2 of the U.C.C., 8 J.L. & Com. 53 (1988); Lisa M. Tomko, United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods: Its Effect on United States and Canadian Sales Law, 99 U. Det. L. Rev. 73 (1988); Peter Winship, Domesticating International Commercial Law: Revising U.C.C. Article 2 in Light of the United Nations Sales Convention, 37 Loy. L. Rev. 43 (1991); Peter Winship, Changing Contract Practices in the Light of the United Nations Sales Convention: A Guide for Practitioners, 29 Int’l Law. 525 (1995).

21. See Burghard Piltz, Internationales Kaufrecht, Das UN-Kaufrecht (Wiener Übereinkommen von 1980) in Praxisorientierter Darstellung 8 (1993) (commenting on ULIS and ULF).

22. Ronald Brand & Harry M. Flechtner, Arbitration and Contract Formation in International Trade: First Interpretations of the UN Sales Convention, 12 J.L. & Com. 239 (1993); see also Kevin Bell, The Sphere of Application of the Vienna Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, 8 Pace Int’l L. Rev. 237, 238 (1996) (providing the reader with similar statements which evidence the success of the CISG).

23. See Bell, supra note 22, at 238 (providing the reader with many examples); see, e.g., Brand & Flechtner, supra note 22 (calling CISG a "quantum leap"); see also Alejandro Garro, Reconciliation of Legal Traditions in the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, Int’l L. 480 (1989) (calling CISG a "triumph of comparative legal work"); Arthur Rosett, Critical Reflections on the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, 45 Ohio St. L.J. 265 (1984) (calling CISG "monumental").

24. See Michael Will, International Sales Law under CISG, The First 222 or so Decisions 5, 8 (1995) (listing the States which have ratified CISG. Not only is the success shown by the number of States which have ratified CISG, but also numerous court decisions are to be found).

25. See Benjamins’ Sale of Goods 919 (A. Guest et al. eds., 4th ed. 1992) (stating that although "[i]t has not been ratified by the United Kingdom . . . a number of general points relating to it merit some consideration here").

26. For this affirmation, see Franco Ferrari, Uniform Application and Interest Rates Under the 1980 Vienna Sales Convention, Ga. J. Int’l & Comp. L. 467, 471 (1995).

27. Article 4 CISG reads as follows:

"This Convention governs only the formation of the contract of sale and the rights and obligations of the buyer and the seller arising from such a contract. In particular, except as otherwise expressly provided in this Convention, it is not concerned with:

(a) the validity of the contract or any of its provisions or of any usage;

(b) the effect which the contract may have on the property in the goods sold."

28. For the material sphere of application of the CISG, see Giorgio De Nova, L’ambito di applicazione ratione materiae délla Convenzione di Vienna, in Rivista Trimestrale di Diritto et Procedura Civile 749 (1990). See generally Franco Ferrari, La Vendita Internazionale: Ambito di applicazione Disposizione Generali (1994).

29. Article 4(b) CISG.

30. W. Khoo, Article 4, in Commentary on the International Sales Law: The 1980 Vienna Sales Convention 3, 46 (Cesare Bianca & Michael Bonell eds., 1987).

31. Honnold, supra note 19, at 407.

32. See Franco Ferrari, Uniform Interpretation of the 1980 Uniform Sales Law, Ga. J. Int’l & Com. L. 183, 226 (1993) (referring to gaps praeter legem); see also Ferrari, supra note 26, at 471-72 (defining a "lacuna praeter legem, i.e., when the Convention applies to the issue but does not expressly solve it").

33. Ferrari, supra note 26, at 471 (defining gaps intra legem to be "when the matter is outside the scope of the Convention"). An example is Article 4(b) CISG, the exclusion of the effect which the contract may have on the property in the goods sold.

34. Id. at 472 (stating in relation to uniform interpretation "why the drafters of the Vienna Sales Convention, introduced a provision designed to limit the perils of its diverging application"). See also Michael Bonell, Article 7, in Commentary on the International Sales Law: The 1980 Vienna Sales Convention 3, 74 (Cesare Bianca & Michael Bonell eds., 1987) (stating that "it is equally important that its provisions . . . be interpreted in the same way in various countries"); Ferrari, supra note 32; Franco Ferrari, Remarks on the Autonomy and the Uniform Application of the CISG on the Occasion of Its Tenth Anniversary, 4 Int’l Cont. Adviser 33 (1998); Panesh Koneru, The International Interpretation of the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods: An Approach based on General Principles, 6 Minn. J. Global Trade 105 (1997).

35. Article 7(2) CISG reads as follows:

"Questions concerning matters governed by this Convention which are not expressly settled in it are to be settled in conformity with the general principles on which it is based, or in the absence of such principles, in conformity with the law applicable by virtue of the rules of private international law."

36. Article 7(2) CISG. See also Tomás Lepinette, The Interpretation of the 1980 Vienna Convention on International Sales, in Diritto del Commercio Internazionale 377, 394 (1995) (calling this provision "schizophrenic since, on the one hand, it gives the impression of an absolute rejection of internal law, but on the other hand, it establishes the application of such law, in the absence of any applicable general principles deduced from the Convention’s text").

37. See Ulrich Magnus, Wiener UN-Kaufrecht (CISG), in J. von Staudingers Kommentar zum Bürgerlichen Gesetzbuch mit Einfürngsgesetz und Nebengesetzen 109 (1994) (making similar remarks).

38. See Lepinette, supra note 36, at 396 (stating that "ce caractère très national du comblement des lacunes contredit le caractère transnational du résultat voulu au paragraphe 1er of article 7(2)"); see also Rolf Herber, Commentary on article 7, in Kommentar zum Einheitlichen UN-Kaufrecht 98 (Peter Schlechtriem ed., 2nd ed. 1995) (stating explicitly that "läßt sich dem CISG im Einzelfall ein Grundsatz nach dem die Entscheidung einer Frage nach Einheitsrecht gefunden werden könnte, nicht entnehmen, so ist nach nationalen Recht zu entscheiden").

39. Article 1376 of the Italian Codice civile (hereinafter: "C.c.") governs the transfer of ownership. See Galgano, infra note 55, where the author states the transfer occurs solo consensu.

40. See Lepinette, supra note 36, at 396; see also Roderick Munday, Comment, The Uniform Interpretation of International Conventions, Int’l & Comp. L.Q. 450 (1978) (stating that "[t]he principle objective of an international convention is to achieve uniformity of legal rules within the various States parties to it"); see generally Ferrari, supra note 1, at 8 (stating that uniform law can, however, still be interpreted and, thus, applied differently by the judges of different countries.)

41. Article 7(1) CISG reads as follows: "In the interpretation of this Convention, regard is to be had to its international character and to the need to promote uniformity in its application and the observance of good faith in international trade." See also Maureen T. Murphey, Note, United Nations Convention on Contracts for International Sale of Goods: Creating Uniformity in International Sales Law, 12 Fordham Int’l L.J. 727 (1989).

42. For statements regarding this close link in English Common Law, see Benjamin's Sale of Goods, supra note 25, at 257, where it is stated that "[r]es perit domino, the old civil law maxim, is a maxim of our law; and when you can show that the property passed, the risk of loss prima facie is in the person in whom the property is." This maxim is enacted in 20(1) of the Sale of Goods Act of 1979, which states: "Unless otherwise agreed, the goods remain at the seller’s risk until the property in them is transferred to the buyer . . . ." In French law, a civil law system, risk also follows property. See Philippe Malaurie & Laurent Aynès, Cours de Droit Civil, Les Contrats Spéciaux, Civils et Commerciaux 173 (1992). The authors explicitly state that "le principe est que la charge des risques est liée à la propriété (a. 1138, al 2); res perit domino."

43. Even in Louisiana this principle can be found. See Robert Theriot, An Examination of the Role of Delivery in the Transfer of Ownership and Risk in Sales under Louisiana Law, 60 Tul. L. Rev. 1035, 1036 (1986) (stating that "the perfection of the contract of sale has another immediate effect, placing the thing sold at the buyer’s risk. The immediate shift of risk is premised on the civilian doctrine of res perit domino").

44. Claude Witz, Analyse critique des règles régissant le transfert de propriété en droit français à la lumière du droit allemand, in Festschrift für Günther Jahr 549 (Michael Martinek et al. eds. 1994).

45. Konijnenbelt, supra note 10, at 122.

46. 6 Article 1583 C. civ. which states that "[e]lle est parfaite entre les parties, et la propriété est acquise de droit à l’acheteur à l’égard du vendeur, dès qu’on est convenu de la chose et du prix, quoique la chose n’ait pas encore été livrée ni le prix payée."

47. Rodolfo Sacco, Le Transfert de la Propriété des Choses Mobilières Déterminées par Acte entre Vifs, in General Reports to the 10th International Congress of Comparative Law 248 (Akadémiai Kiadó ed., 1981) (stating that "le titulus est devenu suffisant pour transférer la propriété. Le Code Napoléon accepte cette conclusion"); see also Witz, supra note 44, at 533 (referring to the maxim solo consensu by stating "en consacrant la règle du transfert solo consensu, le Code civilisemble se situer aux antipodes du BGB"); Stefan Hanloser, La Convention de Vienne sur la vente internationale de marchandises et les droits réels internes, in Das Rechts Deutschlands und der Schweiz im Dialog 107 (Michael Will ed., 1995) (stating "si la propriété se transmet solo consensu, l’acheteur n’ a pas besoin de protection, puisqu’il est propriétaire de plein droit dés la conclusion de contrat de vente"); Corinne Saint-Alary Houin, Le Transfert de Propriété depuis le Code Civil, in Vendita E Transfermento Della Proprieta Nella Prospettiva Storico-Comparatistica, Atti del Congresso Internazionale 197 (Letizia Vacca ed., 1991) (stating that in French law it is based "sur le double principle du transfert solo consensu et du transfert immédiat par le seul échange des consentements"); Henri et Léon Mazeaud et al., Leçons de Droit Civil, Principaux Contrats: Vente et Échange 180 (Michel de Juglart ed., 1987) (referring to "à la règle du transfert solo consensu").

48. See Sacco, supra note 47, at 260; see also Jacques Ghestin & Bernard Desché, Traité des Contrats, La Vente 10 (1990) (stating that the sales contract "est un contrat consensuel en ce sens qu’elle se conclut, en principe, par la simple manifestation d’un accord de volontés sans autre forme particulière," and then, "la propriété est acquise").

49. See Hanloser, supra note 47, at 103.

50. See Malaurie & Aynès, supra note 42, at 172.

51. For examples of the Roman traditio, see Ghestin & Desché, supra note 48, at 11-12; see also Franco Ferrari, Vom Abstraktionsprinzip und Konsensualprinzip zum Traditionsprinzip, in Zeitschrift für Europäisches Privatrecht 52, 53-59 (1993).

52. See Malaurie & Aynès, supra note 42, at 172 (stating that "l’ancien droit a developpé l’expédient romain de la tradition fictive (ou feinte)"); see also Ghestin & Desché, supra note 48, at 13 (stating that "la tradition . . . devient le plus souvent fictive . . .").

53. Malaurie & Aynès, supra note 42, at 172; see also Ghestin & Desché, supra note 48, at 13 (stating that property passed "sous la forme d’une clause dite de dessaisine-saisine").

54. Ghestin & Desché, supra note 48, at 13 (referring to this development by stating that "finallement la pratique des clauses de style jointe aux enseignements de l’Ecole de la nature et du droit des gens conduisent à admettre le transfert de la propriété par le simple échange des consentements").

55. C.Civ. art. 1583. In other modern legal systems the transfer of ownership also occurs solo consensu. This is the case in Italy, Belgium and Louisiana. See Ferrari, supra note 51, at 72. For statements on C.Civ. see Francesco Galgano, Diritto Privato 306-310 (4th ed. 1987) (stating that "il nostro sistema legislativo è retto, in materia di contratti con effetti reali, dal cosiddetto principio consensualistico espresso dall’art. 1376"). For statements on Belgian law, see Nieskens-Isphordino, infra note 62, at 33-39 (stating that "de obligatoire overeenkomst is tevens goederenrechtelijke overeenkomst"). For statements on Louisiana law, see Theriot, supra note 43, at 1037.

56. Theriot, supra note 43, at 1036. One can find the civilian doctrine res perit domino in Louisiana law as well. The principle can also be found in other legal systems. See, e.g., Ferrari, supra note 51, at 72 (stating that "der gleiche Grundsatz (res perit domino) gilt auch in Belgien und in Italien") (emphasis added).

57. Article 1138(2) C.civ. reads as follows:

"L’obligation de livrer la chose est parfaite par le seul consentement des parties contractants. Elle rend le créancier propriétaire et met la chose à ses risques dès l’instant où elle a dû être livrée encore que la tradition n’en ait point été faite, à moins que le débiteur ne soit en demeure de la livre; auquel cas la chose reste au risque de ce dernier.

58. Article 639 BW reads as follows: "Eigendom van zaken kan op geene andere wijze worden verkregen, dan door toeëigening, door natrekking, door verjaring, door wettelijk of testamentaire erfopvolging, en door opdragt of levering ten gevolge van eenen regtstitel van eigendomsovergang, afkomstig van degene die geregtigd was over den eigendom te beschikken." Accordingly, Article 639 BW did not clarly state whether a valid titel was required or not. See also Sacco, supra note 47, at 263 (stating with regard to this issue that "dans les Pays-Bas, le principe de la cause n’est pas legal"). However, in legal practice an iusta causa was required, infra note 59.

59. The first relevant decision of the Hoge Raad (Supreme Court) was given in 1939, in the case of Woldijk/Nijman, HR 9 februairi 1939, NJ 1939, 865. Here, the court held that in case of a cessie (assignment of a debt) a valid titel (agreement) as base for the transfer was required. In 1950, after several other decisions in this field, in the case of Damhof/Staat, HR 5 mei 1950, NJ 1951, 1, the Hoge Raad decided this was also required in relation to the eigendomsoverdracht (transfer of ownership). This solution is referred to as the causale systeem: in order to establish the transfer, an iusta causa is required. With regard to this solution, see Sacco, supra note 47, at 263 (stating that "il est le résultat d’un choix, fait par l’interprète").

60. Article 3:84 NBW reads as follows:

"(1) Voor overdracht van een goed wordt vereist een levering krachtens geldige titel, verricht door hem die bevoegd is over het goed te beschikken.

"(2) Bij de titel moet het goed met voldoende bepaaldheid omschreven zijn.

"(3) Een rechtshandeling die ten doel heeft een goed over te dragen tot zekerheid of die de strekking mist het goed na de overdracht in het vermogen van de verkrijger te doen vallen, is geen geldige titel van overdracht van dat goed.

"(4). Wordt ter uitvoering van een voorwaardelijke verbintenis geleverd, dan wordt slechts een recht verkregen, dat aan dezelfde voorwaarde als die verbintenis is onderworpen."

61. Art. 639 BW.

62. A titel is, for instance, a sales contract. For the development and meaning of the concept titel under BW and NBW, see Benita Nieskens-Isphording, Overdracht/Übertragung, Eigendomsverkruging naar Nederlands en Duits Recht 72-75 (1996).

63. See Sacco, supra note 47, at 254 (referring to the Code Napoléon, which was in fact the base of the BW).

64. See, e.g., G. Diephuis, Handboek voor het Nederlandsch burgerluk regt 227 (1885).

65. Not only can a sales contract function as titel, other legal concepts (like barter) are also allowed. See Nieskens-Isphording, supra note 62, at 74.

66. See, e.g., C. Opzoomer, Het Burgerluk Wetboek, verklaard door Mr. C.W. Opzoomer 302 (1876).

67. Under NBW there are several ways to deliver the goods; the sole handing over is only one of them. See Arts 3:114, 3:115 (a)-(c) NBW.

68. Art. 3:84(1) NBW. A levering is comparable with a delivery, and by this act the buyer receives the factual power of the goods sold. This can be achieved by the sole handing over of the goods. See Art. 3:115(a)-(c) NBW. Note, that the concept of levering is a NBW concept; it did not have the exact same meaning as under BW.

69. See Damhof/Staat, HR 5 mei 1950, NJ 1951, 1. In this case the Hoge Raad explicitly chose for the causale systeem with regard to the transfer of ownership.

70. Art. 3:84 NBW.

71. This solution is called the causale systeem in Dutch law. It means that the transfer cannot occur when the titel is void, an iusta causa is required. See supra note 59. See also Nieskens-Isphording, supra note 62, at 81-84. A similar development can be found in Switzerland. For statements on the unclear old Civil Code, see Andreas von Tuhr, Eigentumsübertragung nach Sweizerischem Rechte, in ZSR 40 (1921), and for the development towards the current solution, see Ferrari, supra note 51, at 60 (stating "das Bundesgericht hält seit dem zitierten Urteil von 1929 an der Lehre des kausalen Verfügungsgeschäfts fest").

72. Article 7:10 NBW reads: "De zaak is voor risico van de koper van de aflevering af, zelfs al is de eigendom nog niet overgedragen. Derhalve blijft hij de koopprijs verschuldigd, ongeacht tenietgaan van de zaak door een oorzaak die niet aan de verkoper kan worden toegerekend." Note that this is the general rule for the passing of risk. The NBW has several other rules relating to this issue, such as in the field of the sale of goods for personal, family or household use in Article 7:11 NBW.

73. Art. 7:10 NBW.

74. Article 3:92(1) NBW reads:

"Heeft een overeenkomst de strekking dat de een zich de eigendom van een zaak die in de macht van de ander wordt gebracht, voorbehoudt totdat een door de ander verschuldigde prestatie is voldaan, dan wordt hij vermoed zich te verbinden tot overdracht van de zaak aan de ander onder opschortende voorwaarde van voldoening van die prestatie."

In a sales contract one can often find a eigendomsvoorbehoud-clausule, which can be compared with a retention of title. Indeed, in this example the delivery takes place before the property in the goods passes to the buyer.

75. Section 929 BGB reads as follows: "Zur Üebertragung des Eigentums an einer beweglichen Sache ift erforderlich, daß der Eigentümer die Sache dem Erwerber übergibt und beide darüber einig find, daß das Eigentum übergehen foll."

76. See Othmar Jauernig, Erwerb und Verlust an beweglichen Sachen’ 929, in Bügerliches Gesetzbuch, mit Gesetz zur Reglung des Rechts der Allgemeinen Geschäftsbedingungen 1081 (Othmar Jauernig ed., 5th ed. 1990) (stating that the transfer occurs by the Einigung and Übergabe. This concurrence leads to the concept Übereignung).

77. For a discussion of the Dutch and Swiss solutions, see supra note 71, where an iusta causa is required in order to establish the transfer.

78. See Jauernig, supra note 76 (stating that "erwerbvorraussetzungen sind stets die dingliche Einigung über den Eigentumsübergang und grundsätzlich die Übergabe der Sache"); see also Nieskens-Isphording, supra note 62, at 39 (stating that "deze titel voor voor de geldigheid van de overdracht zonder belang").

79. For explanatory statements on the Abstraktionsprinzip, see Andreas Roth, Abstraktions-und Konsens-prinzip auf die rechtstellung der Kaufvertragsparteien, in Zeitschrift für Vergleichung des Rechts und Wissenschafts 371-394 (1993), and Stefan Habermeier, Das Trennungsdenken, ein Beitrag zur Europäischen Privatrechtstheorie, in Festschrift für Günther Jahr 283-94 (Michael Martinek et al. eds. 1994).

80. See Friedrich von Savingy, System des heutigen Römischen Rechts 313-314 (1840).

81. Filippo Ranieri, Die Lehre der Abstrakten Übereignung in der deutschen Zivilrechtswissenschaft des 19. Jahrhunderts, in Wissenschaft und Kodifikation des Privatrechts im 19. Jahrhundert 90 (1977).

82. For an overview of the concept Einigung, see Nieskens-Isphording, supra note 62, at 39 (stating, for instance, that "Einigung’, dat wil zeggen wilsovereenstemming aangaande de eigendomsoverdracht"). For other statements on this concept, see Jauernig, supra note 76, at 1081-1092.

83. Section 446(1) BGB reads as follows: "Mit der Üebergabe der verkauften Sache geht die Gefahr des zufälligen Unterganges und einer zufälligen Verfechterung auf den Käufer über. Von der üebergabe an gebühren dem Käufer die Nutzungen und trägt er die Laften der Sache."

84. Tony Weir, Passing of ownership under contract of sale, in Vendita E Transfermento della proprieta Nella Prospettiva Storico-Comparatistica, Atti del Congresso Internazionale 197, 379 (Letizia Vacca ed., 1991).

85. See Simmons v. Swift, 5 B.&C. 862 (1826), which was the base of section 18(1) SGA, where the consensus principle was recognized. See also Dixon v. Yates, 5 B. & Ad. 313 (1833), where the court held that delivery pursuant to sale was not necessary to pass property in a specific chattel.

86. See Frederick Lawson, The Law of Property (1958), whose writings were very unusual in English Common Law in those days. See also Weir, supra note 84, at 379-380 (stating with regard to Lawson and his writings: "the book is unusual in covering property issues of all kinds, the author unusual in being a Romanist and a comparatist"). For more recent scholarly writings, see P. Atiyah, The Sale of Goods (9th ed. 1995); Chalmers’ Sale of Goods Act 1979 (Michael Mark & Jonathan Mance eds., 18th ed. 1981).

87. See Weir, supra note 84, at 387. For the discussion of historic legal developments, see Cecil Fifoot, History and Sources of Common Law (1949).

88. See Zweigert & Kötz, supra note 8, at 187-211.

89. See Dixon v. Yates, 5 B. & Ad. 313 (1833).

90. See Weir, supra note 84, at 394 (making this distinction).

91. Id. see also Sacco, supra note 47, at 250 (stating that "une donnée primordinale... du droit anglais . . . le contrat de vente transfere la propriété des choses mobilères").

92. See, supra note 84, at 394 (defining the second dispositive rule); see also Sacco, supra note 47, at 250 (stating that "une deuxième donnée . . . le delivery, fait avec l’intention de transferer la propriété, suffit à cette fin").

93. See A. Simpson, A History of the Common Law of Contract 165 (1975) (discussing Doige’s case in which Fortescue said, "if I buy a horse from you, now the property in the horse is in me, and for this you shall have a writ of debt for the money and I shall have detinue for the horse on the bargain"); see also Weir, supra note 84, at 388.

94. See P. Atiyah, The Sale of Goods (9th ed. 1995); Chalmers’ Sale of Goods Act 1979 (Michael Mark & Jonathan Mance eds., 18th ed. 1981).

95. Section 17(1) SGA reads as follows: "Where there is a contract for the sale of specific or ascertained goods, the property in them is transferred to the buyer at such time as the parties to the contract intend it to be transferred."

96. See Atiyah, supra note 86, at 272 (stating that "the rule is as follows: Where there is an unconditional contract for the sale of specific goods, the property passes to the buyer when the contract is made . . ."). See also SGA § 18(1), which reads: "Where there is an unconditional contract for the sale of specific goods in a deliverable state, the property in the goods passes to the buyer when the contract is made, and it is immaterial whether the time of payment or the time of delivery, or both, be postponed." For reference to other legal systems where the transfer of ownership passes solo consensu, see supra note 55.

97. J. Blackburn, Martineau v. Kitching, in Benjamins’ Sale of Goods 919 (A. Guest et al. eds., 4th ed.1992).

98. SGA §§ 17(1), 18(1).

99. For a discussion of the Code Napoléon, see Sacco supra note 47, at 248 (stating that the Code Napoléon was also the basis for the French, Dutch, Belgian and Italian Civil Codes).

100. For an overview of writers who have mentioned the maxim solo consensu in their works, see supra note 47.

101. Theriot, supra note 43, at 1046.

102. Id. at 1035-36.

103. Id.; see also La. Civ. Code Ann. art. 2439 (West 1996).

104. Id. at 1036 (stating that these three obligations are in fact "the obligation to transfer the ownership, the obligation to deliver the thing, and the obligation to keep the thing safe until delivery"); see also S. Livitnoff, Obligations 20, Louisiana Civil Law Treatise 7 (1975) (discussing the history of the third obligation as mentioned by Theriot).

105. Theriot, supra note 43, at 1036 (referring to the second obligation, which is the obligation to transfer ownership).

106. Id.; see also La. Civ. Code Ann. art. 2456 (West 1996) (the principle solo consensu established).

107. Id. at 1035.

108. Id.

109. See C. civ. art. 1583.

110. See C. civ. art. 1376.

111. See La. Civ. Code Ann. arts. 2439, 2456 (West 1996).

112. La. Civ. Code Ann. art. 2467 (West 1996); see also La. Civ. Code Ann. art. 1909 (1870); (repealed in 1985).

113. Theriot, supra note 43, at 1036. However, "a law of sales premised on the rule that ownership and risk transfer only upon delivery is preferable." Id. at 1060.

114. C. civ. art. 1583.

115. See Malaurie & Aynès, supra note 42, at 171 (stating that "le transfert de la propriété de la chose vendue, lorsqu’il s’agit d’un corps certain ou d’un vente en bloc, n’est pas, selon le Code civile, une obligation pesant sur le vendeur, puisqu’il s’accomplit par le seul effet du contrat").

116. C. Civ. art. 1138(2).

117. See Malaurie & Aynès, supra note 42 (stating that "chaque fois que la propriété est transférée instantanément, par le seul effet du contrat, c’est sur l’acheteur que, normalement, pèsent les risques, dès la conclusion du contrat. Aussi est-il tenu de payer la prix même si la chose a péri").

118. Article 69 CISG is the general rule of Chapter 4 of CISG. It reads:

"(1) In cases not within articles 67 and 68, the risk passes to the buyer when he takes over the goods or, if he does not do so in due time, from the time when the goods are placed at his disposal and he commits a breach of contract by failing to take delivery.

"(2) However, if the buyer is bound to take over the goods at a place other than the place of the business of the seller, the risk passes when delivery is due and the buyer is aware of the fact that the goods are placed at his disposal at that place.

"(3) If the contract relates to goods not then identified, the goods are considered not to be placed at the disposal of the buyer until they are clearly identified to the contract."

119. Art. 69(1) CISG.

120. Note that in this way gaps intra legem in the CISG must be filled. Art. 7(2) CISG. See, e.g., Herber, supra note 38.

121. This issue is not governed by the CISG. It is, in fact, a gap intra legem. See Ferrari, supra note 26. A gap intra legem must be filled by concepts of law of the country to which the rules of private international law lead. See, e.g., Arts. 7(2), 4(b) CISG. See Herber, supra note 38.

122. C. civ. art. 1583. Under French law, the transfer of ownership occurs solo consensu. See supra note 47.

123. This problem not only occurs when French law applies, by virtue of Articles 7(2) & 4(b) CISG, but also when Italian, Belgian, and Louisiana law applies. In these law systems the transfer of ownership occurs solo consensu. See supra note 47. Therefore, the risk passes to the buyer at the time of the delivery, and not at the time of the transfer of ownership. See Art. 69(1) CISG.

124. Art. 6 CISG reads as follows: "The parties may exclude the application of this Convention or, subject to article 12, derogate from or vary the effect of any of its provisions." For statements with regard to this Article, see Claude Witz, L’exclusion de la Convention de Nations unies sur les contrats de vente internationale de marchandises pa la volonté des parties (Convention de Vienne du 11 avril 1980), D. 1990 Chron. 107-112. See also Holthausen, Vertraglicher Ausschulß des UN-Übereinkommens über internationale Warenkaufverträge, in Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft 513-518 (1989).

125. See Honnold, supra note 19; Khoo, supra note 30.

126. See Ferrari, supra note 51, at 77-78; see also Witz, supra note 44, at 549; see also Ulrich Drobnig, Transfer of Property, in Towards a European Civil Code 345, 360 (Arthur Hartkamp et al. eds.1994) (providing the reader with two guidelines by which the unification of the transfer of property rules is considered possible).

127. See Ferrari, supra note 51, at 77-78 (discussing this delivery principle).


Pace Law School Institute of International Commercial Law- Last updated August 13, 1999

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