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Also available at Pace Review of the Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), Kluwer Law International (2000-2001) 115-265

The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods:
Article 7 and Uniform Interpretation

John Felemegas† [1]

Abstract

Text

Bibliography


ABSTRACT

The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, 1980 (CISG) creates a uniform law for the international sale of goods. However, textual uniformity is a necessary but insufficient step towards achieving substantive legal uniformity, since the formulation and enactment of a uniform legal text carries no guarantee of its subsequent uniform application in practice. This thesis therefore considers different approaches to the interpretation of CISG and evaluates their appropriateness for uniform international trade law, before advancing an interpretative approach based on the concept of internationality and generally acknowledged principles of commercial law, such as the UNIDROIT Principles.

The analysis offered by the present writer is based on the examination of the nature, scope and function of Article 7 CISG, which expressly prescribes the direction that CISG's interpretation and application should follow and whose own interpretation will determine, to a large degree, the ultimate fate of CISG as a truly uniform code.

Owing to its unique nature and limitations, it is necessary that CISG exist on top of a legal order that can provide doctrinal support and solutions to practical problems - such as resolving issues that are governed but not expressly settled by the Convention - in order to guarantee CISG's functional continuity and development without offending its values of internationality, uniformity and good faith, as expressed in Article 7(1) CISG and analysed in this thesis.

It is the opinion of the present writer that CISG is a self-contained body of rules, independent of and distinct from the different domestic laws. The recourse to rules of private international law in the interpretation of CISG hinders the search for the elusive goal of uniformity by producing divergent results. Supported by analysis of the existing doctrine, as well as by case law, this thesis argues that the necessary legal backdrop for CISG's existence and application can be provided by general principles of international commercial law, such as those exemplified by the UNIDROIT Principles. Such a development would in many instances aid in rendering the textual reference in Article 7(2) CISG to private international law unnecessary; a positive step towards uniformity.

This thesis also examines certain practical, theoretical and methodological issues concerning the proper construction and application of CISG as the uniform international sales law.


CHAPTER 1: UNIFORM INTERNATIONAL SALES LAW: FROM LEX MERCATORIA TO CISG

1. Introduction
2. Unification of International Sales Law
3. The Old Lex Mercatoria
4. The Nationalisation of Commercial Law
5. The New Lex Mercatoria
6. The U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (1980) - CISG

(a) Summary of UNCITRAL's legislative history of the CISG
(b) The background to the UNCITRAL development of the CISG
(c) Introduction to the CISG
   Part I. Sphere of application and general provisions
      (i) Sphere of application
      (ii) The principle of "party autonomy"
      (iii) Interpretation of CISG
      (iv) Interpretation of the contract; usages
      (v) Form of the contract
   Part II. Formation of the contract
   Part III. Sale of goods
      (i) Obligations of the seller
      (ii) Obligations of the buyer
      (iii) Remedies for breach of contract
      (iv) Passing of risk
      (v) Suspension of performance and anticipatory breach
      (vi) Exemption from liability to pay damages
      (vii) Preservation of the goods
   Part IV. Final provisions
7. Final Remarks

UNIFORM INTERNATIONAL SALES LAW: FROM LEX MERCATORIA TO CISG

1. INTRODUCTION

The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods 1980 (CISG)[2] and the process by which it was created has set the standard for the unification of commercial law in the post-war era.[3] The development of the CISG by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), and its formal adoption, during a Diplomatic Conference in Vienna attended by experts from all parts of the world, managed to survive the regional and political divisions common in U.N. bodies. The Convention prescribes a uniform law for the international sale of goods - an area of long standing domestic law in all countries - seeking to substitute one law for the many legal systems that govern this area.

The CISG came into force in 1988 when eleven States deposited their instruments of ratification.[4] It has not only drawn an impressively large number of States to join its regime,[5] but also inspired the creation of the important CLOUT system of standardised reporting of national decisions through the U.N. This development has set the groundwork in the search for the elusive goal of uniform legal results on a truly global scale.

The existence of CISG and the concomitant interest generated in its proper interpretation and application evidence that the international process could indeed produce uniform rules of substantive law, notwithstanding the limited reach of both of the CISG's treaty predecessors in the European community and the Bustamente Code in the Americas. This achievement set in motion a number of efforts in various international fora, and will probably continue to do so if the efforts of UNCITRAL are any indication. Because of its nature, uniform international commercial law presents special challenges to those who interpret it. As stated in its Preamble, the CISG was created "to remove legal barriers in international trade and promote the development of international trade."

The CISG is an important document, since it establishes a comprehensive code of legal rules governing the formation of contracts for the international sale of goods, the obligations of the buyer and seller, remedies for breach of contract and other aspects of the contract. To accomplish its objectives, it is essential to interpret it properly. The unification of the law on international sales calls for its common interpretation by different legal systems. Article 7 is the provision that sets the standards and whose interpretation will determine, to a large degree, the ultimate fate of the CISG as a truly uniform code. The development and meaning of Article 7, the article entrusted with providing the direction that CISG's interpretation and application should follow, is the subject of this work.

In order to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature and scope of CISG, it is essential to understand the nature and purpose of its founding body, UNCITRAL. Such an analysis will provide the relevant context of CISG's birth and development in a brave new world of uniform international trade laws, and the proper direction for its interpretation and application.

Origin, mandate and composition of UNCITRAL

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL or Commission) was established by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1966.[6] In establishing the Commission, the General Assembly recognised that disparities in national laws governing international trade created obstacles to the flow of trade, and it regarded UNCITRAL as the vehicle by which the United Nations could play a more active role in reducing or removing these obstacles.[7]

The General Assembly gave the Commission the general mandate to further the progressive harmonisation and unification of the law of international trade. UNCITRAL has since come to be the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law,[8] with truly universal membership specialising in law reform worldwide for over 30 years. Its creation is seen as the legal response to the globalisation of international trade and its goal is the progressive harmonisation of the law of international trade.[9] The Commission is composed of thirty-six member States elected by the General Assembly. Membership is structured so as to be representative of the world's various geographic regions and its principal economic and legal systems. Members of the Commission are elected for terms of six years, with the terms of half the members expiring every three years.[10]

UNCITRAL's projects include the drafting of conventions acceptable world-wide, the drafting of model laws and rules, the publishing of legal and legislative guides and recommendations, the procurement of updated information on case law and enactments of uniform commercial law, the provision of technical assistance in law reform projects, and the sponsoring of regional and national seminars on uniform commercial law. The fields of UNCITRAL's operation include Sale of Goods, Arbitration, Electronic Commerce, Procurement, Negotiable Instruments, Project Finance, Insolvency, Countertrade, Construction Contracts, Guarantees, Receivables Financing, Letters of Credit and Maritime Transport.

The methods and work of UNCITRAL

The Commission has established three working groups to perform the substantive preparatory work on topics within the Commission's programme of work. Each of the working groups is composed of all member States of the Commission. The Commission carries out its work at annual sessions, which are held in alternate years at United Nations Headquarters in New York and at the Vienna International Centre. Each working group of the Commission typically holds one or two sessions a year, depending on the subject matter to be covered; these sessions also alternate between New York and Vienna. In addition to member States, all States that are not members of the Commission, as well as interested international organisations, are invited to attend sessions of the Commission and of its working groups as observers. Observers are permitted to participate in discussions at sessions of UNCITRAL and its working groups to the same extent as members.[11]

The areas in which the Commission has worked or is working and the major results of that work are:

A. International sale of goods and related transactions

B. International transport of goods

C. International commercial arbitration and conciliation

D. Public procurement

E. Construction contracts

F. International payments

G. Electronic commerce

H. Cross-border insolvency

I. Other UNCITRAL products

The UNCITRAL Secretariat has established a system for collecting and disseminating information on court decisions and arbitral awards relating to the Conventions and Model Laws that have emanated from the work of the Commission. The purpose of the system is to promote international awareness of the legal texts formulated by the Commission and to facilitate uniform interpretation and application of those texts.[31] The importance of the system to the CISG's interpretation is highlighted in subsequent chapters of this work.[32]

Final remarks

Even a cursory examination of UNCITRAL's efforts, such as the one above, reveals the renewed vigour with which the problem of unification of international trade law is being tackled and the importance that is placed upon that task. Although the task is not new, it probably has its best chance of success today, due to its temporal and contextual placement within the recent burst of unifying legislative activity at the international level. More specifically, international sales law has been around longer than any of the bodies now attempting to codify it.

Today, information technology and Internet services are changing the face not only of consumer practices, but also that of commercial ones. The dynamic growth of business-to-business electronic commerce has opened wide the road to a single, truly global market like never before. Merchants can now buy and sell in a bigger market and with greater speed. It is arguable that the volume of business-to-business electronic commerce conducted today will only grow in such an environment. Uniform international sales law has a vital role to play in creating the legal net for commercial practices in this new context and in accomodating smoother, less expensive amd more expedient transactions and dispute resolution. The new element to this legal recipe is the widespread participation in its drafting, which gives the CISG its legitimacy and importance.

The idea of a unified international trade law is not novel. In fact, it is a revival of an ancient trend towards unification that can be traced to the Middle Ages and which had given rise to the "law merchant." Modern unifying attempts in the field of international sales also pre-date the CISG, which is the latest modern endeavour in this field to gain the approval of a United Nations Diplomatic Conference. In effect, although the CISG represents the new face of international sales law, its genealogy is a particularly long and informative one. Long because it dates to ancient times of flourishing trade in the then known world, and informative because it reveals the intrinsic legal problems of international trade. In order to understand the need for modern uniform law and, further, to evaluate its prospects for success or failure, it is necessary to outline the evolution of this trend from its ancient predecessors to its modern shape and form.

As such, a historical account of the development of international trade law, from the time of the old lex mercatoria through to the new lex mercatoria and the evolution of CISG is not only unavoidable but also necessary.

2. UNIFICATION OF INTERNATIONAL SALES LAW

Commercial law is largely concerned with international trade. The existence of different legal systems around the world acts as a hindrance to the smooth operation of international trade, as the diversity of national laws produces conflict and legal uncertainty. Consistency and certainty in the law are not merely an indulgence for the benefit of lawyers; they are essential elements to parties attempting to enter into a contractual agreement.

There is little empirical research into the extent to which contract law plays a role in the commercial decision making process. What evidence there is suggests that business people were prone to make contracts and to solve contractual disputes without reference or with minimal reference to the applicable legal principles.[33] There were various reasons for this:

There is no suggestion that contract law should be abandoned because some - but probably not all - business people would prefer not to engage in meticulous legal planning of their dealings. A strong argument can, however, be made for making commercial law simpler and more accessible - and its application less expensive once a dispute between contracting parties has arisen. Choice of law clauses are usually inserted in most contracts, but they can only act as a "partial conflict avoidance device."[34] From a businessman's point of view, conflict avoidance is far better than conflict solution. It is by adopting an autonomous and uniform legal regime for all international transactions, irrespective of the locus in quo, that legal predictability and security can be achieved and the problems created by diverse national laws can be overcome with a greater degree of certainty.[35] Professor Schmitthoff long ago declared that only a uniform law could act as "total conflict avoidance device."[36]

Since the beginning of this century [37] efforts have been made to overcome the nationality of commercial law, which originated from the emergence of national States in Europe and from the enactment of the first codes.[38] Lord Justice Kennedy wrote extra-judicially in 1909:

"The certainty of enormous gain to civilised mankind from the unification of law needs no exposition. Conceive the security and the peace of mind of the ship-owner, the banker, or the merchant who knows that in regard to his transactions in a foreign country the law of contract, of movable property, and of civil wrongs is practically identical with that of his own country. ... But I do not think that the advocate of the unification of law is obligated to rely solely upon such material considerations, important as they are. The resulting moral gain would be considerable. A common forum is an instrument for the peaceful settlement of disputes which might otherwise breed animosity and violence … [i]f the individuals who compose each civilised nation were by the unification of law provided, in regard to their private differences or disputes abroad with individuals of any other nation, not indeed with a common forum (for that is an impossibility), but with a common system of justice in every forum, administered upon practically identical principles, a neighbourly feeling, a sincere sentiment of human solidarity (if I may be allowed the phrase) would thereby gradually be engendered amongst us all - a step onward to the far-off fulfilment of the divine message, 'On earth peace, goodwill toward men'."[39]

The Industrial Revolution had brought about industrial growth and this, in turn, created the need for a new economic policy amongst States in order to maximise the utilisation of resources and take advantage of the new capabilities of production.[40] This new economic policy required "a correspondent legislative policy able to regulate the economic relationships: this policy, not unlike the economic policy, had to cross national borders."[41] It is due to these economic needs that unification or harmonisation of commercial law has acquired such central importance. It is not sufficient, however, to obtain uniformity of laws. It is equally important for the long-term success of those laws to achieve uniformity of their interpretation by the national courts or tribunals applying them.

The history of the efforts to unify international trade law has revealed not only the widespread desire of the participants in those efforts to successfully complete this project - evidenced by their continual discussion of the goals and methods of the project - but also the fact that any successful unification would both require and facilitate the formation of an international community through the use of a common legal language. The dual goals of promoting international commerce and promoting one uniform legal context that can facilitate it have often been articulated.[42] What became apparent among commentators was not only that a successful unification of the international commercial law would necessarily entail the promotion of an international community,[43] but also that a sense of commonality was helpful in order to achieve further development of the law of international trade. R.H. Graveson's poignant remark, discussing the preconditions for unification, is on target:

"Unification is likely to be most successful among countries that share a desire for unification of their legal systems for political, racial or other reasons, or even without such conscious desire if there exists a real social or economic need for unification."[44]

It is serendipitous, but also quite logical, that the needs of international commerce would also promote a widespread sense of shared purpose and understanding. This became evident quite early, during the modern times of the unification work taking place in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This realisation assisted the unification movement in Western Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by emphasising the goal of international harmony. The World Wars intensified this goal.[45] Unification of law is political in nature and requires an atmosphere of conciliation to foster it. It is not accidental that unification efforts in other parts of the world also accelerated after the wars.[46] In the United Nations, arguments for unification initially tended to focus on economic indicators and emphasised the economic benefits to be gained by the unification of trade law,[47] especially for the developing nations. The central idea of such arguments was the removal of obstacles, including legal obstacles, to international trade. This was seen as benefiting developing countries, whose economies depended largely on their foreign trade and would, with freer trade, move faster towards economic development. Developed countries would benefit as well, since their trade would expand proportionately.[48]

However, the idea that the activity of international trade could itself provide a basis for friendly relations between nations, if it were structured by a common set of rules of equality, soon took the main stage during the debates of the General Assembly.[49] The statement of the delegate for Romania, during the discussion of the proposal to create UNCITRAL, is imbued with such feeling and is indicative of the tone prevailing in discussions relating to the unification of trade law thereafter:

"The development of international trade, therefore, would meet real needs of the international community; it would be an essential contribution to the efforts to create ... conditions of stability and well-being, which were necessary for peaceful and friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples. Accordingly, it was necessary to establish rules that would facilitate commercial transactions on the basis of respect for sovereignty and national independence, non-intervention in the domestic affairs of States and mutual benefit ..."[50]

It had now become apparent to those delegates active in the United Nations that the dual goals of developing international trade and promoting world harmony corresponded well with the mission of that organisation.[51]

3. THE OLD LEX MERCATORIA

It has been noted earlier in this chapter that the idea of a unified international trade law is not novel. Indeed it is the revival of an ancient [52] trend towards unification that can be traced to the Middle Ages and which had given rise to the "law merchant."[53] In order to understand the need for modern uniform law [54] and, further, to evaluate its prospects for success or failure, it is necessary to outline the evolution of this trend from its ancient predecessors to its modern shape and form.

Historically, international trade law developed in three stages: the old "law merchant," its integration into municipal systems of law and the emergence of the new "law merchant."[55]

In the Middle Ages, commercial law appeared in the form of the "law merchant"-- "a body of truly international customary rules governing the cosmopolitan community of international merchants who travelled through the civilised world, from port to port and fair to fair,"[56] wherever business offered itself. There were five elements, which characterised the old lex mercatoria [57] and helped preserve its uniformity:

1) It was transnational; essentially the same law was applied wherever commerce was being conducted by the merchants of the time, whatever the venue of the tribunal and the local variety of the custom.

2) Its principal source was mercantile customs; and these customs, being derived from the law of the fairs and the customs of the sea, presented remarkable uniformity. We are informed that the law of the fairs was being applied outside and above civil statutes and local commercial usages ... Thus the fairs, this original form of terrestrial commerce, have been in the history of civilisation incomparable tools of reconciliation, of unification and of peace.[58] The universality of character of the customs of the sea has been attributed to the fact that "the sea law was developed by merchants and was not the law of territorial princes."[59]

3) It was administered not by professional judges but by merchants themselves. Merchants settled their disputes in unique commercial courts that were in the nature of "modern conciliation and arbitration tribunals rather than courts in the strict sense of the word"[60] in proceedings that were speedy and informal, devoid of legal technicalities.

4) "It stressed equity, in the medieval sense of fairness, as an overriding principle,"[61] displaying a remarkable tendency "to decide cases ex aequo et bono rather than by abstract scholastic deductions from Roman texts."[62]

5) Its universality was fostered by the activities of the notary public. The function of the notary public acquired great importance in the fourteenth century; and thus notarial contracts, roughly equivalent to modern standard contracts, became common [63] and assisted the uniformity of this cosmopolitan "law merchant."

4. THE NATIONALISATION OF COMMERCIAL LAW

The second stage of the development of international trade law is marked by the incorporation of the "law merchant" into municipal systems of law in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as the idea of national sovereignty acquired prominence. It is interesting to note, however, that this process of incorporation differed in motives and methods of implementation.

In France, the Code de Commerce, one of the five Napoleonic codes,[64] was enacted in 1807 underlining the concept of freedom of contract and asserting the notion of ownership as an absolute right. It has been said that the French codification is a result of a victorious political movement, since the merchants and other professionals were prominent, and aligned with the winners, in the political events of the time.[65]

In Germany, on the other hand, the publication of a Uniform Commercial Code in 1861, adopted by most members of the German Confederation, has been described as "the legal reflection of the struggle for political unity."[66] The creation of uniform law here being seen as an act that could give impetus to the efforts for political unification.[67]

Finally, it has been suggested that the motives for the incorporation of the "law merchant" into the English common law in the middle of the eighteenth century, which was achieved through the simplification of commercial procedure and the harmonisation of commercial custom and the common law, were economic rather than political.[68]

This integration of the "law merchant" into national systems of law initially may have benefited the nations which effected it, but it has been said that it also brought about the significant and negative consequences of nationalism [69] and intellectual isolation [70] in legal thought.

Despite the integration of commercial law into national systems of law, the origins of this branch of the law in the old "law merchant" and the universality of some of its fundamental elements were still visible to some jurists, like Lord Mansfield: "The mercantile law, in this respect is the same all over the world. For from the same premises, the same conclusions of reason and justice must universally be the same."[71] It is arguable that the modern development of international trade law has justified this statement.[72]

5. THE NEW LEX MERCATORIA

The third stage of the evolution is characterised by the increased involvement of the United Nations and the activities of specialised international organisations (such as UNCITRAL, UNIDROIT and the International Chamber of Commerce) which signal a return to a universal concept of trade law that characterised the old "law merchant." The new general trend of commercial law is to move away from the restrictions of national law and towards the creation of an autonomous body of "international conception of commercial law which represents a common platform for the jurists of the East and West … [thus] facilitating co-operation between capitalist and socialist countries."[73]

This development has been welcomed and hailed as

"the emergence of a new lex mercatoria ... a law of universal character that, though applied by authority of the national sovereign, attempts to shed the national peculiarities of municipal laws."[74]

The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (Vienna) is a case in point and the subject of the analysis that will follow. Fundamental differences may still exist between State-planned and market economies, but there are also some similarities in the legal technique of international trade transactions.[75] As it has been succinctly put:

"international trade law specialists of all countries have found without difficulty that they speak a 'common language'."[76]

And it seems to be a truism to state that:

"the law governing trade transactions is neither capitalist, nor socialist; it is a means to an end, and therefore the fact that the beneficiaries of such transactions are different in this or that country is no obstacle to the development of international trade. The law of international trade is based on the general principles accepted in the entire world."[77]

There is a distinct flavour reminiscent of Lord Mansfield's views in the above statement. The new "law merchant", common to both capitalist and socialist economies, is being established with the participation of all sides, thus giving international commercial law its best chance ever to achieve uniformity. There have long been many loud calls for the creation of a "new law merchant"[78] in order to overcome the "anarchy upon which international relationships are based."[79] At the end of the 1920's, Ernst Rabel [80] suggested to the Governing Council of the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) that it start the work for the unification of the law of international sales of goods.[81] It has to be noted, however, that while the old "law merchant" had developed from usage and practice, the new "law merchant" is the result of careful and, at times, political deliberations and compromises by large international organisations and diplomats. The repercussions of such action, which are not always benign, are examined in some detail in this thesis.

UNIDROIT decided to appoint a commission with the task of working towards that goal and, in 1935, the first draft of a uniform law on the sale of goods was produced.[82] The events of World War II interrupted the development of this work, but in 1951, a new draft uniform law was presented in a conference at The Hague.[83] Work toward a unified sales law picked up momentum and more drafts followed.[84] Eventually, on April 1964, twenty-eight States took part in a Diplomatic Conference held at The Hague and approved two Conventions, creating the Uniform Law on the International Sale of Goods (ULIS),[85] and the Uniform Law on the Formation of Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (ULF).[86]

Those two Hague Conventions did not achieve the desired result of unification of sales law.[87] This failure has been largely attributed to the limited role played by Third World and Socialist countries in the contributions towards the Conventions.[88] The efforts for unification of the substantive law of sales on an international level continued; however, and, in 1966, the United Nations established the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), giving it the task of promoting the progressive harmonisation and unification of international trade law. Thus, signalling a new approach to the formulation of modern international trade law.[89]

"The [CISG] resulted from work instituted in 1968 by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law. Ten years of work in UNCITRAL produced the 1978 UNCITRAL Draft Convention."[90] This draft (with a Commentary on it by the UNCITRAL Secretariat) was laid before a Diplomatic Conference held in Vienna in 1980, which unanimously approved the current uniform rules."[91]

6. THE U.N. CONVENTION ON CONTRACTS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL SALE OF GOODS (1980) - CISG

(a) Summary of UNCITRAL's Legislative History of the CISG

The legislative history of the CISG is of great importance; not merely as the starting point of reference to the law it promotes, but also as a crucial tool of understanding the meaning of that law. In determining the meaning of an international treaty, one of the rules of the U.N. Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969) is that recourse may be had to supplementary means of interpretation, including the preparatory work of the treaty.[92] The principal commentator of the CISG has correctly observed that "[w]hen important and difficult issues of interpretation are at stake, diligent counsel and courts will need to consult the [CISG's] legislative history. In some cases this can be decisive."[93]

The most recent segment of the legislative history of the CISG is reported in The United Nations Conference on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, Vienna, 10 March-11 April 1980.[94] UNCITRAL Yearbooks report earlier stages of the legislative history of the Convention.[95]

(b) The Background to the UNCITRAL Development of the CISG [96]

The uniform rules in existence prior to the CISG were rooted in the 1964 Hague Conventions sponsored by the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT),[97] which, "in spite of their fundamental importance, failed to receive substantial acceptance outside Western Europe."[98]

The CISG was made in three stages:

(1) The UNCITRAL Working Group, during the years 1970-1977, produced two draft Conventions. "The first was the 1976 Draft Convention on Sales, setting forth the rights and obligations of the seller and buyer under the sales contract."[99] The second Draft Convention set out the rules on Formation of the Sales Contract, which the Working Group completed in September 1977.[100]

(2) In the words of Professor Honnold, the full Commission reviewed the Working Group's "Sales" and "Formation" drafts and combined them into one document - the 1978 Draft Convention on Contracts for International Sale of Goods. The Commission gave this draft Convention its unanimous approval and recommended that the U.N. General Assembly convene a diplomatic conference to review the draft and finalise a Convention.[101]

The records of stages (1) and (2) are reported in nine UNCITRAL Yearbooks (Yearbooks I (1968-1970) through IX (1978)). However, the content of these Yearbooks can be difficult to access: none is adequately indexed; nor does their sequence of presentation of information necessarily follow the sequence of work by UNCITRAL and its Working Groups.[102] In addition, during the decade of UNCITRAL's preparation of the 1978 draft for a Sales Convention consensus was reached on each provision without ever taking a formal vote. Summaries of the discussions were faithfully recorded, but the lack of votes on proposals that were not explicitly accepted or rejected in reaching consensus could "blur contours of the decision."[103]

(3) The 1980 Vienna Diplomatic Conference, "after five weeks of intensive work, unanimously approved the current uniform rules."[104]

Upon completion of the 1978 Draft, the Secretariat prepared a Commentary on it that summarised the thinking that led to this text.[105] The 1978 Draft was the working document presented to the delegates who attended the 1980 Vienna Diplomatic Conference.[106] The Vienna Diplomatic Conference made a large number of minor changes to the 1978 Draft but "very few of substance."[107] This Commentary is the closest counterpart to an Official Commentary on this Convention.[108]

(c) Introduction to the CISG

The end product of the activity outlined above is, in its complete name, the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, Vienna (1980).[109] The reason for its conception and preparation by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law and eventual adoption by a diplomatic conference on 11 April 1980, was the provision of a uniform text of law for international sales of goods. The CISG combines the subject matter of the two 1964 Hague Conventions. They had failed to receive substantial acceptance outside Western Europe and had received widespread criticism of their provisions as reflecting primarily the legal traditions and economic realities of continental Western Europe,[110] the region that had most actively contributed to their preparation.

UNCITRAL's success in preparing a Convention with wider acceptability is evidenced by the fact that the original eleven States for which the Convention came into force on 1 January 1988 included States from every geographical region, every stage of economic development and every major legal, social and economic system.

The original eleven States were: Argentina, China, Egypt, France, Hungary, Italy, Lesotho, Syria, United States, Yugoslavia and Zambia. As of 1 February 2001, the UN Treaty Section reports that 58 States have adopted the CISG.[111]

The text of CISG is divided into four parts:

Following is a quick overview of the structure and scope of the CISG's provisions that can equip the reader with the minimum requisite information of the CISG's substantive content, before the main issue of its interpretation can be discussed in detail. The basic knowledge of the CISG's provisions will be useful to the reader not only in providing an overall picture of the CISG as a whole but, more importantly, in enabling the reader to follow some of the arguments that the present writer develops using certain CISG provisions to support his thesis.

PART I. Sphere of application and general provisions

(i) Sphere of application

The articles on its scope of application state both what is included in the coverage of CISG and what is excluded from it. The CISG applies to contracts of sale of goods between parties whose places of business are in different States and either both of those States are Contracting States,[112] or the rules of private international law lead to the law of a Contracting State.[113] The CISG governs contracts for international sales only, and Article 3 distinguishes such contracts of sale from contracts for services in two respects. "Contracts for the supply of goods to be manufactured or produced" are considered to be sales "unless the party who orders the goods undertakes to supply a substantial part of the materials necessary for their manufacture or production."[114] In addition, when the "preponderant part of the obligations of the party who furnishes the goods consists in the supply of labour or other services," the CISG does not apply.[115] The CISG contains a list of types of sales that are excluded from its application, either because of the purpose of the sale,[116] the nature of the sale,[117] or the nature of the goods.[118] In many States, some or all of such sales are governed by special rules reflecting their special nature.

It is made clear by Article 4 that the subject matter of CISG is restricted to "the formation of the contract of sale and the rights and obligations of the seller and the buyer arising from such a contract." In particular, except as otherwise provided in this Convention, it is not concerned with the validity of the contract,[119] or the effect which the contract may have on the property in the goods sold.[120] Nor is the CISG concerned with the liability of the seller for death or personal injury caused by the goods to any person.[121]

(ii) The principle of "party autonomy"

The CISG contains an express recognition of the basic principle of contractual freedom in the international sale of goods. Article 6 states that the parties to a contract "may exclude the application of this Convention or ... derogate from or vary the effect of any of its provisions."[122] The principle of party autonomy is central to the philosophy adopted in CISG and emphasises the institutional equality between buyers and sellers of different Contracting States that it attempts to establish in its text. The exact boundaries of this principle are, however, sometimes difficult to define. On point, one commentator has noted that the statement "unless otherwise expressly provided in this Convention, it is not concerned with ... the validity of the contract," in Article 4 CISG may provide a restriction on the freedom of contract granted under Article 6 CISG.[123] The same commentator has called attention to an important cross-reference between CISG Articles 4 and 6:

"Article 6 purports to give the parties an unqualified power to vary the effect of the Convention by agreement. On the other hand, article 4 makes it clear that, absent a contrary provision, the Convention does not affect any rule of domestic law dealing with the 'validity' of a contract provision. Taken together, articles 6 and 4 create a tripartite hierarchy, with domestic law on validity at the top, the agreement of the parties in the middle, and the Convention at the bottom. The domestic law on validity continues to control the agreement of the parties, and both control the Convention."[124]

There may be additional restrictions on the freedom of contract of the parties, notwithstanding the sweeping language of Article 6. For instance, it is doubtful whether the autonomy conferred upon the parties could be used by them to trump the clear instruction given to courts by Art. 28 CISG. Article 28 considers the extent to which a national court is required to enter a judgment for specific performance of an obligation arising under this Convention. It provides that a court is not bound to enter a judgment providing for specific performance unless the court could do so under its own law in respect of similar contracts of sale not governed by this Convention, e.g., domestic contracts of sale.

(iii) Interpretation of CISG

The adoption of the CISG is only the preliminary step towards the ultimate goal of unification of the law governing the international sale of goods. The area where the battle for international unification will be fought and won, or lost, is the interpretation of the CISG's provisions. Only if the CISG is interpreted in a consistent manner in all legal systems that have adopted it, will the effort put into its drafting be worth anything.

It is natural that disputes will arise as to the meaning and application of the CISG's provisions. The CISG comes, however, with its own, in-built interpretation rules. Article 7, the article of the greatest interest to us, directs all users that in the interpretation of CISG "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." Further, users of CISG are told that questions concerning matters governed by the CISG which are not expressly settled in it, "are to be settled in conformity with the general principles" on which the CISG is based, or in the absence of such principles, "in conformity with the law applicable by virtue of the rules of private international law."[125]

Matters "governed by the CISG which are not expressly settled in it" are issues to which CISG applies but which it does not expressly resolve; i.e., they are gaps praeter legem, as opposed to gaps intra legem. Thus, they are matters that are excluded from the scope of CISG (such as the matters discussed in CISG Arts. 2, 3, 4 and 5). This thesis deals with the proper application of the gap-filling procedure outlined in Art. 7(2) CISG vis-à-vis gaps praeter legem, as it is only with this type of gap that Art. 7(2) CISG is concerned.

It is arguable that the principle of party autonomy can impact on the proper function of the interpretation provisions in Article 7. According to Article 6, the parties may exclude the application of CISG or, subject to Article 12, derogate from or vary the effect of any of its provisions. Does this mean that the parties to a contract of sale governed by CISG may exclude the application of the interpretative provisions of the Convention, which are embedded in Article 7? The question is not merely a theoretical one, and the answer to it could have an important impact on the application of the CISG.

The present writer argues throughout this thesis that the CISG, even after its incorporation into the various domestic legal systems, remains an autonomous body of law, intended to replace all the rules previously governing matters within its scope, whether deriving from statute or from case law. It is clear in the text of the Convention, however, that Article 6 expressly permits the contracting parties to derogate from or vary the effect of "any of its provisions." Since Article 7 is one of the Convention's provisions, it is arguable that the parties could actually derogate from, or exclude the application of, Article 7 by agreeing on a different set of rules of interpretation. It must be noted that such action jeopardises uniformity in the CISG's application, but in this instance Article 6 does that with respect to provisions of the Convention the parties are authorised to derogate from or vary. The principle of party autonomy is the paramount principle in the CISG. If Article 7 is also addressed to the parties, as some commentators have argued that it is,[126] then that provision may be excluded by the contracting parties under Article 6. This would be an unwelcome result because, in practice, it would hinder the uniformity of interpretation.

The main theoretical difficulty with the above argument is that, in effect, it implies that the interpreters of CISG are not only the judges, or arbitrators, but the contracting parties as well. This point is controversial, and there are practical and theoretical objections to it. The theoretical objection is that the statement seems to obliterate the distinction between interpretation by the court and performance of the contract by the parties. For instance, it is arguable that the parties could not use Article 6 to derogate from or do away with provisions that are not addressed to them, such as the provisions in Part IV of CISG, which are addressed to States and concern certain declarations and reservations that can only be made by States vis-à-vis CISG's ratification and application.

Another argument against allowing parties to do away with Article 7 via the autonomy given to them in Article 6 also carries some merit. The essence of this argument is that "any legislation has to be interpreted in accordance with the criteria specifically laid down in it or generally adopted within the legal system from which it emanates."[127] This approach accepts that the parties to an international sales contract are free to choose between the application of CISG and the application of a particular domestic law. Once the contracting parties have accepted that their contract of sale is to be governed by CISG, however, it is said that the provisions of CISG must be applied in accordance with the interpretation established in Article 7.

(iv) Interpretation of the contract; usages

The CISG contains provisions for the interpretation of statements and conduct of a party in the context of the formation of the contract or its implementation.[128] The parties to a contract governed by the CISG are "bound by any usage to which they have agreed and by any practices which they have established between themselves."[129] Any usage of which the parties "knew or ought to have known and which in international trade is widely known to, and regularly observed by, parties to contracts of the type involved in the particular trade concerned" may also be binding on the parties to a contract of sale governed by CISG.[130]

(v) Form of the contract

The CISG does not subject the contract of sale to any requirement as to form, such as writing.[131] If the contract is in writing and it contains a provision requiring any modification or termination by agreement to be in writing, however, Article 29 provides that the contract may not be otherwise modified or terminated by agreement. The only exception is that "a party may be precluded by his conduct from asserting such a provision to the extent that the other person has relied on that conduct."[132]

PART II. Formation of the contract

Part II of the CISG deals with a number of questions that arise in the formation of the contract by the exchange of an offer and an acceptance. When the formation of the contract takes place in this manner, the contract is concluded when the acceptance of the offer becomes effective.[133]

In order for a proposal for concluding a contract to constitute an offer, it must be addressed to one or more specific persons and it must be sufficiently definite.[134] A proposal is deemed to be "sufficiently definite, if it indicates the goods and expressly or implicitly fixes or makes provision for determining the quantity and the price."[135] The CISG takes a middle position between the doctrine of the revocability of the offer until acceptance and its general irrevocability for some period of time. The general rule in CISG is that an offer may be revoked; however, the revocation must reach the offeree before he has dispatched an acceptance.[136] Moreover, an offer cannot be revoked if it indicates that it is irrevocable, which it may do by stating a fixed time for acceptance or otherwise.[137] Furthermore, an offer may not be revoked if it was reasonable for the offeree to rely on the offer as being irrevocable and the offeree has acted in reliance on the offer.[138]

Acceptance of an offer may be made by means of a statement or other conduct of the offeree indicating assent to the offer that is communicated to the offeror; however, in some cases, the acceptance may consist of performing an act, such as dispatch of the goods or payment of the price; such an act would normally be effective as an acceptance the moment the act was performed.[139]

In the frequently problematic situation in contract formation, where the offeree's reply to an offer purports to be an acceptance but contains additional or different terms, the CISG provides that, if the additional or different terms "do not materially alter the terms of the offer,"[140] the reply constitutes an acceptance, unless the offeror "without undue delay, objects orally to the discrepancy or dispatches a notice to that effect."[141] If the offeror does not object, the terms of the contract are the terms of the offer with the modifications contained in the acceptance. If the additional or different terms do materially alter the terms of the contract, the reply constitutes a counter.[142]

PART III. Sale of goods

(i) Obligations of the seller

The general obligations of the seller are "to deliver the goods, hand over any documents relating to them and transfer the property in the goods, as required by the contract and this Convention."[143] The CISG provides supplementary rules for use in the absence of contractual agreement as to when, where and how the seller must perform these obligations.[144]

The CISG provides a number of rules that implement the seller's obligations in respect of the quality of the goods. In general, the seller must deliver goods that are "of the quantity, quality and description required by the contract and which are contained or packaged in the manner required by the contract."[145] One set of rules of particular importance in international sales of goods involves the seller's obligation to deliver goods that are "free from any right or claim of a third party,"[146] including rights based on industrial property or other intellectual property.[147]

In connection with the seller's obligations in regard to the quality of the goods, CISG contains provisions on the buyer's obligation to inspect the goods "within as short a period as is practicable in the circumstances."[148] He must give a sufficiently specific notice of any lack of conformity with the contract "within a reasonable time after he has discovered it or ought to have discovered it;"[149] at the latest, "within a period of two years from the date on which the goods were actually handed over to the buyer, unless this time limit is inconsistent with a contractual period of guarantee."[150]

(ii) Obligations of the buyer

Compared to the obligations of the seller, the general obligations of the buyer are less extensive and relatively simple. Article 53 of the CISG states that the buyer must simply "pay the price for the goods and take delivery of them as required by the contract and this Convention." The CISG provides supplementary rules for use in the absence of contractual agreement as to how the price is to be determined and where and when the buyer should perform his obligations to pay the price,[151] as well as defining the obligation to take delivery.[152]

(iii) Remedies for breach of contract

The remedies for breach of contract are similar for both buyer and seller. If all the required conditions are fulfilled, the aggrieved party may require performance of the other party's obligations, claim damages or avoid the contract. The remedies of the buyer for breach of contract by the seller are set forth in connection with the obligations of the seller[153] and the remedies of the seller are set forth in connection with the obligations of the buyer.[154] The buyer also has the right to reduce the price where the goods delivered do not conform to the contract.[155] Other remedial provisions are provided in Chapter V of Part III of the CISG, "Provisions Common to the Obligations of the Seller and of the Buyer," several of which are discussed below.

Among the more important limitations on the right of an aggrieved party to avoid the contract is the concept of "fundamental breach." For a breach of contract to be fundamental, it must result "in such detriment to the other party as substantially to deprive him of what he is entitled to expect under the contract, unless the party in breach did not foresee and a reasonable person of the same kind in the same circumstances would not have foreseen such a result."[156] For example, the buyer can require the delivery of substitute goods only if the goods delivered were not in conformity with the contract and the lack of conformity constituted a fundamental breach of contract.[157] The existence of a fundamental breach is one of the two circumstances that justify a declaration of avoidance of a contract by the aggrieved party.[158]

The contract of sale can be avoided in one other situation only; in the case of non-delivery of the goods by the seller, or non-payment of the price or failure to take delivery by the buyer.[159]

Other remedies may be restricted by special circumstances. For example, if the goods do not conform to the contract, the buyer may require the seller to "remedy the lack of conformity by repair, unless this is unreasonable having regard to all the circumstances."[160] A party cannot recover damages that he could have mitigated by taking the proper measures.[161] A party may be exempted from paying damages by virtue of "an impediment beyond his control."[162]

(iv) Passing of risk

The CISG contains rules for contracts of sale that do not contain a relevant provision and involve either carriage of the goods[163] or goods sold while in transit.[164] In all other cases, the risk passes to the buyer when "he takes over the goods or ... from the time when the goods are placed at his disposal and he commits a breach of contract by failing to take delivery," whichever comes first.[165] If the contract relates to goods that are not then identified, they must be identified to the contract before they can be considered to be placed at "the disposal of the buyer" and the risk of their loss can be considered to have passed to him.[166]

Parties to an international sales contract usually regulate the issue of the passing of the risk in their contract either by an express provision or by the use of a trade term. The provisions of the CISG on delivery obligations "only appl[y] in the absence of contrary agreement between the parties. In practice, the agreement will spell out the seller's delivery obligations quite precisely by adopting an established shipment term (e.g., FOB, CIF) and less frequently by incorporating the INCOTERMS of the International Chamber of Commerce ...".[167] The Vienna Convention does not purport to define such terms. Professor Honnold has explained that one difficulty is "the need to modernize and revise detailed trade terms more frequently than the life-span one may expect from a basic international convention."[168]

It is common international practice for international contracts for sale to contain standard shipping and delivery terms to denote the extent of the parties' contractual obligations under the agreement as well as denoting the allocation of risk of loss between the parties. Even the most common terms, such as FOB or CIF, do not, however, necessarily have the same meaning in different ports or centres of trade. In an attempt to end this confusion, the International Chamber of Commerce has, over the years, published lists of International Commercial Terms, known as INCOTERMS. INCOTERMS were first published in 1936 and have been amended and adjusted on several occasions to suit the development of technology with subsequent revisions and additions made in 1953, 1967, 1980 and 1990. The most recent edition is INCOTERMS (2000).[169] Incoterms are easily incorporated into trade agreements by including a clause to the effect that the contract is governed by the provisions of INCOTERMS. It has been stated that the main advantage of using INCOTERMS is

"… to provide a short form of a contractual term which has a known meaning. They also bring consistency and certainty to international transactions. It is important to note, however, that as influential as the Incoterms are, there is still quite a diversity of different national … and customary usages of shipping terms, and the Incoterms are not considered part of international customary law … For this reason, one cannot rely blindly on the Incoterm defined usages with impunity. It is therefore best, as a drafting matter, to put in the contract that the shipping terms are to be given meaning as defined by the [most current] Incoterms."[170]

Note, however, that the question of the underlying substantive law may also influence the choice of shipping terms. For example, although the CISG does not set out shipping terms, and therefore, the parties are free to designate their own terms, the domestic law of the United States defines shipping terms. In the case where the United States law would apply, the parties would have to carefully draft the agreements to avoid conflicts between the substantive law and the INCOTERMS.

Having been drafted "as a set of rules independent of a particular area of trade, the INCOTERMS only deal with [part of the] primary obligations imposed on a seller and buyer in the context of international contracts for the sale of goods."[171] The INCOTERMS do not contain any detailed provisions on delivery times or on the buyer's obligation to pay the price. The INCOTERMS do not regulate the conclusion of the contract of sale either, nor the issue of title, the exemption from a party's obligation to perform and the consequences of failures of performance. In the past, these aspects always had to be dealt with by applying the law which the governing Private International Law referred to. This resulted in a combination of the INCOTERMS having been drafted for internationally uniform interpretation and national sales law. "Although the INCOTERMS have been applied for decades, there is still no generally acknowledged legal opinion as to their legal [nature] and [the] basis for their operation."[172] Starting points have been and are still being sought among customary law, usages, objective rules for interpretation, standard business conditions, soft law and lex mercatoria.[173] The function of a uniform law that prescribes a statutory norm is not the same as that of standard definitions which the parties may voluntarily adopt. In practice, however, the INCOTERMS as well as the CISG are of fundamental significance for international transactions. The combination of both sets of rules raises numerous issues concerning their co-existence and proper application. Geared towards dealing with these issues is a "Roadmap" containing typical elements of export transportation and responsibilities under INCOTERMS (1990), presented on the Pace Law website and edited by Professor Albert Kritzer, to help parties who wish to apply the CISG in tandem with INCOTERMS.[174]

Since its adoption by an ever-increasing number of States, the CISG has continued to replace national sales laws. As far as the CISG is applicable, the INCOTERMS are now no longer embedded in a national sales law. Instead, their application has to take consideration of the CISG which according to Article 7 equally pursues uniform application.[175] The INCOTERMS alter and supplement the provisions of the CISG. The possibility to alter and supplement the provisions of the CISG is principally provided for by Articles 6 and 9. Therefore, within the scope of application of the CISG, these articles should form the starting point for interpretation of the operation of the INCOTERMS.

(v) Suspension of performance and anticipatory breach

The CISG provides the parties with the right to suspend the performance of their own obligations if, prior to the date on which performance is due, it becomes apparent that one of the parties "will not perform a substantial part of his obligations."[176] It also provides the right to avoid the contract if "it is clear that one of the parties will commit a fundamental breach of contract."[177]

(vi) Exemption from liability to pay damages

A party is exempted from paying damages for failure to perform any of his obligations if he proves that "the failure was due to an impediment beyond his control and that he could not reasonably be expected to have taken the impediment into account at the time of the conclusion of the contract or to have avoided or overcome it or its consequences."[178] This exemption may also apply if the failure is due to the failure of a third person whom he has engaged to perform the whole or a part of the contract.[179] However, the party invoking this provision is subject to any other remedy available in CISG, including reduction of the price, if the goods were defective in some way.[180]

(vii) Preservation of the goods

The CISG imposes on both parties the duty to preserve any goods in their possession belonging to the other party, with an entitlement to reimbursement by the other party for their reasonable expenses in performing such duty.[181] Under certain circumstances, the party in possession of the goods may sell them,[182] or may even be required to sell them.[183] A party selling the goods has the right to "retain out of the proceeds of sale an amount equal to the reasonable expenses of preserving the goods and of selling them and must account to the other party for the balance."[184]

PART IV. Final provisions

The final provisions of the CISG contain the usual clauses relating to the Secretary-General as depositary and providing that CISG is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by those States that signed it by 30 September 1981.[185] In addition, it is open to accession by all States that are not signatory States and that the text is equally authentic in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

The CISG permits a certain number of declarations. Those provisions relative to scope of application and the requirement as to a written contract have been mentioned earlier.[186] There is a special declaration for States that have different systems of law governing contracts of sale in different parts of their territory to the effect that the Contracting State may declare that the CISG does not extend to all of that State's territories.[187] Finally, a State may declare that it will not be bound by Part II on formation of contracts or Part III on the rights and obligations of the buyer and seller.[188] This latter declaration was included as part of the decision to combine into one Convention the subject matter of the two 1964 Hague Conventions.

7. FINAL REMARKS

UNCITRAL, trying to produce a more widely acceptable and successful uniform law on international sale of goods, revised the 1964 Hague Conventions. The outcome of these revision efforts was the drafting of a uniform sales law, officially known as the "United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, (1980)" that has been adopted by more than fifty States, among which are some of the major commercial countries of the world. It remains to be seen to what degree, if at all, this relatively recent Convention on Uniform International Sales Law will achieve its objective of unifying the law of international sales between countries of different legal, social and economic order.

The unification of law, in general, is desirable and is not based solely on material considerations. The unification of international commercial law is even more desirable since it can act as a total conflict avoidance device that, from a trader's point of view, is far better than conflict solution devices. Unification of the law, however, inevitably entails changes in the legal outlook of courts, scholars, practitioners and traders throughout the world. In the place of national commercial laws, the CISG represents the new way of addressing the complex relationships of international trade. As will be argued in Chapter 2 of this work, the CISG has created and defined an international community of sellers and buyers, in order to achieve such an ambitious goal. The input to the creation of the new unified legal construct has been wider than ever before because it was crucial for the development of that community that its members considered themselves governed by this new common legal system that they themselves have helped create.

In the following Chapter, it will be argued that in order to facilitate the activities of that community, and to keep it united, the CISG has attempted to introduce and establish a rhetorical system where its members can communicate, deliberate, and co-operate with each other using a new common language. Our initial treatment of the nature of international sales law and the aspirations of the CISG has revealed a number of further factors significant to its success and development. The wide participation in the drafting of CISG and its wide adoption rate are not sufficient elements for the achievement of uniformity in international sales. The decision of sellers and buyers to carry out their business under the provisions of CISG is necessary but also not sufficient. It is equally important for the long-term success of CISG to achieve uniformity of interpretation of its provisions by the national courts or tribunals applying them.

Should domestic tribunals introduce divergent textual interpretations, this new unified law will be short-lived. The success of CISG depends in large part on the coherence and the quality of the treatment it receives from courts, arbiters, lawyers, and scholars interpreting some individual provisions that lack clarity or contain ambiguous language. The present writer will argue that the CISG is and must be seen as a text that contains a comprehensive set of significant topics and terms and a set of values underpinning these terms. If domestic law is invited and used in CISG's domain (whether in interpretation, or in gap-filling), the CISG's language will probably lose its integrity and the whole structure may collapse. Individual problematic provisions can and must be construed with regard to the CISG's underlying values if the overall structure is to be reinforced and enriched. This is the mandate expressed in Articles 7(1) and 7(2) of the CISG. The direction taken on this issue will determine whether the members of the CISG's community form a true community of entities that abide by a uniform law, or simply a collective of independent entities who, at times, co-operate with each other via a harmonisation of sorts on specific topics.

The focal point throughout this work will be the issue of interpretation of the CISG. This article will argue that uniformity in the international sales law cannot be achieved merely by the universal adoption of uniform rules, but by the establishment of a uniform interpretation of these rules universally. The central component of this argument will be the interpretative analysis of the nature and scope of Article 7. The interpretation of Article 7 directly influences the fulfilment of the CISG's purpose as stated in its Preamble: "The parties to the CISG have agreed upon the Convention, being of the opinion that the adoption of uniform rules which would govern contracts for the international sale of goods and take into account the different social, economic and legal systems, would contribute to the removal of legal barriers in international trade and promote its development."

There are three prerequisites to the fulfilment of the CISG's purpose. The first is ratification and promulgation of the Convention. This ratification is made on the public law level. The second is the awareness of the existence of the CISG and its incorporation into international trade. It is brought to life by business people and lawyers when entering transactions covered by the CISG. The third prerequisite is the proper application of the CISG in proceedings before courts and arbitral institutions of different countries, which is the subject matter of this thesis. The last two prerequisites belong to the private law field and deal with the application of CISG in practice. This article will argue that to maintain its uniform application in different States, it is important to interpret and apply its provisions in a uniform manner. In this thesis, it will be argued that Article 7 demands that the interpretation and the filling of gaps praeter legem in CISG be based on international general principles and methods, in order to achieve the underlying purpose of CISG shown by its structure and its legislative history.

During the formative stages of CISG itself, numerous difficulties arose and were resolved through debate and compromise among the diplomatic delegates to the Vienna Convention - itself a rhetorical process.[189] The adoption of the CISG being essentially a political act by the governments of member States made it inevitable that the final version of CISG contains several textual compromises, which, in fact, are unresolved substantive difficulties. The most significant of these difficulties relates to the CISG's gap-filling procedures and its use of Western legal concepts; an issue that highlights the precariousness of the community contemplated by the CISG. These problems have now been introduced and underlined and will be discussed in detail in the following chapters of this work.


CHAPTER 2: ISSUES OF INTERPRETATION

1. Introduction
2. The Vienna Convention's "Rhetorical Community"
3. The Nature of the Community Established by CISG

(a) The Community and its Members
(b) The Preamble
(c) The 1964 Uniform Law Conventions
(d) The Audience of the 1980 Vienna Convention
4. The concept of good faith
(a) The concept of "Good Faith" in English Law
(b) The concept of "Good Faith" in American Law
(c) The concept of "Good Faith" in German Law
5. Good Faith and CISG
     (i) Cases that involve interpretation of the CISG (i.e., other
     CISG provisions) to promote good faith in international trade
     (ii) Cases where neither the CISG nor the contract provide an
     answer (i.e., where there is a gap praeter legem in the CISG)
     (iii) Cases where the contracting parties have agreed on a contract
     term, whether or not there is a relevant CISG provision
6. UNIDROIT Principles, Good Faith and CISG
7. ULIS Principles and CISG
8. Gaps in the Law: Issues of Validity
9. A Common Language
10. Deliberation and Decision-making in CISG
11. Conclusions

ISSUES OF INTERPRETATION

1. INTRODUCTION

The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods attempts to unify the law governing international commerce, seeking to substitute one law for the many legal systems that now govern this area. Bearing this in mind, one should evaluate how well the text of the Convention articulates a single legal system, and whether the Convention will be widely accepted. Several important analyses have evaluated the CISG from this perspective, and the authors have disagreed on how successful CISG will be in reaching this unifying goal.[190] Leaving aside, for the time being, the merits of the opposing opinions on the success, or failure, of CISG to unify the law of sale of goods on an international scale, the context of the Convention's drafting and ratification must be more closely examined. Such an examination is necessary in order to bring to the foreground the forces that give the CISG its intrinsic qualities and to highlight the nature of the problems associated with such a legal instrument.

The CISG is a legal instrument that is meant to subject people from different legal cultures to its set of rules and principles. In turn, all these different legal cultures have to comprehend and conform to these rules and principles since the CISG will become part of their own set of laws. Uniformity, as has been stated before in this thesis, is not guaranteed by the mere adoption of the uniform laws contained in the CISG. Other fundamental conditions - perhaps more important, but, probably, also more difficult ones - to achieving uniformity on an international scale are, first, that the relevant set of laws is interpreted similarly in the different legal systems. Second, that the uniform law has an innate ability to develop in a uniform fashion according to the needs of the parties whose relationships it governs or in response to future changes of world trade dynamics.[191] As has been said more eloquently elsewhere, the success of a uniform law code which intends to bind parties transacting world-wide depends on the creation of

"an international community of people who perceive themselves as bound together and governed by a common legal system and who have some way to deliberate together over matters of continuing verification and development."[192]

It is this achievement of establishing an "international community," a kind of international legal consensus, that is regarded by some as the true underlying purpose of CISG and as the key to its eventual triumph or demise.[193] This is also the focus of the most forceful criticism of CISG, as it has been argued that international consensus on significant legal issues is impossible.[194]

2. THE VIENNA CONVENTION'S "RHETORICAL COMMUNITY"

The above overview of the task facing a set of laws purporting to unify the field on an international scale, just as the CISG is purporting to achieve, sets the background for a closer examination and analysis of the context of the Convention's drafting and ratification.

In order to satisfy the fundamental conditions stated above, i.e., uniform interpretation and uniform development, and thus go a long way towards achieving its goal, the text of CISG had to bring, and keep, together a "rhetorical community in which its readers first assent to the language and values of the text itself, and then use the language and values to inform their relations with one another."[195] The term "rhetorical community," as first used by Professor Kastely to describe the coming together of States and parties interested in international sales, is problematic and prone to criticism on the grounds of definitional ambivalence, at best, or of opaqueness and vagueness, if not contextual inappropriateness, at worst.[196] The present writer believes, however, that the term could be functional if it were used to denote the existence of an established system of discourse, a continuing dialogue and discussion among the members of that community on the meaning and application of CISG to their dealings, which, according to the present writer, represents the quintessence of the United Nations unifying effort. The drafters of the CISG managed to create such a community by establishing a sense of shared interest, responsibility and participation among its readers, including making the forum for the drafting of CISG as broad as possible and including representatives from all major legal systems in the deliberations for the creation of this uniform law code. The dynamic of this discourse that created the CISG was also meant to carry through to the Convention's interpretation and application in action, thus materialising what would have otherwise been a mere theoretical unification with no real function or pragmatic significance.

It was, however, unavoidable that the CISG would have to be a political and rhetorical deed, if only in order to come into existence. Political, since it had to be signed during a diplomatic conference - a fact that explains the existence of, or even the necessity for, many glaring compromises in the drafting of CISG's provisions, in order to get the approval of delegates from different socio-legal systems. Rhetorical, since it had to establish a "textual community;" the text of CISG had to address an international community of people engaged in a specific activity, that of international sale of goods, via a new common language - a new lingua franca,[197] and to provide the regulatory background for their activity. In this context, "rhetoric" has been described as the art of rendering an indeterminate situation determinate for the purpose of action, the "art of discourse and deliberation."[198] The importance of language in the relationship of discourse that the CISG attempts to establish, between parties with diverse geopolitical origins and socio-legal traditions, cannot be stressed enough. Indeed, it is this linguistic element of the Convention that gives the text its coherence, as well as its vulnerability. This point acquires added significance since our treatment of the CISG is focused on the issue of its interpretation via an analysis of the nature, scope and function of Article 7, the Convention's interpretation provision.

This Chapter will examine in some detail the nature and constitution of the community established by the CISG, and some of the basic problems and controversial issues associated with the acceptance of a uniform law for the sale of goods on an international scale.

3. THE NATURE OF THE COMMUNITY ESTABLISHED BY CISG

According to Professor Kastely, the CISG is a "rhetorical text," contemplating and creating an "international rhetorical community."[199] In essence, the CISG, by inviting its ratification by government leaders throughout the world, offers the world community a new, uniform language in which to conduct and discuss international trade. The CISG deals with significant issues affecting international trade and offers to the members of the "community" that embrace its text a set of terms in which these issues can be discussed and deliberated upon. The CISG implicitly recognises a set of roles (e.g., buyer, seller), shared expectations (e.g., the fulfilment of the respective obligations of the buyer and the seller to a contract that the CISG governs), and occasions for dispute and deliberation (e.g., where there are gaps in the law). What follows is an examination of the nature of the community that the CISG attempts to establish and bind and the relationship of that community with the text of the CISG.

(a) The Community and its Members

The Preamble to the CISG reveals its author: "The States Parties to this Convention ... have agreed as follows ..." The text that follows this passage is framed as a statement by the States that are united as a single author of the international instrument in question. The Preamble is addressed to an audience, which is composed of all States who may consider joining the Convention and all traders, lawyers, courts, and arbiters concerned with the activity of international trade.

It has been correctly noted, however, that the line between author and audience in this text is doubly blurred.[200] At the time of the approval of the final draft of the CISG, no State could yet ratify it and thus, technically, there were no States parties to the Convention; all States were among the audience. At the same time, however, the ratification process was established as a way for nations to become parties to the Convention. Thus the mechanism existed for members of the audience to join as authors of CISG's text. Kastely has argued that this blurring of author and audience is significant to the rhetorical character of the CISG, as it

"emphasises the potentially creative role for the members of the community it seeks to create. By highlighting the fluid character of the document's author and audience, the text offers to its readers the possibility of joining the community on an equal footing with other member States."[201]

Although Kastely's de-constructive linguistic analysis of the Preamble seems too technical, it highlights an important point; due to this linguistic "sleight of hand" performed by the Preamble, all the existing and potential members to the Convention are seen as equals and the "feel good" factor is firmly entrenched amongst them. The goal was to make the CISG attractive to all potential signatories. With a long history of unsuccessful attempts in creating uniform international trade laws,[202] mainly because minimal membership in the drafting of such laws led to minimal membership in the community adopting them, the atmosphere created by the CISG had to be one of equality and openness. Of course, the Convention will ultimately be judged on the substance of its provisions by the use its provisions receive in regulating the affairs of the trading community. But it is clear from the outset that the CISG represents a serious, major attempt to unite international trade, down to the last detail.

(b) The Preamble

The Preamble to the CISG seems to describe the character of the union among the States who have authored the text with those who read it. The words of the Preamble seem to emphasise the conscious act of agreement by the member States (i.e., "The States ..., Bearing in Mind ..., Considering ..., Being of the Opinion ..., Have Agreed ....").

The wording used in the Preamble indicates that the union of nations by the CISG is the result of careful consideration and express agreement. Joining the international community of the CISG is - and is seen to be - a positive act by its members, thus making all member States part of a wide, thoroughly consensual and deliberative community. The fact that most of this is in standard treaty language, however, clearly undercuts the strength of any proposal to attach greater meaning or importance to the CISG Preamble, which states the following:

THE STATES PARTIES TO THIS CONVENTION

BEARING IN MIND the broad objectives in the resolutions adopted in the sixth special session of the General Assembly of the United Nations on the establishment of a New International Economic Order,

CONSIDERING that the development of international trade on the basis of equality and mutual benefit is an important element in promoting friendly relations among States,

BEING OF THE OPINION that the adoption of uniform rules which govern contracts for the international sale of goods and take into account the different social, economic and legal systems would contribute to the removal of legal barriers in international trade and promote the development of international trade,

HAVE AGREED as follows: ...[203]

The purpose of the CISG, as set forth in this passage of the Preamble, is to contribute towards a new international economic order based on harmony and equality, to promote friendly relations among the member States, and to encourage the development of international trade. The relationship among the States that have joined, or that will join, in this Convention exists not merely in the writing and reading of the CISG but also in the world beyond the text, as an actual political and economic community. The international communality that characterised the drafting of CISG (although not its predecessors) is highlighted in this opening statement in order to remind all users of the CISG of the benefits (psychological and material) that their membership entails despite their different social and legal domestic traditions.

On this point, Kastely argues that the community formed by the Preamble is "both consensual and motivated by self-interest," as she states that "its main focus is on the possibility of encouraging international trade, to the benefit of both industrialised and the developing nations."[204] There are, however, some valid objections to this argument. Professor Winship's reading of the same text stresses the altruism implicit in it rather than any self-interest.[205] This alternative reading focuses on several new phrases found in the CISG's Preamble that have also been added to the preambles of prior treaties and which respond for the first time to certain concerns of developing countries.

The present writer is of the opinion that it is more sound and appropriate to view the act of joining the community formed by CISG as an apt recognition of the equal status of less developed countries. There is, however, an inherent danger in analysing such admirable projects of "unification on equal terms." The wishful thinking that accompanied the lengthy preparation of the CISG (and is reflected in the formal language of the Preamble) and the corresponding relief and euphoria generated after its official introduction to the world, may blind the faithful and obscure the real benefits conferred upon the developing States. There lies the danger that the CISG may prove to be a symbolic gesture only, unless we are able to ascertain in real terms the benefits to be gained by the developing States from the CISG. Only the correct interpretation and uniform application of the text can safeguard the benefits conferred to both developing States and developed States by the CISG's principles of equality and fairness.

It has been correctly noted that a rhetorical analysis of the CISG becomes stronger when we compare its text to that of other similar documents.[206] A comparison of the documents can identify what is new, what is old and what is omitted, or added.

In accordance with United Nations practice, the Preamble provisions were prepared at the Diplomatic Conference that adopted the Convention, in Vienna. Professor Bonell has stated that the purpose of the Preamble to an international agreement is "to indicate the aim of the agreement and any specific considerations underlying it" and has concluded that the Preamble to CISG is much more developed than those of other Conventions already prepared within UNCITRAL.[207] The Preamble to the United Nations Convention on the Limitation Period in the International Sale of Goods (1975) (1975 Limitation Convention) was restricted to two clauses:

"Considering that international trade is an important factor in the promotion of friendly relations among States,

"Believing that the adoption of uniform rules governing the limitation period in the international sale of goods would facilitate the development of world trade ..."

The United Nations Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea (1978) was even more frugal:

"Having recognised the desirability of determining by agreement certain rules relating to the carriage of goods by sea ..."

Subsequent to its drafting, the Preamble to the CISG has strongly influenced the wording of the Preamble to the Convention on Agency in the International Sale of Goods (1983).

The examination of the relationship between the above Preamble provisions reveals that the references that can be found in the CISG Preamble (to "the development of international trade" as "an important element in promoting friendly relations among States" and "the adoption of uniform rules which govern contracts for the international sale of goods" as contributing to the promotion of "the development of international trade") bear striking similarities to the Preamble to the 1975 Limitation Convention.

On the issue of the similarity of the wording in the CISG Preamble with the wording of other instruments, it can be said that repetition of clauses from prior documents in the CISG Preamble raises the question of whether the repetition is a reaffirmation of the ideas and principles contained therein, or merely a stylistic formula and nothing more. The latter idea represents the orthodox position. The new references made in the CISG Preamble, on the other hand, obviously highlight topics on the minds of the drafters of the CISG at the time of drafting.

The lack of dispute, objection, or controversial debate about the Preamble has been interpreted by one academic as reflecting the broad acceptance of the principles underlying the Preamble.[208] The better position on this point, however, is that this is not necessarily so. It has been proposed that the language in paragraphs two and three of the Preamble to the CISG, which is also found in prior treaties, could reflect indifference to the use of language that has become familiar and considered innocuous.[209] The present writer also agrees that the standard form of the language used in the CISG's Preamble limits any importance or intrinsic significance that can be attached to it. The CISG Preamble is, however, unique in that it incorporates certain ideas that reflect the concerns of a number of States, which had not been expressed before. In particular, concerns of the Third World countries are addressed, such as:

(i) the reference, in the first paragraph, to the New International Economic Order;

(ii) the development, in the second paragraph, of the corresponding provisions in the 1975 Limitation Convention (cited above) so as to refer to "equality and mutual benefit;" and

(iii) the reference, in the third paragraph, to "different social, economic and legal systems" and to "the removal of legal barriers in international trade."

The Preamble provisions in the CISG are also more developed than those of the 1964 Convention Relating to a Uniform Law on the International Sale of Goods (ULIS), which speak of the States signatory to the Convention as "[d]esiring to establish a uniform law on the international sale of goods."

The importance of the wording of the CISG's Preamble and the weight to be placed on it cannot be fixed precisely. We can get some guidance from Article 31(2) of the United Nations Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969), which specifically mentions the Preamble of a treaty as being part of the context for the purpose of the interpretation of the treaty; i.e., the Preamble can be relevant to the interpretation of a treaty. Academic opinions, however, differ as to the legal importance of this Preamble. Some commentators believe that the language of the Preamble, for various reasons, counts for virtually nought, while others argue that the Preamble "informs" other provisions of the Convention, most particularly Article 7.[210]

The present writer believes that the presence of a clearly marked, specially prepared interpretation section in a Convention does not justify an expansive role for its Preamble. This would entail that the value of the CISG's Preamble as an interpretative tool must be diminished. The CISG represents a major development in international law, in the wider context of the history (political, as well as legislative) of the unifying efforts; its Preamble merely reflects this in formal language and structure.

The CISG Preamble cannot and should not solve interpetative issues directly; it formally mentions the main principles that imbue the Convention and which are so vital to its identity and faithful application. Some of its main principles (e.g., internationality, uniformity) are also found in the interpretative provisions in Article 7(1), proving only an ideological connection between the Preamble and Article. Introducing and accompanying a Convention marked by important diplomatic and textual compomises, the value of this Preamble should not, however, be lost completely, albeit as a beacon or an outer-marker of the general direction that CISG's interpretation should follow.

(c) The 1964 Uniform Law Conventions

A second example of the insight that the juxtaposition of texts can provide arises from a comparison between the 1964 Hague Sales Conventions [211] and the CISG. Two main points can be made here. First, the drafters of the Hague Conventions distinguished between the law of contract formation and the substantive rights of contract parties. Second, the drafters addressed these Conventions to Contracting States, while the uniform laws addressed to sellers and buyers were set out in separate "uniform laws" appended to the Conventions. The CISG eliminates both distinctions. In the CISG, formation provisions are combined with substantive contract provisions,[212] and the formal provisions of the old Conventions are combined with the text of the uniform laws that had been appended to the Conventions.

The consequences of eliminating such distinctions are the subject of some academic interest. Could it be that contract formation provisions should be treated separately because they are addressed, directly or by analogy, to a broader audience (i.e., all parties who contract with each other, irrespective of the object of the contract) than the audience of sellers and buyers interested in their rights and obligations under a sales contract? Even the question of whether treaty provisions addressed to States in their sovereign capacity should be clearly separated from those provisions addressed to parties to a sales contract has interested some commentators.[213] It is the view of the present writer that these innovations found in the CISG have stylistic consequences only, by affecting its presentation. There is a substantial shortening of the overall text and the finished product (the text of the Convention) looks more compact and complete.

A third example of how the comparison between the CISG and prior, related instruments may enrich an analysis of the CISG and foster a better understanding of its provisions, involves an omission from the CISG of a provision found in an earlier text. The point being made here is that textual silence on an issue may itself have important implications in the interpretation of a document that has been drafted through a revision of its predecessors. The issue we are concerned with here is whether parties may exclude the application of the CISG by implication, or whether they may only do so effectively by express agreement. Article 3 of the Convention Relating to a Uniform Law on the International Sale of Goods (1964) stated that exclusion could be either express or implied. The UNCITRAL Working Group omitted this formula when drafting the CISG. Several delegates to the 1980 Conference attempted to resolve this issue by amendment but failed. Two proposals - one to go back to the language of ULIS Article 3 ("such exclusion may be express or implied") and the other to restrict Article 6 ("The parties may expressly exclude the application of this Convention ...") - were both put to vote but were subsequently voted down. The UNCITRAL legislative history contains the following elaboration:

"Some representatives were concerned lest the special reference to 'implied' exclusion might encourage courts to conclude, on insufficient grounds, that the Law had been wholly excluded. Other representatives were of the opinion that there was no ground for such concern, but agreed to the deletion of the second sentence since the Law does not ordinarily attempt to establish special rules for construing agreements."[214]

The Diplomatic Conference Records also include the assessment of developments there provided by the Chairman of the First Committee. Mr. Loewe stated that "exclusions of the application of the Convention could be either express or implied" and that this "was also the conclusion which had emerged from the preparatory work."[215] Professor Schlechtriem has concluded that Article 6 guarantees party autonomy over both the conflict rules and the substantive law:

"The Convention can be excluded by choice of law if the parties choose to apply a different local domestic law. It is also possible simply to reject CISG without choosing an applicable law. Substantively, any rule of the Convention can be altered or rejected by the parties, even by standard contract terms, as long as the requirements for their validity in domestic law are fulfilled. In contrast to Article 3 sentence 2 of ULIS, the Convention does not mention the possibility of an 'implied' exclusion, but this does not mean that a tacit exclusion is impossible. The intent of deleting the word 'implied' was to prevent the courts from being too quick to impute exclusion of the Convention. Therefore, the fact that the parties have agreed on an arbitral tribunal in a specified country or on standard contract terms enacted before the Convention takes effect and based on the background of a particular domestic substantive law does not by itself imply that the parties wished to exclude the application of the Convention."[216]

Thus was avoided the possibility that an exclusion of the Convention could be "implied by law." When analysing this question, however, some attention must be paid to explaining the omission of the clause in the 1964 text.

A narrow reading of the permission to opt out of the Convention would be required in order to keep the community together. Such a reading would, however, probably offend a general principle of the CISG - the autonomy of the contracting parties, as is provided in Article 6. It is evident that in the creation and interpretation (let alone in the potential application) of uniform laws carrying ambitious goals there are many points of friction and antithesis. As will be argued later in this thesis, such difficult points can be overcome only with a healthy dose of good will (to avoid the loaded term "good faith") and with certain inevitable compromises. The achievement of establishing an "international community," a kind of international legal and linguistic consensus, is the underlying purpose of the CISG and the key to its eventual triumph or demise.

(d) The Audience of the 1980 Vienna Convention

The CISG endeavours to be the medium for a specific message of international unification in the area of sales law. But what about the recipients of this message? Who are they? What is the audience of the CISG? On the theoretical level, there is debate as to the identity of the CISG's audience. One scholar groups together the readers of the CISG as "the States which would ratify and the traders, lawyers, courts, and arbiters who would use the Convention to structure and guide future transactions and deliberations."[217] Another scholar, on the other hand, argues that different parts of CISG address different audience groups: (a) certain CISG provisions are addressed primarily to States (the Preamble and Part IV), and (b) other parts of the CISG are addressed primarily to trading enterprises (Parts I, II and III).[218]

It is the view of the present writer that the latter analysis is the better one. The differences in scholarly opinion as to the identification of CISG's audience and other similar academic distinctions are, however, ultimately irrelevant since they affect neither the reality of the CISG's need to exist as a useful body of law internationally, nor its actual application and interpretation.[219] In practice, it is the traders using, or choosing not to use, the CISG that will predominantly decide the fate of the CISG in attaining, or failing to attain, the requisite level of use which will justify the long effort for its creation. This statement is not an attempt to oversimplify the issue of the success or failure of the CISG. Rather, it is a reminder that irrespective of infinite academic diatribes about fine distinctions and theoretical analyses of the CISG, the future of the CISG depends on its daily, practical use by merchants. This thesis notes the importance of the group of CISG users entrusted with the responsibility of interpreting the CISG in a uniform manner and figures of authority who may wish to intervene in order to preserve the community or to hand out justice (e.g., judges, arbiters, etc.). Indeed, the present work is itself an endeavour to contribute in a positive manner to such efforts to interpret and apply the CISG in the real world of merchants. It is, however, the belief of the present writer that a closer study of the audience group comprised of traders carrying out their transactions under the umbrella of CISG ("the audience of trading enterprises," if you prefer) would produce more significant insights into the CISG's substantive sales law provisions.

Leaving aside the question of whether there presently exists a distinct community of international traders,[220] Professor Winship has divided the audience of trading enterprises as follows:[221]

(1) enterprises that have not yet entered into an international sales contract;
(2) enterprises that enter into a contract with another enterprise governed by CISG;
(3) enterprises involved in a dispute.

Different parts of the CISG are addressed to each of these groups:

(1) Enterprises that have not yet entered into an international sales agreement will be interested primarily in the Convention's sphere of application (Part I, especially Chapter 1 CISG). If it is to reap the fruits of uniformity, the text of the CISG must persuade these enterprises (a rather large and diverse community) to become a participating enterprise by entering into contracts governed by the CISG. To achieve this goal, the CISG employs two devices:

(a) the relative simplicity of the scope provisions (Articles 1-5 CISG, notwithstanding the complexity of Art. 1(1)), and
(b) the affirmation of the principle of freedom of contract (Article 6 CISG).

Implicit in the straightforward statement of the CISG's sphere of application is the suggestion that enterprises that opt to have the CISG apply to their contract will benefit from the decreased legal transaction costs that they would otherwise incur without the CISG. These transactional costs would include difficulties in

(i) reaching agreement on applicable law,
(ii) determining which State's domestic law is applicable if agreement is not reached, and
(iii) proving what the foreign domestic law is.

Traders who choose to use CISG are taking part in a more efficient "community," which is in their interest.

(2) Enterprises that decide to enter into a contract governed by CISG form a separate audience group. The main questions concerning members of this group are

(a) whether they have concluded enforceable contracts, and
(b) what the terms of the contract are.

This audience group will be most interested in the contract formation rules of Part II and the supplementary provisions in Part III of the CISG. A comparison between the CISG's provisions and the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) of the United States, with respect to contract formation and the contract terms supplied in the absence of agreement by the parties, provides a further insight into this issue. The CISG does not have a provision similar to U.C.C. § 2-204;[222] and its supplementary provisions are less comprehensive than those found in U.C.C. Article 2, Part III. Academic opinion on this point is not settled. It is said that "one can only speculate on what these enterprises would make of the formal 'offer' and 'acceptance' provisions in Part II, or of the skeletal suppletory rules of Part III. They might conclude … that they are protected by the formalism of the formation process and by the need to spell out most details of their agreement."[223]

(3) Enterprises faced with contract disputes. This audience group will be primarily concerned with the remedies available under the regime of the CISG (e.g., cure). The CISG's alternative remedy provisions can be found in Part III of the Convention and are designed to preserve the community formed and to avoid threats of dissolution "by encouraging dialogue and reconsideration."[224]

The basic theme in Part III of the CISG is that the contract should only be avoided as a last resort.

The above schema of the different potential audience groups to which the CISG has to address its message of a unified international sales law completes the analysis into the nature of the community that is established by the CISG. It remains to be seen whether the CISG, through audience participation (i.e., actual use, as opposed to mere ratification) can address satisfactorily the legal issues that concern its community with its substantive law provisions. The interpretation of the CISG and its handling of these issues, through the proper operation of Article 7, is the key to answering the vital question of whether the CISG will bring, and keep, together its international community - the international legal consensus that its drafters hoped it would establish.

4. THE CONCEPT OF GOOD FAITH

Principles and rules commanding the observance of good faith and fair dealing in relationships governed by the law of obligations, in particular those created by contract, are common stock of most legal systems. The existence and use of general provisions and rules on good faith and fair dealing can also be found in legal texts aimed at the unification of certain sectors of private law for purposes of international transactions. Indeed, Article 7 of the CISG states:

"(1) 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 in the observance of good faith in international trade.

"(2) 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."

For the purposes of this thesis, the element of good faith in Article 7 is analysed in Chapters 3 and 4 of this work, infra, dealing with the concept's operation in the CISG's interpretation (in the context of Article 7(1)) and in the CISG's gap-filling mechanism (in the context of Article 7(2)), respectively. Bearing in mind good faith's double-role in the CISG, as well as the concept's innate definitional difficulties, the present writer attempts in the current chapter an independent analysis of the concept which can yield results that can be used in the later analyses of the nature of all the functional elements in Articles 7(1) and 7(2) CISG, in Chapters 3 and 4 of this work, respectively. The present writer believes that this compact treatment of good faith is not only a more efficient, but also an easier way of analysing a concept whose overlapping reach into both Article 7(1) and 7(2) is further complicated by certain important theoretical distinctions which the present writer needs to make and maintain clearly in the remaining chapters of this work in order to advance his thesis on the interperetation of the CISG.

The text of Article 7(1) covers only the application of the Convention, rather than the parties' rights and obligations and their exercise and performance directly. The wording was agreed upon only after lengthy discussions in the UNCITRAL Working Group and the plenary session of the Vienna Conference that adopted the text of the CISG, and it was meant as a final rejection of more far-reaching proposals to apply the principle of "good faith and fair dealing" to the obligations and the behaviour of the parties themselves.[225] There is, however, a strong body of academic opinion holding that the evaluation of the relations, rights and remedies of the parties, could also be subject to the principle of good faith and fair dealing. It is asserted that the principle of good faith, in addition to its interpretative role on the CISG provisions, has also found its way into the CISG as one of its important general principles under Article 7(2).[226]

The concept of "good faith" is one of the most controversial ones for the users of the CISG. The controversy relates not only to the exact function of the concept, but also extends to its qualitative definition. In order to understand the complexity and the variety of connotations that the notion of "good faith" carries in different legal systems and the degree of difficulty that its definition can create, as well as learn from the experience of dealing with such a general yet important concept, we will examine the position of the concept in English common law and American law, with German law providing the civil law perspective via the principle of "Treu und Glauben" from the German Civil Code.

The benefits of this examination, apart from the comparative analysis that it will produce on the point, include a better comprehension of the tension that is created among different schools of legal thought when one attempts to unify the definition of important legal terms and prescribe new roles to them. This exercise can act as a paradigm for one's approach to the CISG, since "good faith" is arguably the most disputed concept that the Convention contains and interpreting it cannot only influence greatly the scope the CISG's operation, but it can also shape the CISG's core character.

Despite the common existence and use of the concept of "good faith" in many developed legal systems there seems to be not one monograph that would report and compare in detail the various manifestations of the principle and their applications and understanding in the legal systems. Although there is a huge body of scholarship on certain aspects or applications of the principle in one or more legal systems, there seems to be not one comprehensive and exhaustive treatment.[227] The recognition of this has led Professor Schlechtriem to conclude that the importance of the general principle of "good faith and fair dealing" and the details developed out of it depend on the structure and content of the specific legal system in which they are implemented, and on the concrete and specific contract in question.[228] In other words, as a domestic legal concept, the principle of "good faith" is used and developed according to the specific needs of a national legal system or of a particular contract. This observation entails the consequence that in defining "good faith" in the CISG, the domestic experience of the concept is of limited practical value. This realisation should not cast undue doubt on the purposes of our comparative analysis of the concept of "good faith." The purpose of the exercise remains valid because the experience gained by the domestic use of the concept of "good faith" and its distinctive - albeit diverse - development in different legal systems can throw light on the multi-faceted nature of the term and its potential to acquire different roles, although it should not prescribe its international journey.

(a) The concept of "Good Faith" in English Law

The starting point of any discussion of the notion of "good faith" in English law must be the declaration that there is no general doctrine of good faith in English contract law.[229] As has been explained more eloquently elsewhere, this is not because English law rejects the good faith ethic; rather, English law prefers to work out solutions to contractual problems at a more detailed level of legal rules.[230]

This position is in stark contrast with the trend of the clear emergence, if not dominant presence, of the principle in modern international legal instruments. Perhaps the best example of this development is provided by the UNIDROIT Principles, where the principle of good faith and fair dealing arises "in international trade" and not just in the performance and enforcement of contracts.[231] Another clear demonstration of the ever-increasing importance attributed to good faith can be found in the current draft of the Lando Principles, where the duty extends also to negotiations between the parties.[232] Such a development has not been followed in English law. In fact, the House of Lords, fairly recently, reinforced the absence of good faith in contractual negotiations. Specifically, in the case of Walford v. Miles,[233] the House of Lords refused to impose a duty to negotiate in good faith on the parties engaged in the complex, protracted, and inherently adversarial process of negotiating towards the sale of a business.

Notwithstanding this clear rejection of the general principle of good faith, good faith in the negotiating process is advanced by indirect means in English law. For example, the tort of breach of confidence protects confidential information acquired by the parties during their negotiations from exploitation after the breakdown of negotiations.[234] Another instance where English law offers specific protection, without resorting to the general principle of good faith, is found in the observance of fairness and equality in the tendering process leading to the award of a major construction contract. The system of bidding may give rise to a pre-contract embodying these principles and a remedy for their infringement.[235]

It can be deduced from the above illustrations of English law that lawyers brought up in the tradition of English law, the present writer included, find it difficult to adopt a general concept of good faith. To explain the reasons for the resistance of English law towards the adoption of a general concept of good faith, as well as the modern emergence of qualifications to such resistance, we need to make a quick historical sojourn in the development of the English common law itself. It is a truism to say that the better one's grasp of the historical development of an area of law, the better one's understanding of the modern law. Certainly this is true of the law of contract. Yet no attempt at a full historical introduction is made here. Detailed accounts of the development of the modern law of contract in English law exist aplenty.[236]

The old lex mercatoria

In the days of the old lex mercatoria, that accumulation of mercantile customary law administered by the merchant courts where the merchants themselves were judges, there existed a general concept of good faith.[237] As was described in the first chapter of this work, merchants would travel across Europe to the international fairs and they themselves would resolve in a rapid, businesslike fashion any commercial disputes. In those days there existed to some extent a relatively uniform, albeit uncodified, commercial law based on commercial custom and practice - quite separate from the ordinary common law administered by the King's courts - and one of these customs was good faith. With the gradual disappearance of the merchant courts, their jurisdiction was incorporated into the royal courts, and the principles of the law that had been applied by the merchant courts for centuries became absorbed into the common law. Since the English common law does not have a civil code or a commercial code, when the common law courts took over the jurisdiction of the old merchant courts, the principle of good faith disappeared for a while. This does not, of course, represent modern English law, but it gives an indication that English law used to take a fairly extreme position on the duties of parties to look after themselves in the tough world of business.[238]

Assumptions of the modern common law of contract

The modern English law of contract assumes freedom of contract; it assumes

"a paradigm situation of one-to-one negotiation of all the terms of the agreement by parties of equal bargaining strength concerned to maximise their individual positions."[239]

It must be recognised, though, that in many situations these assumptions are frequently contradicted or qualified and adjustments made in the application of the principle based on these assumptions. A qualification to the paradigm situation that is of interest to our discussion is the proposition that "will" and "intention" form the substratum of every contract. This proposition is heavily attenuated by inequality of bargaining power between the contracting parties.

Leading Australian scholars Professors Carter and Harland have encapsulated the essence of the common law contract origins - and modern problems - in one sentence:

"The basic principles of contract law were laid down in an economic, social, political and intellectual context different from to-day's. They were developed under the influence of the forces of individualism, competitiveness, laissez-faire, an intellectual climate characterised by a high regard for general principle, and economic dominance of a free market economy."[240]

This common law theory of contract has attracted ever-growing criticism. Atiyah has observed that "although freedom of contract is by no means dead in the law courts, even among lawyers the decline has been evident."[241]

Professor Gilmore, in what he describes as a "study in what might be called the process of doctrinal disintegration,"[242] has argued that the general theory of contract in the common law is an artificial construct derived by nineteenth century law teachers and judges rather than something truly to be found in the reasons for decision in the major contract cases from which they drew support.[243]

Most of the above criticisms leveled against the rigidity of the common law theory of contract and the reluctance to incorporate a clearly defined concept of good faith, stem from the original "objective theory of contract,"[244] that has been the foundation of all contract theory in the common law; and the concomitant resistance shown by the common law to interfere with the operation of the bargain struck between the parties. The incorporation of a general concept of good faith has been resisted by English law because it would unsettle the certainty of the contractually agreed terms by introducing new and abstract conditions absent from the objectively struck bargain. The primary emphasis of the law of contract in English common law is on the objective interpretation of a party's words and conduct, rather than the party's subjective state of mind, intention or motive. Justice Blackburn, in Smith v. Hughes, produced a well-known formulation of that theory:

"If, whatever a man's real intention may be, he so conducts himself that a reasonable man would believe that he was assenting to the terms proposed by the other party, and that other party upon that belief enters into a contract with him, the man thus conducting himself would be equally bound as if he had intended to agree to the other party's terms."[245]

Today there is undoubtedly a tension between classical contract theory and the reality of contract bargaining. Indeed, a requirement of good faith in contract negotiation has begun to emerge [246] due to the realisation that contract law today is more complex than in the nineteenth century. As a reflection of the change in society's perception of the strength of the moral presumptions that dominated the classical theory of contract law in the common law jurisprudence, courts have become more pragmatic in their decisions. As English law develops, courts abandon their former strict, non-interventionist stance in contractual disputes by reducing the rigour of the caveat emptor rule in the sale of goods and impose certain duties of good faith in a range of situations. It must be noted here that the present writer does not treat the diminution of the caveat emptor rule and good faith as the same thing, nor does he advance a causal connection between the two developments. Simply, the point is made that as strict compliance to the former is being relaxed, heavier reliance to the latter seems to be gaining momentum. The question of whether this ascertainment is the result of a mere historical coincidence, or belies a closer relationship between the two trends, is outside the scope of this thesis. What is certain is that today English law does have a concept of good faith, albeit a limited and fragmented one, or, at least, a series of exceptions and qualifications to its orthodox contract doctrine that resembles good faith. For example, English law treats a person as acting in good faith if he acts honestly, even if he is negligent or even unreasonable. Thus, section 61(3) of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 provides: "A thing is deemed to be done in good faith within the meaning of this Act when it is in fact done honestly, whether it is done negligently or not." English law does not, however, have anything equivalent to the general concept of good faith found in the civil law; what is required is good faith (or, if you prefer, a concept that bears many attributes similar to those of good faith) in particular situations.

Silence and concealment of facts

For example, a party who opens negotiations leading to a contract has a duty not to deceive the other party by false statements or by any concealment of facts. Being silent on some issues is allowed,[247] but if a misrepresentation is established, the representee may rescind the contract ab initio, subject to certain limitations. At common law this right was only available in the case of fraudulent misrepresentation or cases involving total failure of consideration,[248] but Equity extended the right to all cases. Damages for breach of contract are necessarily excluded, unless the false statement is also a term of the contract. A remedy for damages may, however, be conferred by the law of tort or by statute.

Fiduciary relationships and bad faith performance

Perhaps it is more important to note that English law imposes a general duty of good faith in particular types of contractual relationships. In certain contracts, performance that is in not in good faith may constitute a breach.[249] An agent owes a duty to subordinate his own interests to those of his principal. He must not accept secret commissions, nor promote his own interest over that of his principal, and he must keep his principal informed of all facts that are relevant to the relationship. Likewise, a company director owes a duty of good faith to the company that employs him and a trustee a duty of good faith to his beneficiary.[250]

Duties of good faith are also required if the court is asked to grant "equitable remedies." The subject matter of this thesis does not allow extensive digressions into the peculiar distinction that the English law system draws between law and equity.[251] It is sufficient to say that the rules of Equity - originally administered in the King's Court by the Chancellor - evolved in order to undo the injustices frequently caused by the rigidity of the old common law, either by restraining common law remedies, or by giving remedies which were not given by the old common law, such as specific performance or rescission of a contract for a non- fraudulent misrepresentation. In order to invoke these remedies an applicant must come to the court "with clean hands," which requires among other things that the plaintiff shall have acted in good faith.

Contractual negotiations

In some cases, good faith is not relevant in English law where it is probably relevant in other continental legal systems. One such instance is the case of precontractual negotiations between parties. English law has never adopted Jhering's principle of culpa in contrahendo. English law does not recognize that the opening of negotiations for a contract by itself creates any sort of duty relationship. The view taken is that both parties are at risk until a contract is actually formed. Therefore, English law sees no culpability in a party who is conducting negotiations arbitrarily breaking them off, even if he has brought the other party to the brink of formation of the contract, or in a party conducting negotiations in parallel with several parties, without telling any party that he is negotiating with the others.

The reason English law takes this view is that when parties are invited to enter into negotiations, they do so with the knowledge that this involves a measure of competitive risk. Of course, it is different if one party invites another to enter into negotiations when the first party has no intention of ever concluding a contract with the other at all. That is dishonesty and even English law would give a remedy, but not under the heading of good faith.

One reason for the rigorous approach adopted by English law towards the observance of contractual undertakings is the view that the legal certainty and predictability of the legal outcome of a case are paramount values in common law. The prevailing concern in English law is that if courts become too ready to disturb contractual transactions, then merchants will not know how to plan their business life. The position of English courts is that vague concepts of fairness can make judicial decisions unpredictable. If that means that the outcome of disputes is sometimes hard on a party, then it is regarded as an acceptable price to pay in the interest of the great majority of business litigants. The prevalent view of scholars upholding the orthodoxy of English contract law is epitomised by Professor Bridge, who argues that a general doctrine of good faith is unnecessary and liable to cause trouble because it is too vague and gives too much power to the individual judge freed from the disciplined traditions of contract law.[252] Professor Bridge is of the opinion that it is better to confront particular problems, as English law has done so far, than to adopt a general ethical imperative, as the purpose of legislation should not be to make a moral demonstration.[253]

This view gains strength from the fact that in many cases English law arrives at the same answers as continental law systems, but by a different route. There are numerous situations in which English law does not find it necessary to require good faith because it imposes a duty that does not depend on good faith. For example, if a party is induced by a wrong statement to enter into a contract, in some cases he can rescind the contract even if the other party made the statement entirely honestly and unaware of the falsity.[254]

Again, if a party suffers loss through a breach of contract, and fails to take reasonable steps that would operate to mitigate his loss, he cannot recover damages to the extent that he could have avoided his loss.[255] This is not a rule of good faith, it is simply a strict rule, which states that to the extent that the plaintiff has brought his misfortune on himself he cannot look to the defendant for compensation.

Also, a seller of goods which are defective, or otherwise not in conformity with the contract, can face liability not because he did not disclose the defects, nor because he acted in bad faith, but simply because he did not supply what he contracted to supply.[256] Just how different the goods supplied must be to the goods ordered can be debated, but it is sufficient for present purposes merely to state the issue. Finally, a person who negligently fails to disclose dangerous defects in a product he is supplying is liable in tort for injury caused by the product to the person to whom it is supplied. Again, the question of good faith does not matter in establishing liability in tort for negligence.

Professor Bridge has shifted the focus of the theoretical debate on good faith from the question of whether contract law needs a general standard of good faith to the question of whether there are deficiencies in the existing law that cannot be adequately resolved without the introduction of good faith.[257] The above notes are evidence of the fact that certain problems can be solved in English law without necessarily resorting to a general principle of good faith. The present writer believes that this argument has the strength of jurisprudential rationality in a difficult theoretical debate with potentially drastic effects on English contract law as we know it. There is, however, no denial that good faith, rightly or wrongly, is not only in the air, but also in new legislation. It is explicitly present in the language of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations (1999), implementing the European Community Directive on Unfair Contract terms in Consumer Contracts,[258] although it is likely to be translated into the language of "reasonableness", which is familiar to English lawyers due to its inclusion in the Unfair Contract Terms Act (1977).

(b) The concept of "Good Faith" in American Law

There is a need to point out some important differences between the American and the English common law systems regarding good faith. In the American common law there has been a generally accepted concept of good faith for decades.[259] Americans have not only a widely adopted Uniform Commercial Code, but also have a Restatement (now a Second Restatement) of Contracts. Both the Uniform Commercial Code and the Second Restatement impose on parties to a contract an obligation of good faith. Section 1-203 of the Code [260] provides that

"every contract or duty within this Act imposes an obligation of good faith in its performance or enforcement."

And Section 205 of the Restatement, which was drafted later than the Code and was inspired by the Code, declares that

"Every contract imposes upon each party a duty of good faith and fair dealing in its performance and enforcement."

We should note two things about the scope of these provisions. First, neither one says anything about a doctrine of good faith purchase as opposed to good faith performance.[261] Second, these provisions omit any reference to good faith in negotiation as opposed to good faith in performance. That is because, like most of the common law world, American lawyers do not recognize a duty of good faith in precontractual negotiations.[262] American lawyers, unlike English lawyers, however, are not lacking in definitions of good faith. Even the Uniform Commercial Code has not one but two definitions of good faith that apply to contracts for the sale of goods. Under the general definition in Section 1-201(19)

" 'Good Faith' means honesty in fact in the conduct or transaction concerned."

This is the definition traditionally used for good faith purchase, which the Code makes applicable to good faith performance as well. Under the special definition in Section 2-103 applicable to merchants in sales transactions

" 'Good Faith' ... means honesty in fact and the observance of reasonable commercial standards of fair dealing in the trade."

Professor Farnsworth has argued that the duty described by the Restatement encompasses not only "good faith," but also "fair dealing." According to his view, the addition of fair dealing makes this definition particularly suitable for good faith performance since he argues that while good faith - in the sense of honesty - is entirely suitable for good faith purchase, fair dealing is a term better suited to performance.[263]

Good Faith: Implied Terms, Excluders and Foregone Opportunities

The fact that American law has statutory definitions of "good faith" does not mean that American lawyers are in complete agreement as to what "good faith" means in the context of good faith performance. Three scholars who have written on the subject stress three different aspects of good faith performance.

In the first major article on the subject after the enactment of the Uniform Commercial Code, Professor Farnsworth observed that the duty of good faith performance can be the source of what common lawyers would call an implied term and suggested that the Code's duty of good faith performance might serve as a basis for implying a wide range of terms in a contract.[264] This suggestion has received some judicial approval in America.[265]

In the second major article on the subject, Professor Robert Summers stressed a different role for good faith, arguing that good faith is one of those terms that do not have a general positive meaning of their own but function instead as "excluders," to rule out various things according to context. Under this formulation, the effect of the doctrine of good faith would be to rule out those types of improper behaviour that should be regarded as bad faith performance. Professor Summers noted that

"in cases of doubt, a lawyer will determine more accurately what the judge means by using the phrase 'good faith' if he does not ask what good faith itself means, but rather asks: What, in the ... situation, does the judge intend to rule out by this use of this phrase.[266]"

Professor Summers listed, as excluded by the phrase "good faith", the following situations:

"evasion of the spirit of the deal, lack of diligence and slacking off, willful rendering of only substantial performance, abuse of power to specify terms, abuse of a power to determine compliance, and interference with or failure to cooperate in the other party's performance."[267]

This kind of definition by exclusion has not only found favor with a number of courts,[268] but is also reflected in the comments to the Second Restatement's section on the duty of good faith performance.[269]

In the third major article on the subject, Professor Burton expressed his disappointment that "neither courts nor commentators have articulated an operational standard that distinguishes good faith performance from bad faith performance."[270] Professor Burton attempted to fashion a standard based on the expectations of the parties, arguing that good faith "limits the exercise of discretion in performance conferred on one party by the contract." Under this formulation, it would be bad faith to use discretion "to recapture opportunities forgone upon contracting" as determined by the other party's reasonable expectations, or to refuse "to pay the expected cost of performance."[271] As in the case with the two other views discussed above, this definition of good faith in terms of forgone opportunities has also found favor with a number of courts.[272]

Professors Summers and Burton have engaged in a lively debate in which each criticizes the other's views. Summers argues that Burton's "foregone opportunities" analysis is not necessarily any more focused than the excluder analysis in a novel good faith performance case.[273] On the other hand, Burton faults the Summers "excluder" analysis as implying that courts "typically use the doctrine to render agreed terms unenforceable or to impose obligations that are incompatible with the agreement reached at formation," rather than to "effectuate the intentions of the parties."[274]

Adding to the debate, although not clarifying it, American courts have often cited all three views - Farnsworth's, Summers' and Burton's - indiscriminately, as if they were entirely consistent with each other.[275] Professor Farnsworth, analysing some recent American cases involving satisfaction clauses, has attempted to reconcile these three views and concluded that courts have been right to regard all three views as cumulative and consistent and to avoid taking sides in the scholarly debate between Professor Summers and Burton.[276]

From this American debate about the role of the duty of good faith performance, we can deduce the following. First, in accordance with Farnsworth's view in his early article,[277] the duty of good faith performance can be the source of what common law lawyers would call an implied term - a duty that would be supplied by a court to specify the grounds for a party's dissatisfaction in the contract. Second, in accordance with Professor Summers' view, the duty of good faith performance is a basis for holding a party in breach, if that party's claim of dissatisfaction is a subterfuge or pretext to avoid performance of the contract for some other reason. Finally, in accordance with Professor Burton's view, the duty of good faith performance can provide the grounds for controlling the parties' exercise of discretion they have under the contract. But this is a theoretical debate that has mainly attracted scholarly interest and has not greatly troubled judges and lawyers.

It is, however, a debate that has assumed more practical importance when confronting concerns about whether good faith is purely subjective - requiring only that a party "honestly" believe that it is acting properly - or objective - requiring that a party in addition act in a "reasonable" manner.

The definitions of good faith endorsed by some American courts are abstract and often so sweeping as to be of little help in determining the proper standard. For example, it has been said that the duty of good faith performance compels each party

"to do nothing destructive of the other party's right to enjoy the fruits of the contract and to do everything that the contract presupposes they will do to accomplish its purpose."[278]

It is not clear whether this is an objective or subjective standard of good faith. It is certain that the standard is not as demanding as the standard of good faith imposed on agents and other fiduciaries. Thus, it has been said that

"A duty of good faith does not mean that a party vested with a clear right is obligated to exercise that right to its own detriment for the purpose of benefiting another party to the contract."[279]

But even this formulation does not help clarify whether good faith is to be judged solely by the traditional subjective standard of honesty or by an objective standard of reasonableness.

If the duty of good faith were taken to include a component of fair dealing, as judged by those in similar activities, this would incorporate an objective standard. This seems to be in line with Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code, which imposes on a merchant a duty of good faith that includes "… the observance of reasonable commercial standards of fair dealing in the trade."[280]

Under this provision, courts may consider the testimony of witnesses familiar with the behaviour of others in the trade in order to determine whether a party has passed the objective test of "reasonable commercial standards of fair dealing" in that trade. In a case involving a merchant buyer of goods (plane fuel) and a major oil corporation, the federal district court noted the established industry practice that had long been part of the established courses of performance and dealing between the parties, and held that the buyer had not breached its duty of good faith under the contract, applying on the buyer the Code's definition of good faith stating: "honesty in fact and the observance of reasonable commercial standards of fair dealing in the trade."[281] The buyer had behaved fairly according to the understanding of the parties based on their longtime relationship and on the understanding of others in the trade.

The above discussion of the concept of good faith in English and in American law hints that English law may also be more receptive to the principle of good faith performance in the future. The acceptance of the doctrine by common law jurisdictions in the United States and the ratification by many common law countries of the CISG are evidence that such a development is not as unlikely as it initially sounds. The development of the concept of good faith in the common law world has proven the vitality and potential energy of the doctrine. Our discussion of English and American jurisprudence has shown that even among related common law systems the concept of good faith does not enjoy uniformity in interpretation or application. It is hoped that this examination of good faith in the above common law systems [282] highlighted the non-uniform development of the concept even among different jurisdictions of the same legal tradition. Trying to unify the content and scope of good faith at the international level poses even greater difficulties, since the principle of good faith has endured an equally distinctive, albeit very different, development in civil law systems.

(c) The concept of "Good Faith" in German Law

In the German Civil Code (BGB), which came into force on January 1, 1900, the observance of "Treu und Glauben mit Rcksicht auf die Verkehrssitte" ("good faith and fair dealing") - embodied in such general provisions as §§ 157, 242 BGB, but also repeated throughout the code in more specific contexts - has become a legal principle of pervasive influence in German civil law.[283]

Professor Schlechtriem notes the abundance of cases, theories, detailed rules and sub-rules that have emerged from § 242 BGB, since court decisions and scholarly theory have applied the principle of Treu und Glauben under German law to almost every situation governed by the Civil Code, in addition to the interpretation of particular contracts under § 157 BGB. Thus, very often overriding the text and the meaning of special provisions.[284]

The present writer believes that Professor Schlechtriem's statement appears to be indicative of the reductionist impact that good faith can have on the law. A similar result for the CISG would surely be unwanted and the German experience with a general clause like this clearly points to the need to develop barriers to the unmanageable or anarchic use of Article 7.

Many German scholars, in an effort to define the meaning and function of § 242 BGB more clearly, make a distinction between the functions and the values of the provision.[285] This distinction can also be helpful in understanding how principles of good faith might work in the context of a legal text like CISG.[286]

The Functions of Treu und Glauben

To understand the functions of such a principle, one must ask what was the legislator's intention originally and where and with what intent was the principle employed by courts subsequently.

(1) The first level of the principle's function concerns instances where it would overburden a code to deal with all possible and imaginable fact situations; even the most detailed code or contract cannot deal with every issue imaginable, so details of minor importance can be left to the courts: Minima non curat praetor. According to Professor Schlechtriem, this was the function the German legislator attributed to §242 BGB, and no more.[287]

(2)The second level of Treu und Glauben's function is to fill larger gaps or to clarify meanings left uncertain by the drafters of the code, or of the contract. Such gaps can arise unintentionally and usually concern provisions, which after their enactment have come to be regarded as too narrow, too unclear, wrong, or outdated. The Treu und Glauben concept is, however, also used to fill a gap in the code that exists because the drafters were either uncertain, or could not agree upon one of several solutions, by clarifying the meaning of the relevant provision.

(3) The gap-filling function of the Treu und Glauben under § 242 BGB is mostly used to imply and implement obligations that are needed to complete the duties and obligations in a given contract. This occurs even though such obligations were neither agreed by the parties in their contract nor laid down in the applicable provisions of law. Such obligations will also be implied to ensure the performance of the main obligations of the parties in an international sales contract, either directly by Article 7(1), or by the gap-filling role of Article 7(2).

The German courts have also based contractual duties of care on § 242 BGB. These are duties of care to protect the life, personal property and economic assets of the parties and bear a close resemblance to duties of care under tort law in common law. They were developed as implied obligations in contracts in order to cure deficiencies of German tort law (e.g., in regard to the burden of proof of negligence and vicarious liability).[288] It is unlikely that the concept of good faith in Article 7 has such far-reaching ambit.

(4) An additional function of Treu und Glauben in Germany is to create a right to an adjustment of contracts because of a change of circumstances. This was introduced by the German Imperial Court in the 1920's on the basis of § 242 BGB. So, good faith and fair dealing can be the basis of new remedies, not foreseen in the German code or the contract. The CISG, though, lacks a comparable solution, and there is no indication that its drafters contemplated such a remedial role for good faith.

The Values and Standards of Treu und Glauben

The discussion of the function of good faith in German law only covered one part of the bipartite distinction that German scholars have drawn in their analysis of Treu und Glauben. To complete our discussion of the principle, we must now focus on the issue of the values and standards that are used in the principle's application in a specific situation. During this discussion, we must again keep in mind the distinction between interpretations and results within a national context on the one hand and the international setting of the CISG on the other, as well as the distinctions among the various national values and attitudes regarding the principle of good faith.[289]

In Germany, the values and standards used in such general principles as Treu und Glauben (or: contra bonos mores, sittenwidrig) are derived from three distinct sources within the German legal order.[290] The highest level and the most important set of values are found in the German Constitution. Constitutional rights are afforded protection even in private dealings and contracts; and this is achieved technically through the means of a general clause such as § 242 BGB and the principle of Treu und Glauben. There is nothing comparable to this in the legal order surrounding the CISG. In fact, the CISG seems, from one angle, to be floating in a legal vacuum and without any "hard law" structures around it to provide support. Unfortunately, but unavoidably, the CISG cannot enjoy the support of a general contract law, as there is none at the international level. The relationship of the CISG to the UNIDROIT Principles and other international legal instruments or pronouncements certainly cannot be compared with the respective relationship of the German Civil Code to the German Constitution.

The values of the good faith principle in Germany may also be derived from other parts of the legal order, including the Civil Code itself. The structure and substance of the provisions of the Code depict the methodology and values used by the legislator to solve specific problems and the general principles upon which such a solution is based. These evaluations allow inferences as to more general values and standards, which can be used to interpret Treu und Glauben itself. A similar process can exist to define the value or standard of good faith in the CISG and is in fact promoted in the wording of Articles 7(1) and 7(2).

Finally, another important level of values and standards of Treu und Glauben is not attributable to a specific legal act or theory but can be described as collective conviction; standards that every reasonable human being would regard as fair and decent. It is difficult to define the mores of a whole community, and although the courts claim they express the community standards, it cannot be denied that there is a real danger that a general clause like Treu und Glauben may be abused by judges to exercise personal prejudices and biases. On the other hand, the community of the CISG is a specific one - that of international merchants. This fact works in its favour since it focuses the question of "community standards" on a specific group of people engaged in a specific activity. Furthermore, Article 7(1) contains an important limitation in that it expressly directs the search for the standards for good faith and fair dealing to "international trade." This provision rejects values based on national constitutions or derived from a national code of obligations, and renders most national judgements based on domestic convictions of what constitutes good faith and fair dealing almost useless. Domestic standards may be taken into account only to the extent that they are shown to be generally accepted among the various legal systems and therefore can be regarded as international.

Some further assistance on this issue is provided by the definition of international usages in Article 9(2) CISG, which restricts the implication of an agreement of the parties to those usages, which "in international trade are widely known to, and regularly observed by, parties to contracts of the type involved in the particular trade concerned." Essentially, what Article 9(2) CISG states on usage standards - and what one must look at when defining the standard of good faith in CISG - is that such standards must be explored in a given case and have to take account of the particular relationship of the parties.[291]

The definition of the standard of good faith in the CISG - as with the application of Treu und Glauben in German law - will be developed incrementally as various courts and tribunals decide the issue, until a generally held conviction is eventually formed among the members of the CISG community. In forming such a generally accepted definition of good faith, domestic convictions as to what good faith and fair dealing means and national views of what good faith and fair dealing in international trade is will have to be overcome.

As stated earlier in this chapter, the concept of good faith is arguably one of the most important and difficult notions in the CISG and its definition will go a long way towards settling the fate of the CISG itself. The problem of the definition of good faith in international trade as provided in the CISG is set. Knowledge of the potentially grave dangers hidden in the problem must make everybody involved in the development of CISG (i.e., merchants, lawyers, judges, arbiters) wary of the difficult but important parameters required for its solution. The solution will involve a transitional period - hopefully not an indeterminate or fatally long one - of overcoming the natural tendency of homeward interpretations.

5. GOOD FAITH AND THE CISG

As was highlighted above, "good faith" is a concept that plays an important role in the interpretation and the application of the CISG. It is a legal notion loaded with meaning and it has provided much of the debate surrounding the CISG in general, as well as Article 7 in more depth.[292] Having examined the function and standard of the concept of good faith in some national legal systems, let us now examine the operation of the concept within CISG. The textual reference to the concept of "good faith" in Article 7(1) 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."[293]

The starting point of our analysis must be the textual acknowledgement that the reference to "good faith" in the interpretation provision of Article 7(1) is limited to interpreting the Convention. In the CISG, there is no explicit general obligation - as there is in the Uniform Commercial Code [294] - imposed on the contracting parties to act in good faith when performing or enforcing contractual or statutory duties. This limited reading of the role of "good faith" in the CISG is clearly the one supported by the legislative history of the Convention.[295] It is worth noting that the 1964 Hague Uniform Laws do not refer explicitly to good faith and that in the CISG the reference to good faith is deliberately limited to questions of interpretation in Article 7(1).

Despite what can be seen as an explicit rejection of a direct good faith obligation placed generally upon the contracting parties, a consequential narrow reading of Article 7(1) has not attracted total acceptance and has not remained unchallenged. Some scholars have suggested that, in fact, Article 7(1) does impose a general obligation upon the contracting parties to act in good faith,[296] notwithstanding the language of the article and the legislative history of the Convention.

Perhaps the highest degree of confusion is generated by the completely legitimate recognition of good faith as a "general principle" of the CISG [297] for gap-filling purposes.[298] What is less, if at all, legitimate is the subsequent catapulting of the concept of good faith as a "general principle" of the CISG under Article 7(2), into the interpretative mechanism of the CISG under Article 7(1), through the reference to "good faith in international trade." The interpretative scope and function of the reference in Article 7(1) are altered by such a definitional distortion - an illegitimate expansion of the concept in Art. 7(1), according to the legislative history of the CISG - which, if accepted, would entail a direct and positive duty of good faith upon the contracting parties. This interchangeable, or rather indiscriminate, use of the concept of good faith between the two distinct, albeit related, provisions of the CISG is responsible for much of the confusion surrounding the exact nature of the concept - a fact evidenced by the divergence of academic opinion. This divergence of opinion is important since the answer to the question posed - whether the reference to "good faith" in Article 7(1) is to be read narrowly or not - carries many implicit complexities, which make the question of how "good faith" relates to the Convention more intricate. The resulting intricacies are evidenced by the following treatment of at least three different classes of cases [299] that a user of the CISG could face.

(i) Cases that involve interpretation of the CISG (i.e., other CISG provisions) to promote good faith in international trade.

The application of the concept of good faith, as this is expressed in Article 7(1), in instances where such application would facilitate the reasonable interpretation of another CISG provision. This point is illustrated by the following example of a case to which Article 7(1) would apply is a generally accepted idea. According to Article 24 CISG, a declaration of acceptance "reaches" the addressee when "it is ... delivered ... to his place of business or mailing address." If a party knows that the other party, who has a place of business, is away from his home for a considerable period of time, and he nevertheless sends the declaration to the mailing address, he may violate the requirement of good faith.[300] Thus, the concept of good faith is used to act as a limitation on the literal meaning of the requirement that a declaration "reaches the addressee;" it acts as an implied proviso.

(ii) Cases where neither the CISG nor the contract provide an answer (i.e., where there is a gap praeter legem in the CISG).

In this class of cases, the concept of "good faith" can acquire a role different and more expanded than the one in the preceding class. There is academic opinion in support of such a development. For instance, Professor Kastely makes a persuasive case that implicit in many of the Convention's provisions is an obligation to act in good faith.[301] From these provisions can be distilled a general principle of good faith performance, which under Article 7(2)[302] should be used to fill gaps praeter legem in the CISG.[303] As a logical consequence of this argument, the concept of good faith should not only be considered when interpreting the Convention text (i.e., in the class of cases considered above), but also when filling gaps in the CISG.[304] The following is an example of how this view on the expanded good faith concept might operate in filling a gap in the CISG's provisions.[305]

In a hypothetical contract for the sale of goods governed by the CISG, the seller's contractual obligations require that the seller performs by handing over to the buyer documents relating to the goods for sale, without, however, specifying the place where the delivery of the documents can take place. Turning to the CISG, we note that Article 34 CISG states: "[i]f the seller is bound to hand over documents … he must hand them over at the time and place and in the form required by the contract." In this instance, both the contract and CISG are silent on the place of delivery. A general obligation to act in good faith would require the seller to deliver the documents at a place that is convenient to the buyer, and the buyer not to arbitrarily refuse delivery of the documents.

(iii) Cases where the contracting parties have agreed on a contract term, whether or not there is a relevant CISG provision.

The agreement by the parties of a contractual term, in a contract governed by the CISG, will derogate from any relevant provision of the CISG. There is no opposing view to this, as Article 6 clearly states.[306] In such a case, can it be said that there is an obligation to act in good faith when interpreting the rights and obligations that arise from the specific contractual term?

A narrow reading of Article 7 would suggest that these cases would not be covered by an obligation of good faith. An example of this can be the hypothetical case of a declaration of acceptance to an offer. In a sales contract stating that notices are to be mailed to a specified address, is the requirement of good faith violated by a party which, while it knows of the absence of the other party from the mailing address agreed upon, nevertheless sends a notice to that address? At least one author has suggested that there is an obligation of good faith in such a case because he sees no distinction between interpreting the CISG and interpreting the contract. In that author's opinion,

"interpretation of the two cannot be separated since the Convention is necessarily interpreted by the parties also; after all, the Convention constitutes the law of the parties insofar as they do not make use of Article 6 on freedom of contract."[307]

If the concept of good faith is excessively expanded to apply to contract terms that derogate from the CISG, but are agreed by the parties, and that expansion is justified on the ground that where the good faith concept is correct, it can extend this expanded obligation to all possible cases, this should give rise to concern. Particularly as this result is expressly disapproved by UNCITRAL and the Vienna Conference.[308]

Since the fate of most theoretical subtleties is sealed in the arena of practice, the application of the good faith concept in the CISG will take some time to crystalise. Professor Winship is of the opinion that whether or not the logic of the above view - i.e., the expanded operation of the concept of good faith - wins the current academic debate, eventually a general obligation on contracting parties to act in good faith is more likely to be accepted.[309] The relationship between the CISG and the UNIDROIT Principles[310] might provide some theoretical support to such a development. This relationship and the respective role of "good faith" in both instruments are examined in the following section of this chapter.

6. UNIDROIT PRINCIPLES, GOOD FAITH AND THE CISG

It is arguable that the UNIDROIT Principles can aid in clarifying the actual object of the good faith principle contained in the CISG. As was mentioned earlier in this chapter, the CISG includes the good faith principle in Article 7(1), which provides the rules on the interpretation of the Convention as a uniform international law. This Article provides that the CISG is to be interpreted and applied in a manner that promotes "the observance of good faith in international trade". As many commentators have observed, however, the Convention "does not contain an express provision that the individual contract has to obey the maxim of good faith".[311]

In sharp contrast, there is no reference to good faith in Art. 1.6 UNIDROIT Principles, which provides for the proper interpretation of the Principles. However, Art. 1.7 UNIDROIT Principles, clearly states that the parties to a contract not only must act "in accordance with good faith and fair dealing in international trade" but also that they cannot exclude or limit this duty.

In addition to the above differences, Professor Magnus has observed further important differences between the two instruments, by pointing to Art. 4.8(2)(c) UNIDROIT Principles, which lists "good faith and fair dealing" as an element to be considered when supplying an ommited term into a contract, as well as to the UNIDROIT Commentary to the Principles, which also acknowledges that the good faith principle "may also be seen as an expression of the underlying purpose of the Principles" and may be used in interpreting the Principles.[312]

Commentators who support the view that the concept of good faith in the CISG also applies to the interpretation of the individual contract and to the parties' contractual relationship, believe that "despite these obvious differences of wording both texts accord in their essence."[313] It must be noted that the good faith concept under examination has the same unique feature in both cases; it is international in character. As such, good faith in the context of both CISG and UNIDROIT, must acquire and retain its own unique supra-national identity and avoid existing national connotations or loadings.[314] This conclusion demands an autonomous interpretation of the concept in question and it is in accordance with the present writer's thesis on the proper interpretation of CISG.

Although it is expressly clear that the concept of "good faith and fair dealing in international trade" circumscribes the conduct of the parties under the UNIDROIT Principles, it is less clear what the object of the maxim is in the CISG. The initial point of the enquiry must be a contextual analysis of the definition and the operation of good faith. Professor Magnus has juxtaposed the application of certain rules relating to good faith in the CISG and the UNIDROIT Principles.[315] For instance, while CISG and UNIDROIT both have almost identical rules on what constitues an irrevocable offer,[316] the Principles impose liability on a party who "negotiates or breaks off negotiations in bad faith"[317] and therefore demand from the parties higher standards of good faith, than does CISG, concerning precontractual obligations.[318]

Despite these differences, Magnus believes that the Principles can yet be helpful "for cases where the parties negotiate on a modification or termination of an existing CISG contract",[319] and points to almost identical provisions in CISG and UNIDROIT, concerning oral modification clauses, where the conduct of parties creates "a situation of reliance and acting on it overrides rules of strict formality".[320]

There is, however, no room for comparative analysis between the CISG and the UNIDROIT Principles on issues of contractual validity.[321] The Principles contain provisions that deal with the issue with the question of material validity of contracts[322] and apply the good faith principle here as well,[323] while CISG does not deal with such issues.[324]

On the other hand, Professor Magnus has pointed to certain provisions in CISG, not found in UNIDROIT Principles, that concern express contractual obligations of the parties and arguably contain good faith elements and notions - such as that of reasonableness.[325] Although contractual obligations cannot be implied by good faith in a contract governed by CISG, in contrast to the position in the UNIDROIT Principles,[326] Magnus has argued that "[n]evertheless, it is widely accepted that also under the CISG additional obligations can be implied … a general duty to co-operate",[327] and according to him this rule "can be understood as expression of the general principle - based on good faith - that neither party must hinder performance through the other nor otherwise militate against the contractual purpose."[328]

Professor Magnus has highlighted further instances where provisions of the UNIDROIT Principles could aid the interpretation and application of CISG provisions which are either not explicitly regulated due to the similarities of the two instruments in letter and in spirit.[329]

Despite some textual and other minor differences, is it plausible to argue that the CISG and the UNIDROIT Principles treat the general concept of good faith in international contracts in similar fashion, and with similar attitude? The answer is not simple, but very important, since it could entail significant ramifications for the interpretative nature of Article 7 of the CISG. Magnus has concluded that: [330]

"Both the CISG and the Principles acknowledge that good faith plays an important role for international contracts. Furthermore, both texts do not exclusively rely on one abstract and general rule of good faith but try to specify the concept by more specific rules that elaborate on the principle in some detail. In a number of situations, the Principles prove to be of helpful assistance for the good faith interpretation in the CISG Combining the CISG and the Principles one gets a good impression what good faith in international commercial relations should and could mean."

Although the argument offered by Professor Magnus in his commentary on Article 7 CISG is quite forceful, the present writer believes that there are certain important issues that counter its strength and need to be highlighted.

Unlike the Principles, the CISG contains neither an express provision about good faith in individual contracts, nor one governing the precontractual phase. In addition, the legislative history of the CISG should also not be overlooked, especially when it concerns complex concepts - such as good faith - that are laden with socio-legal and political significance. The concept of good faith is called upon in the CISG to guide the interpretation of the unified law text itself, and in the Principles in order to prescribe the behaviour of the parties in every specific contract. According to the present writer, the expansive view supported by some scholars, who attribute a double-role to good faith in the CISG, is not be sufficiently convincing. Although it will be argued in this thesis that the UNIDROIT Principles indeed have an important helping role in the uniform interpretation of the CISG, the present writer maintains that the solution to the definitional and functional parameters of the concept of good faith in the CISG cannot be provided by a simple synthesis of the relevant provisions in these two instruments.

The alternative view, as expounded by Magnus in his commentary and analysed by the present writer above, that under both instruments the concept of good faith could fulfill a twofold function - i.e., that it could govern, together with other decisive factors, "the meaning of the abstract law rules, as well as the individual contract" - arguably carries a great deal of appeal. Particularly so because it could solve many of the present interpretative difficulties in the CISG. The general affinity between the CISG and the UNIDROIT Principles adds some merit to such a proposal. But, on the existing evidence, this view is not entirely convincing.

The present writer agrees, however, with Magnus that an "international standard of good faith may already exist and may clearly be revealed and defined" (e.g., in business sectors with a long-standing tradition, or as part of the old lex mercatoria). Indeed there is plenty of potential for a modern standard of the principle of good faith that may not exist yet as a fully-fledged principle of the modern and (potentially) unified law of international sales. But it remains to be developed by traders, lawyers, arbitrators and courts, while interpreting the CISG. It is the view of the present writer that the concept of good faith in the CISG, as it stands presently, is circumscribed to the interpretation of the law - including the filling of any gaps in it - and should not be allowed to impose additional duties of a positive nature to the parties, as it does in the UNIDROIT Principles. As was argued in the previous section, the present writer believes that the concept of good faith in the CISG, along with the direction of the CISG and its interpretation, will become clearer with the further development of relevant case law.

7. ULIS PRINCIPLES AND CISG

A comparative look at the equivalent provisions in CISG's predecessor, ULIS, may also be informative in our search for CISG's proper interpretation and application.

Herber has noted that although ULIS Arts. 2 and 17, which provide the principles for the interpretation and application of ULIS, "were … not adopted in the same form in the CISG",[331] he is of the opinion that "the principles to be applied in order to fill gaps do not materially differ from those in ULIS. Reference may therefore by made to the case law and literature on Art. 17 ULIS."[332]

If Herber's view is correct, then ULIS case precedents could be validly used to aid in the interpretation and application of Article 7 CISG. One such ULIS case precedent can be found in a German appellate court decision which has been described as a "precedent for having the Convention itself accomplish that which is customarily accomplished by domestic unconscionability statutes" - an issue that seems to involve a notion of good faith:[333]

… An Italian seller had sold textiles for the manufacture of trousers to a German buyer. The seller's Conditions of Sale stated that all remedies were excluded after processing of the delivered goods. After delivery, the buyer examined the goods without discovering any defects, but when the finished trousers were ironed it turned out that the material was unfit. As a bar to the buyer's damage claim, the seller asserted his exemption clause. The Court rejected this defence, referring to Articles 79 and 80 ULIS (which basically correspond to Articles 82 and 83 of CISG) and ruled that the clause violated basic principles of ULIS and was therefore ineffective.

Professor Schlechtriem has relied on this precedent to argue that:

"Thus the [Vienna] Convention is not just a gap-filler. It may under certain circumstances also be a yardstick for the validity of clauses that the parties have not really agreed upon but that one has imposed upon the other through the use of standard terms or other means."[334]

While the above ULIS case was decided correctly and can provide a helpful precedent, Professor Schlechtriem has, with respect, stretched its importance beyond its legitimate reach. It is clear that "except as otherwise expressly provided in this Convention", the CISG is not concerned with the validity of the contract or of any its provisions.[335]

Van der Velden has brought to our attention a further ULIS precedent - that of "reasonableness" being a general principle of the Convention - which may also apply in the interpretation and application of CISG, if Herber's view above is accepted. In his survey of the interpretation of the CISG by Dutch courts, Van der Velden refers to an Amsterdam Court of Appeals decision, where the principle of "reasonableness" was discussed in the context of ULIS Art. 62(2) - dealing with the length of the period of time set for payment - and it was said that:

"The Uniform Law on International Sales ... uses in its Articles 10, 11, 18, 22, 26(1), 26(4), 37, 42(2), 61(2), 66(2), 74, 88 and 91 the words 'reasonable', 'unreasonable' and 'reasonably'; 'reasonableness' is therefore one of the general principles by which, in accordance with Article 17 ULIS, questions not expressly settled in the uniform sales law shall be answered."[336]

Herber has also provided further instances of case law,[337] where courts have held either that Article 7(1) CISG "confirms that principles may be based on the notion of good faith",[338] or that other principles can be derived from the need to observe good faith in international trade; one such as principle being "the prohibition of the misuse of rights".[339]

However, it must be noted that not all general principles established by ULIS case law [340] can be readily adopted in the interpretation and application of CISG. The main obstacle to their incorporation into the CISG is the reference in Article 7(2) CISG that, in the absence of any general principles upon which the Convention is based, "[q]uestions … are to be settled … in conformity with the law applicable by virtue of the rules of private law."[341] It is the opinion of the present writer that CISG is a self-contained body of rules, independent of and distinct from the different domestic laws. The recourse to rules of private international law in the interpretation of CISG hinders the search for the elusive goal of uniformity by producing divergent results. Supported by analysis of the existing doctrine, as well as by case law, this thesis argues that the necessary legal backdrop for CISG's existence and application can be provided by general principles of international commercial law, such as those exemplified by the UNIDROIT Principles and the PECL. Such a development would in many instances aid in rendering the textual reference in Article 7(2) CISG to private international law unnecessary; a positive step towards uniformity.

8. GAPS IN THE LAW: ISSUES OF VALIDITY

Commentators have expressed concern that common law judges are less familiar than their civil law counterparts with the process of drawing out general principles from particular statutory rules.[342] It is hoped that judges hailing from the common law jurisprudential tradition will make the effort to elaborate such general principles from the provisions of the CISG. It is, however, just as crucial for the longevity of the CISG that judges - whatever legal tradition they represent - will refrain from unnecessarily finding gaps in the CISG. Because of the broad language used in much of the text of the CISG, a judge so inclined will not find it difficult to find gaps.

It has been correctly, as well as imaginatively, said that the issue of validity represents a "potential 'black hole' removing issues from the Convention's universe."[343] Due to this obviously serious threat to the CISG's well-being, attention must be paid to it. (This is also the case with the latent problems in Article 7(2) and the potential threat to the CISG's uniformity posed by recourse to the rules of private international law).[344]

The CISG deals with issues of validity in Article 4. This article states that

"… except as otherwise expressly provided in this Convention, [CISG] is not concerned with: (a) the validity of the contract or of any of its provisions or of any usage."

The real concern in the interpretation of the CISG is that a judge so inclined may find issues of validity much more readily than anticipated by the drafters of the CISG and thereby turn to national law solutions, side-stepping the application of the CISG and thus rendering it virtually obsolete.

A brief look at the legislative history of Article 4(a) of the CISG reveals many differences from the quite elaborate drafting history of Article 7(1).[345] This can be the starting point in the examination of the danger posed to the CISG's interpretation by issues of validity in a contract.

A similar exclusion of issues relating to the validity of contracts as is present with the CISG, appears in the 1964 Conventions on uniform sales law. More specifically, Article 8 of the Uniform Law on the International Sale of Goods provided that

"… the present law shall not, except as otherwise expressly provided therein, be concerned with ... the validity of the contract or of any of its provisions or of any usage."

Upon consultation of the unofficial commentary to the Uniform Law, prepared by Professor Tunc, we note the difficulty that the issues of validity presented in those efforts to produce the ULIS.[346] Although the Bulgarian delegate suggested that the Uniform Law should include references to validity,[347] there was no protest to the exclusion of the issue of validity and virtually no discussion of the provision at the 1964 Hague conference. As far as the meaning of "validity" is concerned, the records of the 1964 uniform laws provide little guidance. What we find is an inclusive definition of sorts, rather than one of clarity. It is suggested by Professor Tunc, in his commentary, that the issues of validity included questions of "the capacity of the parties or the exchange of their consents or in regard to vitiating factors," as well as "[municipal] regulations of a police character or for the protection of persons."[348] In addition, a French comment on a draft text gives the examples of rulemaking agreements unenforceable for lack of writing or for lack of a specified price.[349] This is all that can be found on point.

It can be deduced from the above observations that the topic of exclusion of issues of validity was not seen as controversial, or at least was not treated as such, during the UNCITRAL deliberations of the Uniform Sales Law (1964). In similar tone, in 1977, when the text was placed before the UNCITRAL session revising the uniform sales law, in preparation for the launching of the CISG, it was suggested that the provision relating to issues of validity (Article 8 ULIS) be deleted because it was merely declaratory. The argument ultimately prevailed that such a provision was useful in preventing "overruling [of] domestic law on validity of contracts."[350]

Researching further the work of UNCITRAL's Working Group on International Sales on the inclusion or exclusion of validity issues in the CISG, it is only noted that the topic was studied at the Working Groups at the eighth and ninth sessions, and it was ultimately concluded that there should not be any rules on validity.[351] The 1980 diplomatic conference in Vienna approved the final draft text of Article 4 with very little debate.[352]

There is academic support for the belief that despite this apparent lack of controversy surrounding it, Article 4(a) has the "potential for mischief."[353] This concern stems from the realisation that the rationale for excluding issues of validity from the realm of the CISG's concerns is linked to the differences in approach to the issue by the divergent legal traditions. It is, however, the same reason that could tempt the interpreters of the CISG to enforce domestic rules on validity issues of contracts governed by the CISG, either those of the forum or of the state whose laws would apply by reference to the rules of private international law. Such a development is to be avoided since it could prove a back-door introduction of divergent national laws and ethnocentric interpretations to CISG contracts. This would further attack the idea of international uniformity that the CISG is trying to inspire. It has been suggested that some steps must be taken to guard against this danger.[354] The solution can come from within the CISG and its in-built mechanism of interpretation and application: Article 7. It is expressly directed by Article 7(1) that the text of the Convention is to be read in a manner that respects its international character and promotes its uniform application. Article 4(a) is part of the CISG text, so it must also be read according to these rules. Accordingly, interpretation of "validity" is not initially a question of domestic law. As Professor Honnold has written,

" the substance rather than the label or characterisation of the competing rule of domestic law determines whether it is displaced by the Convention; the crucial question is whether the domestic rule is invoked by the same operative facts that invoke a rule of the Convention."[355]

If the same operative facts are involved, then the CISG will provide the answer and there can be no exclusion of issues of validity in a sales contract. This will be the case, for example, with some aspects of the civilian concept of "error".[356]

It is possible that a common code of meaning could be given to "validity" as used in the CISG. As Professor Winship notes, most countries will not enforce agreements on the grounds of illegality, capacity, fraud, mistake and duress.[357] Less definite concepts, such as unconscionability, could, however, provide instances for divergent interpretations. On this point, Professor Schlechtriem suggests that the contractual clause should be governed by the CISG, rather than by domestic law. Schlechtriem is of the opinion that a contract clause that limits recoverable damages for foreseeable losses should be valid because of the damage principles of the CISG (as per Articles 74, 76) even if domestic law would declare such clauses unconscionable.[358] However, such a use for Article 74 CISG is unlikely, as it is arguable that while the said article provides for the general recovery of consequential damages, it says nothing about the surrender of this right.

Professor Winship has examined instances where the CISG might not be able to overrule a domestic law on an issue of the validity of a contractual clause. Such a case arises with a contract clause that purports to liquidate damages, but which would be unenforceable in an Anglo-American jurisdiction as a penalty clause.[359] This issue is not addressed in the CISG's current damage provisions, and while the contracting parties are free to exclude or derogate from the CISG, under the expressly enunciated principle of freedom of contract (Art. 6 CISG), that principle is subject to the express exclusion of validity issues.

In conclusion, we have a division of academic opinion on the dangers that issues of validity pose to the growth of the CISG. While Honnold is of the opinion that Article 4(a) does not provide a large door for escape from the Convention,[360] Winship is concerned that the Article 4(a) exclusion can be a "potent force" undercutting the effort to unify - or at least, harmonise - uniform law, and thus, must be interpretated narrowly.[361] What is common to both views - and is also shared by the present writer - is the desire that interpreters of the CISG avoid strained ethnocentric interpretations of any of its provisions that could lead to its practical isolation from the world trade place where it deserves to be. Issues of validity will provide a big test of the strength of that same desire among other participants in the world trade.

9. A COMMON LANGUAGE

It has been noted earlier in this work that, throughout the many years of efforts towards the unification of international trade law, the participants engaged in an ongoing discussion of the goals and methods of the project.[362] A central theme in these unification efforts was the formation and facilitation of an international community, whose members can conceive relationships and resolve conflicts through the use of a new and common legal language. The artificial nature of such a new linguistic construct is prescribed by the intrinsic difficulties embedded at the core of the unification process itself. The parameters of the definition and composition of the international community created by the CISG (as discussed in Chapter 1 of this work) also permeate the issue of a new lingua franca.

As it was necessary for the drafters of the CISG to articulate a set of issues or topics (and a set of terms in which to discuss these topics) when delineating its field of operation, it was also necessary that the language used to express these issues reflect the values that operate throughout the CISG. Thus, the terms of the CISG remain coherent and persuasive in the eyes of the members of that community. Only the process that gave the CISG its communality could give the CISG's language the requisite legitimacy for the present and the potential for growth in the future. Only the principles underlying the community of CISG could provide the basis for the new language found in CISG, because they suggest a common origin for both the substance and form of the CISG community.

The drafters of the Convention, by drawing upon a general conception of contractual relationships that is well recognised in many national legal systems, have organised the discussion of international sales relationships according to the two general topics of formation, obligations of the parties, and remedies for breach. The innovative part of the exercise is that, in discussing these general topics, the CISG frequently uses words that refer to specific events that are typical of international transactions. The rules on risk of loss provide good examples of the use of event-oriented words. Article 67 CISG provides that:

"(1) ... the risk passes to the buyer when the goods are handed over to the first carrier for transmission to the buyer in accordance with the contract of sale. ...

"(2) Nevertheless, the risk does not pass to the buyer until the goods are clearly identified to the contract, whether by markings on the goods, by shipping documents, by notice given to the buyer or otherwise."

In similar tone, Article 69 CISG states that "... the risk passes to the buyer when he takes over the goods."

It becomes apparent that the drafters opted for the use of plain language, which refers to things and events for which there are words of common content in the various languages of the members that form the community created by the CISG. The decision to draft rules based on overt commercial events is in line with the earlier analysis of the need to rid the new language of words associated with specific domestic legal nuances.[363]

A remaining problem for CISG is the fact that there is no single international language. In the diplomatic conference that adopted the CISG, the Convention was approved in six official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.[364] The preparation of the official versions was a co-ordinated effort of the United Nations language specialists, the UNCITRAL Working Groups, and the Drafting Committee of the 1980 Vienna Conference.[365] The solution of approving multilingual versions of the uniform law text is not a panacea, since it does not solve certain practical problems. The first of such problems relates to the production of adequate translations without error. The difficulty of translation and reproduction of multilingual texts is illustrated, for example, by a typographical error in the Argentinean copy of the CISG that resulted from the omission of a negative from the opening passage of Article 2.[366] This would have resulted in the inclusion of consumer sales and other transactions, which are explicitly excluded by the official versions of the Convention.

A second practical difficulty that arises under the regime of multilingual versions of the CISG relates to the precision that each translation can achieve. In other words, it is nigh impossible to expect each version of multilingual treaties to correspond to each other with exact precision. The potential danger is that the words used in one language will carry implications different from those in another.[367] This point is best illustrated when we consider the terms "offer" and "acceptance". These two words are well known legal terms of the common law jurisprudence and carry special weight of legal doctrine in that legal system. The same is true of their equivalents in the Western European languages.[368] When these words are translated in the other official versions, such as Chinese and Arabic, however, their translation only operates on the linguistic level and misses the doctrinal depth of their legal heritage.[369]

It has to be conceded that, despite the wide composition of the drafting team and the attention given to all official language versions of the CISG, the drafting debate tended to focus on legal concepts drawn from either the civil law or common law traditions.[370] The problem facing the drafters was how to bring under-developed legal systems, which are sometimes bereft of specialist terms that have been developed in more developed systems, into an international community of trading. As a result, most of the words and concepts used in the CISG are Anglo-American or Western European in origin. This solution was one of necessity and its ramifications must not be overestimated. It may be that certain words, albeit important ones, were taken straight out of developed legal systems, but they do not (and should not) bring with them to the CISG the special depth of meaning that they have in their original context.

Any interpretation of the CISG's terms that relies on specific national connotations will be calamitous because what is wanted is an interpretation of the CISG that is not only uniform, but truly international as well. Interpreters of the text must not violate the spirit of the law that is embodied in the Preamble and the interpretation provisions of the Convention. The meaning of the words imported from other legal systems must be circumscribed by their new context. Their importation into the text of the CISG can only be seen as a means of assisting, rather than dominating, the discourse between members of the community.

An important decision that the drafters of the CISG had to make regarding this issue was whether to include in the CISG detailed definitions of significant terms.[371] The eventual choice was to include some definitions as needed within the text of particular provisions,[372] but not to have separate definitions of key terms as a separate part of the CISG.[373] This decision on drafting style is a further indication of the wishes of the drafters to produce a law that promotes international co-operation in its application. Kastely argues that this choice of drafting style has rhetorical significance, since "detailed definitional sections

"… encourage the reader to understand the words in a technical and limited way, and to perceive the text as self-contained. The reader is led to interpret such a text as limited to its specifically defined terms and to disregard its broader implications or implicit significance."[374]

On the other hand, Kastely notes that

"informal, contextual definitions … encourage a broad and conversational interpretation of the words of the text, leading to greater depth and complexity in the interpretation of individual provisions."[375]

The drafting style of the CISG promotes discussion of the meaning of the language found in it. Its interpretation cannot be given to users of the CISG (i.e., the international trading community) in advance and pre-determined; rather, it will be the result of deliberation, discourse and co-operation among the users. To facilitate an intelligible interpretation of its text, the drafters of the CISG incorporated in it a set of values that define the community formed by the CISG and underpin the principles that this community is built upon. The most fundamental value in the conception of the CISG is the diversity of its members and the respect and equality that they are to receive in that community. The Preamble is the first, but not the only, place where this value is expressed:

"Considering that the development of international trade on the basis of equality and mutual benefit is an important element in promoting friendly relations among States,

"Being of the opinion that the adoption of uniform rules which govern contracts for the international sale of goods and take into account the different social, economic and legal systems would contribute to the removal of legal barriers in international trade and promote the development of international trade …"

The remedial provisions of the CISG are also structured to reflect the commitment to equality in its formal parallelism between buyer and seller. Professor Hellner has observed that

"the symmetry in the rules on the remedies for the seller's and the buyer's breach of contract is probably prompted by a desire of being impartial to the seller's and the buyer's sides."[376]

The Convention expressly acknowledges the cultural, social and legal diversity that characterises its member States, and provides that these differences must be treated with sensitivity and sensibility. An example of this spirit is found in Article 8(2), which states that

"… statements made by and other conduct of a party are to be interpreted according to the understanding that a reasonable person of the same kind as the other party would have had in the circumstances."[377]

During the negotiation of a contract, each party should attempt to learn the circumstances of the other. This will facilitate better understanding of the contract and decrease the possibility of a fall-out. Similar language appears in Article 25, in the discussion of "fundamental breach":

"A breach of contract committed by one of the parties is fundamental if it results in such a detriment to the other party as substantially to deprive him of what he is entitled to expect under the contract, unless the party in breach did not foresee and a reasonable person of the same kind in the same circumstances would not have foreseen such a result."[378]

Under this provision, the court or arbiter evaluating whether a breach is fundamental must consider the particular background and circumstances of the party in breach.

The commitment to equal treatment and respect for the different cultural, social, and legal backgrounds of its international members is consistent with other important values underlying the CISG, such as commitment to keep the contract alive, forthright communication between parties, good faith, etc.[379] The interpretation of the CISG must be guided by these enunciated principles.

10. DELIBERATION AND DECISION MAKING IN CISG

Our analysis of the structural issues presented by the conception of the CISG will now shift to the means that provide for future deliberation and decision making within CISG's community. Some commentators had hoped for the establishment of an international court with jurisdiction over disputes arising under the CISG. The main advantage of such a development would probably be the uniformity that a centralised judicial system can produce on disputes arising within its jurisdiction. Although the internal correlation of decisions handed down by a central judicial authority has superficial attraction, the idea has never been a realistic possibility for the CISG.[380] The enormity of the financial task and the administrative structures necessary for the establishment of such a closed circuit system are prohibitive for the creation of a international commercial court. The long and laborious drafting history of the CISG, coupled with the intrinsic diplomatic (i.e., quintessentially political) nature of such a task, place any designs for the creation of a widely accepted international court almost into the realm of the untenable.

The risk that inconsistent interpretation could frustrate the goal of uniformity in the law was well understood by those working on the CISG.[381] This problem is not, however, exclusive to the present structures administering justice under the CISG. All centralised judicial systems are also prone to this danger (although there is ultimately a final appellate level to provide redress). The nature of the CISG's subject matter (i.e., trade) is in itself unsuitable to the time consuming, delay laden mechanism of a single judicial authority. As such, the implicit assumption is that the CISG will be applied by domestic courts and arbitral tribunals.[382]

The essence of the problem of the CISG's divergent interpretation lies with the interpreters themselves; its nature is substantive and not structural. All the attention has been focused on the necessity, for the various courts and arbiters applying the CISG, to understand and respect the commitment to uniformity and to interpret the text in light of its international character.[383] The only feasible solution to the problems associated with decision making under the CISG is the "development of a jurisprudence of international trade."[384] Many commentators are of the opinion that "the success of the Convention directly depends on the achievement of this goal."[385]

A useful common source of discussion is the Draft Commentary to the 1978 draft, prepared by the Secretariat, even though it was not officially adopted by the 1980 Vienna Convention.[386] The dynamic for developing a jurisprudence of international trade is established in Articles 7(1) and 7(2). These are arguably the most important articles in the CISG, not only because their central location and stated purpose demand detailed treatment, but also because their success, or failure, will be determinative of the CISG's eventual fate. The debate regarding the application of the CISG generally, as well as in individual cases necessarily involves Article 7. Article 7(1) directs tribunals to discuss and interpret the detailed provisions of the text with regard to its international character and the need for uniformity in its application.[387]

Should interpreters of the CISG pay heed to the drafters' directions in Article 7 and to the spirit of equality and loyalty with which the CISG is imbued, then Article 7 will have contributed to the coherence of the precariously fragile international community. Article 7(2) provides the important mechanism for filling any gaps praeter legem in the CISG and thus complements Article 7(1) by laying the course for the text's deliberation and future development. Thus, the CISG acquires the flexibility necessary to any instrument that attempts to deal with a subject matter as fluid and dynamic as international trade.

The spirit of international co-operation extends to the treatment that tribunals will afford to decisions of other national courts that are as significant as their own interpretation of the Convention.[388] Article 7(1), by directing an interpreter's attention to the CISG's international character and stressing the goal of uniformity, emphasises the need for an international discussion among different national courts. Although the CISG, once ratified, becomes part of the domestic law of each member State, it does not lose its international and independent character. The thoughts, decisions and reasoning of domestic courts are property of the international community that the Convention serves.

Of course, this international discussion and co-operation is not limited to the activity of courts and tribunals. It also extends to the deliberations of individual traders and their representatives. A study of the remedial provisions found in the CISG reinforces this point. Forthright communication between the parties regarding their rights and obligations following a breach is not only expected but also required. Articles 46 and 62 provide both the buyer and the seller with the right to performance.[389] The drafters thought that explicit recognition of such a right was important, even if it was not eventually enforced by injunctive order.[390] The existence of the right should be a factor in the negotiations between the contracting parties after a breach of contract has occurred. Although the foreseeability of a development (such as the one anticipated above - i.e., that contracting parties will engage in discussion) is not always equivalent to planning for, or achieving, that development, the contracting parties are urged to notice and follow the suggested course of action. The CISG makes this clear with its numerous references to this modus operandi. The seller's right to cure,[391] the duty to mitigate loss,[392] and the obligation to preserve goods[393] are clear indications of the need for discussion, negotiation and co-operation at all levels within the CISG. The CISG provides both the manner and the form in which such a development can occur. The manner is prescribed by the principles enunciated and accepted in the text and the form is provided by the new lingua franca used to express these principles.

All this activity is accommodated using the language of the CISG and as sellers and buyers discuss and define their mutual rights and obligations, not only do they directly strive to make their specific contracts workable but they indirectly enrich the international language of the CISG as well. Opportunities for deliberation and decision making are required by, and provided for, in the CISG in a way that can ensure not only the CISG's coherence but its future development as well.

11. CONCLUSIONS

International trade has always been subject to numerous domestic legal systems, whether by the express choice of the contracting parties, or by virtue of the rules of private international law. The disputes arising out of international sales contracts have been settled at times according to the lex loci contractus, or the lex loci solutionis, or the lex fori. This diversity of the various legal systems applied has hindered the evolution of a strong, distinct and uniform modern lex mercatoria. The jurisprudential heritage of the applicable law each time has represented the different political and cultural context responsible for that law and has created legal uncertainty and imposed additional transactional costs to the contracting parties. The burden has usually been carried by the weaker party, thus initially creating (and subsequently maintaining) an imbalance of power in favour of the party with the greater bargaining strength. The unification of law is generally desirable and its appeal is not based solely on material considerations since it also promotes and fosters international peace and co-operation among States. The unification of international commercial law is even more desirable from a trader's point of view since it can reduce legal conflict and transactional costs, which is preferable to conflict solution devices, such as choice of law clauses.[394]

Unification of the law inevitably entails changes in the legal outlook of courts, scholars, practitioners and traders throughout the world. In the place of national commercial laws, the CISG represents the new way of addressing the complex relationships of international trade. In order to achieve such an ambitious goal, the CISG has created and defined an international community of sellers and buyers. The input to the creation of the new unified legal construct has been wider than ever before, because it was crucial for the development of that community that its members consider themselves governed by this new common legal system that they themselves have helped create.

To facilitate the activities of that community, and to keep it united, the CISG has attempted to introduce and establish a community where its members can communicate, deliberate and co-operate with each other using a new common language. What appears initially as a textual community (composed of the CISG's authors and the States, courts, lawyers and others who make up its audience) can eventually evolve into a fully-fledged community of people engaged in deliberation and transactions beyond the text of the CISG itself. This activity will improve the CISG's established system of discourse and deliberation by enriching its language and strengthening the coherence and persuasive force of its underlying values. On the other hand, this textual community will remain lifeless without the activity of States ratifying CISG and people discussing it and using it in their daily transactions.

Our initial treatment of the nature of international sales law and the aspirations of the CISG has, however, revealed a number of further factors significant to its success and development. The wide participation in the drafting of the CISG and its wide adoption rate are not sufficient elements for the achievement of uniformity in international sales. The decision of sellers and buyers to carry out their business under the provisions of the CISG is necessary, but also not sufficient. It is equally important for the long-term success of the CISG to achieve uniformity in the interpretation of its provisions by the national courts or tribunals applying them. Should domestic tribunals introduce divergent textual interpretations, this new unified law will be short-lived.

The success of the CISG depends, in large part, on the coherence and the quality of the treatment it receives from courts, arbiters, lawyers, and scholars interpreting some individual provisions that lack clarity or contain ambiguous language. The CISG is, and must be treated as a text that contains a comprehensive set of significant provisions and a set of values underpinning these provisions. If domestic law is invited and used in the CISG's domain - whether in interpretation, or gap-filling - the CISG's language will lose its integrity and the whole structure will probably collapse. Individual problematic provisions can and must be construed with regard to the CISG's underlying values, if the overall structure is to be reinforced and enriched. This is the mandate expressed in Articles 7(1) and 7(2). The direction taken on this issue will determine whether the members of the CISG's community form a true community of entities that abide to a uniform law, or simply a collective of independent entities who at times co-operate with each other via a harmonisation of sorts on specific topics.

During the formative stages of the CISG itself, numerous difficulties arose and were resolved through debate and compromise among the diplomatic delegates to the Vienna Convention - itself a rhetorical process.[395] The adoption of the CISG, being essentially a political act by the governments of member States, made it inevitable that the final version of the CISG contain several textual compromises, which, in fact, are unresolved substantive difficulties. The most significant of these difficulties relate to the CISG's gap-filling procedures and its use of Western legal concepts; they are issues that highlight the precariousness of the community contemplated by the Convention. These problems have already been introduced and underlined and will be discussed in more detail in the following chapters of this work.


CHAPTER 3: ARTICLE 7(1) OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON CONTRACTS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL SALE OF GOODS

1. Introduction
2. Legislative History of Article 7(1) CISG

(a) The "international character" of the Convention
(b) The "need to promote uniformity" in the Convention's application
(c) The "observance of good faith in international trade"
3. The International Character of the Convention
4. Uniformity of Application
5. The Observance of Good Faith in International Trade
(a) "Good faith" as a mere instrument of interpretation
(b) "Good faith" in the relations between the parties
(c) Arguments against the imposition on the parties of a positive duty of
good faith imposing further obligations of a positive character on the parties
(d) The "international trade" qualification to the principle of "good faith"
6. Remedies Against Divergent Interpretations
(a) Jurisprudence (case law)
(b) Doctrine (commentaries)
(c) Travaux préparatoires (legislative history)
(d) Other proposals
     (i) International Tribunal
     (ii) Advisory Body
7. Conclusions

ARTICLE 7(1) OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON
CONTRACTS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL SALE OF GOODS

1. INTRODUCTION

Article 7 of the CISG states:

"(1) 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.

"(2) 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."

From a systematic viewpoint, Article 7 can be divided into three parts:[396]

(a) paragraph (1), first part, which declares that the "international character of the Convention" and the "need to promote uniformity in its application" are the basic criteria for the interpretation of the Convention;

(b) paragraph (1), second part, which establishes the relevance to be given to the "observance of good faith in international trade"; and

(c) paragraph (2), which sets out the mechanism with which gaps in the Convention are to be filled.

This chapter will attempt to highlight, and then analyse, the main issues that arise in relation to Article 7(1), in order to help understand the structure, scope and function of the article. Article 7(2) demands separate treatment and is analysed in the following chapter of this work, although certain unavoidable (and at times necessary) cross-references, or overlapping discussion, between the two paragraphs of the article are made in the current chapter.

The first part in the triadic classification of Article 7, above, is probably the most important one since it not only stresses the character of the Convention and its all-important goal of uniform application, but it also describes "the process by which those called upon to apply the Convention to a particular case ascertain the meaning and legal effect to be given to its individual articles."[397] In effect, the first part of Article 7(1) is the tool that determines the precise scope of the other two parts of Article 7, as well.[398]

It could be argued that the second part's concern for "good faith" might be used, in the facts of a particular case, to persuade a court to depart from a settled interpretation of the Convention and thus run contrary to uniformity, if only because its meaning and scope are so unclear.[399] If such an argument were successful, some discordance could be created between parts (a) and (b) of the above classification.

It is the opinion of the present writer, however, that the possibility for such discordance between parts (a) and (b) of the triadic classification is negligible because the concept of good faith does not stand alone in the CISG; rather it carries the "international trade" qualification that circumscribes its scope in a manner consistent with part (a).

Article 7(1) CISG

Paragraph (1) of Article 7 emphasises that in the interpretation of the CISG, one must pay close attention to three points:

(a) the "international character" of the CISG;

(b) "the need to promote uniformity in its application"; and

(c) "the observance of good faith in international trade."

It is the opinion of many scholars that the first two of these points are not independent of each other [400] but that, in fact, the second "is a logical consequence of the first." [401] The third point is of a rather special nature, and its placement in the main interpretation provision of the CISG has caused a lot of argument as to its precise meaning and scope.

In this chapter, following an examination of the legislative history of Article 7(1), a necessary preliminary step in the treatment of any product of an international unification process, the main issues that arise in relation to this Article will be highlighted and analysed in order to draw the proper meaning, scope and function of the article.

2. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF ARTICLE 7(1) CISG

(a) The "international character" of the CISG

The CISG directs interpreters to have regard to the "international character" of the provisions of the CISG and requires, aside from the international experience that will be developed through jurisprudence and doctrine, that the Convention be placed in the proper international setting of its legislative history.[402]

In drafting the Vienna Sales Convention, UNCITRAL built on the work that had produced the 1964 Hague Conventions (ULIS and ULF). It was mostly by revising the Hague Conventions that the CISG was constructed, and it is by studying the deliberations that took place in UNCITRAL during this process that we can arrive at a better, more complete, understanding of the provisions of the CISG. As the UNCITRAL Draft was being developed and refined, the documented proposals of the delegates to delete, or amend, the Convention's provisions, and the views that finally prevailed in those debates, form an important part of the finished product known as the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, 1980. The material found in the CISG's legislative history adds depth to the international understanding that underlies the Convention's text.

Commencing with an analysis of the treatment of the issues at hand in the 1964 Hague Conventions, UNCITRAL, in some instances, retained the solutions found in the Hague Conventions.[403] The discussions of these analyses not only shed light on the common understanding of the particular Hague solutions and the reasons for their retention, but also provide a clear statement of the intended meaning of these solutions in the context of the CISG. Similarly, in the instances where the Hague approach was modified or rejected, the reasons for the alterations shed light on the intended purpose of the new provisions inserted in the CISG.

The documents that embody this legislative history are reproduced in Volumes I-X of the UNCITRAL Yearbooks and in the Official Records of the 1980 Diplomatic Conference. In such an extended legislative process, the article numbers of the drafts under discussion kept changing as provisions were added and deleted and as the draft's structure was reorganised. Professor Honnold prepared a Documentary History that reproduces the relevant documents and provides references to the repeated renumbering of the articles making it easier to trace the legislative history and development of the CISG's provisions.[404]

(b) The "need to promote uniformity" in the Convention's application

The predecessor to the CISG, the ULIS, had addressed the problem of interpretation of the Convention in the following statement in Article 2 of the ULIS:

"Rules of private international law shall be excluded for the purpose of the application of the present Law, subject to any provision to the contrary in the said Law." [405]

When this provision is read together with Article 17 of the ULIS,[406] which deals with the issue of gap-filling by referring to the use of the Convention's "general principles," one recognises a strong indication that the ULIS was "intended to constitute a self-contained law of sales, to be construed and applied autonomously, i.e., without any reference to or interference from the different national laws."[407] This approach of independence and self-sufficiency strengthens the position of the uniform law as an international instrument that should be interpreted and applied in a uniform manner. It was, however, strongly argued in UNCITRAL that the uniform law could not be considered as totally separate from the various national laws, and that it would be unrealistic and impractical to construe many undefined terms contained in the Convention without having recourse to national law.[408]

At the first session of the Working Group in 1970, several proposals were submitted for the revision of Article 17 of the ULIS. One suggestion was to redraft the text as follows: "The present Law shall be interpreted and applied so as to further its underlying principles and purposes, including the promotion of uniformity in the law of international sales."[409] Another suggestion was to delete the provision in its entirety, or to modify it so that it states expressly that "[p]rivate international law shall apply to questions not settled by ULIS."[410] Neither of these proposals was supported by a majority of the Working Group.[411] At the request of the Commission, which at its third session, in 1970, was equally unable to reach an agreement,[412] the Working Group discussed the matter again at its second session, in 1971, and on that occasion decided to recommend the adoption of the following new version of Article 17: "In interpreting and applying the provisions of this Law, regard shall be had to its international character and to the need to promote uniformity in its interpretation and application."[413] The report of the Working Group stated that the proposed revision would clearly express two considerations not mentioned in the original Article 17: (i) the international character of the law, and (ii) the need for its uniform interpretation and application. It was added that the omission from the original text of the reference to "the general principles on which the present Law is based" was due to the fact that such a reference was considered to be too vague.[414]

At its fourth session, in 1971, the Commission approved the new provision as proposed by the Working Group. At the same time, it was suggested that the provision be supplemented by an additional paragraph dealing with gaps in the uniform law. Opinions were equally divided between those who insisted on a "general principles" solution, along the lines of Article 17 of ULIS. There are also those who, on the contrary, favoured the approach according to which possible gaps in the uniform law should be filled in by the domestic law indicated by the rules of private international law. The Commission decided not to take any final decision on this matter and to refer it to the Working Group for its consideration at an appropriate time.[415] At subsequent sessions, devoted to the revision of the ULIS, the Working Group did not discuss the matter further. The only change introduced to the original proposal was to delete the words "in its interpretation and application," since they were considered to be redundant. Consequently, when the Sales Draft was adopted by the Working Group at its seventh session, in 1976, it contained Article 13 which read as follows:

"In the interpretation and application of the provisions of this Convention, regard is to be had to its international character and to the need to promote uniformity."[416]

(c) The "observance of good faith in international trade"

In the course of the revision of the 1964 Hague Conventions, the Working Group adopted at its ninth session, in 1978, a new provision (Article 5) not previously contained in the ULF:

"In the course of the formation of the contract the parties must observe the principles of fair dealing and act in good faith."[417]

This article was the subject of a lengthy discussion at the eleventh session of the Commission in 1978.[418] The debate related to the retention, or deletion, of this new provision. Those who favoured the deletion of the provision acknowledged that good faith and fair dealing are highly desirable principles in international commerce, but emphasised that the way in which these principles were formulated was too vague. They argued that national courts applying the provision of "fair dealing and good faith" would necessarily be influenced by their own legal and social traditions with the result that different interpretations would be given to the provision in different countries. It was also argued that the draft uniform law did not specify the consequences of failure to observe the principles which were made binding on the parties. This meant that the consequences of a violation of the principles of good faith and fair dealing would be left to national law, with the result that no uniformity of sanctions would be achieved either.

The arguments in support of the article's retention were equally forceful. First, it was argued that because of the world-wide recognition of the principle of good faith, there would be little harm in including it in the Convention. Countering the objection that the proposed provision did not set out the consequences of a violation of the principles of good faith and fair dealing, it was argued that sanctions should be determined by the courts in a flexible manner and according to the particular circumstances of each case. It was further added that, even without sanctions, the existence of the provision would be of benefit because it would draw the attention of the parties and the court to the fact that high standards of behaviour were expected in international trade transactions.

Some possible compromise solutions were suggested to resolve the difference of opinion on the inclusion of the good faith provision. One suggestion was to include the substance of the proposed Article 5 in a preamble to the Vienna Sales Convention. The supporters of the good faith principle objected that this would deprive it of any effect. Another compromise proposal was to incorporate the requirement of the observance of good faith into the rules for interpreting the statements and conduct of the parties. The argument against this suggestion was based on the point that the proposed Article 5 was not concerned with the intent of the parties, but sought to establish a standard of behaviour to which the parties were obliged to conform. A third suggestion was to incorporate the principle of observance of good faith into the article on the interpretation and application of the provisions of the Convention. The Commission eventually accepted this last suggestion as a realistic compromise solution.

Hence, Part II of the new consolidated text of the UNCITRAL Convention, as adopted by the Commission at the same session,[419] no longer contained a provision corresponding to Article 5 of the original Formation Draft. Instead, Article 6, which corresponded to Article 13 of the former Sales Draft, and now appears as Article 7 of the CISG, was revised so as to read as follows:

"In the interpretation and application of this Convention regard is to be had to its international character and to the need to promote uniformity and the observance of good faith in international trade."

Several amendments to Article 6 of the UNCITRAL Draft Convention were submitted at the Vienna Conference. Some of these amendments were merely of a drafting character and led to the small grammatical changes that now appear in the wording of Article 7(1). But there were also some amendments of substance submitted and they related to the addition of a new paragraph to the provision dealing with the problem of gaps in the CISG.[420]

The appropriateness of referring to the principle of good faith in this article on the Convention's interpretation and application was questioned again at the Vienna Conference. Two amendments were submitted, both suggesting the deletion of the last part of Article 7, paragraph 1 (i.e., "the observance of good faith in international trade") and to transfer it to another context. The first proposal was to add at the end of Article 7(3) of the UNCITRAL Draft Convention (now Article 8) the words "having regard to the need to ensure the observance of good faith in international trade."[421] The second proposed amendment suggested that a new article be included after Article 6 of the UNCITRAL Draft Convention (now Article 7) stating that:

"In the formation, interpretation and performance of a contract of sale the parties shall observe the principles of good faith and international cooperation."[422]

Although the two proposals did receive some support, the prevailing view was against reopening discussion on an issue that had already been the subject of extensive debate within UNCITRAL leading to the present compromise solution. Thus, Article 7(1) was adopted without further changes.

3. THE INTERNATIONAL CHARACTER OF THE CONVENTION

The creation of a uniform law is only the first step towards uniformity. It is the interpretation - and the uniform application - of the uniform law that will complete the process, and it is at these latter stages that the success, or failure, of the unifying effort can be judged.[423] Every legislative instrument raises issues of interpretation as to the precise meaning of its provisions, even within the confines of a national legal system. Such problems are more prevalent when the subject has been drafted at an international level. In the interpretation of domestic legislation, reliance can be placed on methods of interpretation and established principles within a particular legal system - the legal culture, or infrastructure, upon which the particular legislation is seated. When dealing with a piece of legislation such as the CISG, however, that has been prepared and agreed upon at international level and has been incorporated into many diverse national legal systems, interpretation becomes far more uncertain and problematic because there is no equivalent international legal infrastructure. Does that mean that the CISG is seated on a legal vacuum? The answer is yes and no. The CISG was given an autonomous, free-standing nature by its drafters and it is true that there are no clearly defined international foundations (equivalent to those in a domestic legal setting) upon which the CISG is placed. As will be argued throughout this work, there are, however, general principles of international law (e.g., the UNIDROIT Principles) that can provide a part of the platform upon which the CISG, like any other piece of domestic or international piece of legislation, must be based.

Accepting that interpretative problems naturally arise in relation to any international convention, there is a further point that needs to be made. That these problems are accentuated when the international legislative instrument is in the field of commercial law because of the proportional relationship that generally exists between the number of issues of interpretation of a convention and the number of legal systems represented by the various Contracting States to that convention.[424] Principles of interpretation could be borrowed from the law of the forum, or the law which according the rules of private international law would have been applicable in the absence of the uniform law. Either approach would result in a diverse construction and implementation of the same piece of legislation by different Contracting States. According to some commentators, the result would not only be a lack of uniformity, but also the promotion of forum shopping.[425] Such a result would undermine the purpose of the uniform legislation and defeat the reasons for its existence.

On the other hand, an autonomous and uniform interpretation, if this could be achieved in practice, would go a long way towards completing the process of unification and achieving the aims of the drafters of the uniform international instrument. Article 7(1) declares that such an autonomous approach must be followed in interpretation, befitting the special character and purpose of the Convention. To have regard to the "international character" of the Convention means that its interpreter [426] must understand that, although the CISG has been formally incorporated into many different national legal systems, the special nature of the CISG as a piece of legislation prepared and agreed upon at an international level helps it retain its independence from any domestic legal system. It is essential for the long-term success of the CISG that the rules and techniques traditionally followed in interpreting ordinary domestic legislation are avoided. For instance, "in most common law countries domestic legislative instruments are traditionally interpreted narrowly so as to limit their interference with the law developed through jurisprudence."[427] The CISG is, however, a law intended to cover the field of international contracts of sale and, in doing so, to replace all national statutes and case law previously governing matters within that field. The autonomy of this international sales law depends not only on the drafting of the respective rules into a separate body of rules, but also on the emancipation of this body of rules from other branches of the law in the international and domestic legal systems.[428]

Even though the CISG is incorporated into municipal law, international sales law should not be regarded as a part of various national legal systems because this would inhibit its development as an autonomous branch of law and distort its interpretation and application. Instead, it is suggested that international sales law rules should be seen as part of international law in the broad sense and should be entitled to an international, rather than national, interpretation. The consequence of realising the essence of the Convention's international character and autonomy is that there should be no reason to adopt a narrow interpretation of the CISG. Expressing support for this point is Professor Bonell:

"Instead of sticking to its literal and grammatical meaning, courts are expected to take a much more liberal and flexible attitude and to look, wherever appropriate, to the underlying purposes and policies of individual provisions as well as of the Convention as a whole."[429]

Such an attitude has been adopted in the United States in the interpretation of the Uniform Commercial Code.[430] Also, in a number of cases, American [431] and English [432] Courts have shown a willingness to take a similar liberal approach when called to deal with other international conventions.

It is the view of the present writer that Article 7 represents an implied provision in the Convention for the undertaking of such a liberal approach to the interpretation of the body of law in question. It must be acknowledged, however, that the danger with adopting a broad view of the CISG is that it might open the way to diverse national interpretations, if "broad" and "liberal" were equated with notions of theoretical diversity and practical relaxation of the rules of the CISG's interpretation. This realisation reveals the possible existence of a paradox; that internationalism might be better served by a narrow interpretation. This is merely an aberration, or rather an illusion, since the nature of the CISG and the intentions of its drafters point unequivocally to its broad and liberal interpretation. If its interpreters realise the true spirit of the CISG and enforce it in practice, then a liberal approach, far from diversifying the results, will achieve uniform results. This is so because the broad and liberal approach, in this case, does not mean the endorsement of many different national views, but the adoption of a single, uniform, a-national approach. Such an approach is broad and liberal by definition, since it operates outside and above the restrictions, limitations and narrowness of established national approaches to interpretation. The broad global scope of the CISG requires that its interpretation be of a similar nature. For the "legal barriers in international trade"[433] to be successfully removed, a broad and liberal approach to the interpretation of the CISG is required. Only such an approach can successfully "take into account the different social, economic and legal systems"[434] that the CISG is aiming to unite, at least in the field of sale of goods. The proper interpretation of the CISG must be broad and liberal, but not lax or abstract.

Neutral language - a new lingua franca

The quality of the "international character" attributed to the CISG has yet a further dimension. Such a characterisation denotes that the terms and concepts of the CISG must be interpreted autonomously of meanings that might traditionally be attached to them within national legal systems. To have regard to the CISG's international character must mean that the interpreter should not apply domestic law to solve the interpretative problems raised in the CISG. The reading of the CISG in light of the concepts of the interpreter's domestic legal system would be a "violation" of the requirement that the CISG be interpreted with regard to its "international character."[435] The terms of the CISG must be interpreted "in the context of the Convention itself."[436] Such a conclusion becomes necessary when one looks at the background of the CISG.

The form and content of the CISG is the outcome of prolonged deliberations between lawyers representing a multitude of diverse legal and social systems and cultural backgrounds. The provisions of the CISG had to be formulated in sufficiently neutral language in order to reach a consensus not vitiated by misunderstanding amongst its drafters. The choice of one word rather than another represents the process of a compromise, rather than the acceptance of a concept peculiar to a specific domestic legal system. The drafters attempted to avoid terms that have been endorsed and shaped by diverse historical, social, economic and cultural structures in the various legal systems. Any such terms would be abstract and disembodied in the context of the CISG.

A good example of this effort can be found in the wording of Chapter IV of the CISG. Chapter IV refers to the passing of the risk of loss to the buyer. Article 67(1) states that in a contract of sale that involves carriage of the goods, the risk passes to the buyer when the goods "are handed over" to the first carrier. In similar tone, Article 69(1) states that in contracts that do not involve carriage, the risk passes when the buyer "takes over" the goods. Words such as "delivery" and concepts such as "property" and "title", loaded with peculiar domestic importance, have been intentionally avoided. As it has been put by one of the drafting fathers of the CISG:

"The ideal is to use plain language that refers to things and events for which there are words of common content in the various languages."[437]

In the instances where terms, or concepts, from a particular legal system were used, it was not intended that the traditional meanings of these terms be adopted.[438] If concepts in the CISG were taken from national law, there would be a danger of interpreting these concepts in accordance with the law of their origin instead of interpreting them autonomously. It is authors, as well as judges, that are susceptible to such a distorted interpretation of the CISG's provisions. This alarming observation has been made by Sevón, who notes:

'Most authors (in the literature of the Vienna Sales Convention) seem to stress that the Convention closely resembles the national law of sales of the author's country. ... There is thus a considerable risk that concepts used in the Convention will be believed to correspond to identical or even to similar concepts in national law."[439]

The drafters of the CISG employed neutral, "a-national" language to avoid such distortions. The neutrality of the words chosen for the CISG promotes the CISG's autonomy and advances UNCITRAL's objectives of internationality and uniformity of interpretation and application. Any perceived proximity of the CISG to various national laws is not disturbing and should be seen as a mark of its success, since it illustrates the outcome of multiple participation in its drafting.

The fact that the CISG has been published in the six official languages of the United Nations, with each version being equally authentic, enhances the notion of its internationality and strengthens the case for an autonomous interpretation of its provisions. It is arguable that, to a certain extent, the publishing of the CISG in all six official languages of the United Nations makes interpretation easier because it is possible for a court to apply the method of comparative interpretation and find the exact meaning and content of a provision by comparison.[440] It must be noted, however, that it would be unrealistic to expect every court to compare every language version.

Of course, these actions do not guarantee success because the legal viewpoint of the users of the CISG is usually shaped by their particular national, educational and vocational background. Most of the difficulties in the interpretation of international uniform law arise because there is no common heritage of judicial techniques and substantive law among the Contracting States. This lack of common ground inevitably creates difficulties that result in divergence in the outcome of the process of interpretation and impede uniformity. Domestic civil procedure, plus differences in the way that the division between law and fact is drawn in different legal systems, are major obstacles to uniformity. Universities have a role to play in overcoming some of these obstacles, by encouraging and developing programs of comparative law studies that can promote further substantive awareness of foreign law and procedure.[441]

4. UNIFORMITY OF APPLICATION

At this point, the inter-relation between the first two parts of Article 7(1) becomes more apparent. The autonomous interpretation of the CISG is not simply a consequence of the "international" characterisation of the CISG, but also a necessity, if "the need to promote uniformity in its application" is to be taken seriously. In the CISG, the elements of "internationality" and "uniformity" are inter-related thematically and structurally because of their position in the same Part and Article of the Convention, functionally because an autonomous approach to interpretation is necessary for the functioning of both, and inter-dependently because the existence of one is a necessary prerequisite for the existence of the other. The international, rather than national, interpretation is necessary in order for uniformity in the application of the CISG to be achieved, and uniformity of application is vital if the CISG is to maintain its international character.

The ultimate aim of the CISG, and arguably the reason for its existence, is to achieve the broadest degree of uniformity in the law for international sales transactions.[442] Its adoption by the Contracting States is a necessary but insufficient step towards this aim. What is also necessary is that the CISG, once incorporated into the various domestic legal systems, is read, interpreted, and understood in the same uniform way by all its users, in any of the Contracting States.[443] It is part of the present writer's thesis that this cannot be achieved if national principles, or concepts, taken from the law of the forum, or from the law that in the absence of the CISG would have been applicable according to the rules of private international law, are allowed to be used in the interpretation of the CISG. In fact, a "nationalistic" approach to the interpretation of the CISG would achieve results that are contrary to what was intended to be achieved by the creation of the uniform law and would foster the emergence of divergent national interpretations.[444] The "nationalisation" of the uniform rules deprives the instrument of its unifying effect.

The negative consequences of a "nationalistic" interpretation have also been pointed out by courts. The House of Lords, in Scruttons Ltd. v.Midland Silicones Ltd., stated that:

"it would be deplorable if the nations, after protracted negotiations, reach agreement ... and that their several courts should then disagree as to the meaning of what they appeared to agree upon."[445]

The dangers concerning the interpretation of the CISG have been attributed to "a natural tendency to read the international text through the lenses of domestic law."[446] This can be the result of a conscious, or unconscious, inclination of judges to place the uniform law against the background of their own municipal law (lex fori) and to interpret the uniform law on the basis of principles with which they are already familiar, thus threatening the goal of international uniformity in interpretation.

Among other causes that can give rise to diverging interpretations of a uniform law are problems which are "internal" to the uniform law, since they have their source in the uniform law itself. Such divergences in interpretation are "normal" results of defects in the drafting of the uniform rules. These include mistakes in grammar and translation, lack of clarity, or gaps in the law. In this regard, it has been pointed out that the existence of different official versions of the same uniform law is a circumstance which can, by itself, give rise to interpretative doubts because "textual differences ... impede uniformity."[447]

Other reasons that can lead to divergent interpretations are "external", since they are independent from the uniform law itself. On this aspect, it has been said that some interpretative differences can result from various national interests that the different interpreters want to prevail over the national interests of other States. In relation to the CISG, it has been asserted that "the disparity of economic, political, and legal structure of the countries represented at the Vienna Conference suggests the difficulty of achieving legal uniformity."[448]

Summarising the conclusions of the above analysis of the first two elements of Article 7(1), it may be said that the recognition of the autonomy of international sales law and its international characterisation are interconnected, and that they both serve the uniformity of interpretation and application of the Convention. The recognition of the autonomy of the CISG contributes to the accomplishment of UNCITRAL's directives for the interpretation of the Convention as stated in the wording of Article 7(1).

5. THE OBSERVANCE OF GOOD FAITH IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE

According to the third element of Article 7(1), in interpreting the provisions of the Convention one must have regard to the need of promoting the "observance of good faith in international trade." The legislative history of the provision shows that the final inclusion of the good faith principle represented a compromise solution between those delegates to the Vienna Convention who supported its inclusion stating that, at least in the formation of the contract, the parties should observe the principles of "fair dealing" and act in "good faith;" and those who were opposed to any explicit reference to the principle in the Convention, on the ground that it had no fixed meaning and would lead to uncertainty and non-conformity.[449]

The concept of good faith and its scope and function in different legal systems was discussed earlier.[450] There are, however, some issues concerning the final inclusion of the principle of good faith in the CISG that need to be explored further, in order to determine the nature, scope, and meaning of this much-debated principle in the application and interpretation of the CISG.

(a) "Good faith" as a mere instrument of interpretation

The placement of the good faith principle in the context of an operative provision dealing with the interpretation of the CISG creates uncertainties as to the principle's exact nature, scope, and function within the CISG.[451] Scholarly opinion on the issue is divided. Some commentators insist on the literal meaning of the provision and conclude that the principle of good faith is nothing more than an additional criterion to be used by judges and arbitrators in the interpretation of the CISG.[452] Under this approach, good faith is merely a tool of interpretation at the disposal of the judges to neutralise the danger of reaching inequitable results.

Even if included in the CISG as a mere instrument of interpretation, good faith can pose problems in achieving the ultimate goal of the CISG - uniformity in its application - because the concept of good faith has not only different meanings between different legal systems but also multiple connotations within legal systems.[453] Consequently, it will be difficult for a uniform definition of the concept to be developed. This can lead to differing interpretations of the CISG.[454]

(b) "Good faith" in the relations between the parties

There is academic opinion favouring a broader interpretation of the reference to good faith as contained in Article 7(1), pointing out that the duty to observe "good faith in international trade is also necessarily directed to the parties to each individual contract of sale."[455] The main theoretical difficulty with this suggestion is that, in effect, it implies that the interpreters of the CISG are not only the judges, or arbitrators, but the contracting parties as well.[456] This point is controversial and there are practical and theoretical objections to it. If Article 7 is addressed to the parties, then that provision might be excluded by them under Article 6. This would be an unwelcome result because, in practice, this would hinder the uniformity of interpretation. The theoretical objection is that the statement seems to obliterate the distinction between interpretation by the court and performance of the contract by the parties. One of the main practical objections to the inclusion in the CISG of a provision imposing on the parties a general obligation to act in good faith was that this concept was too vague and would inevitably lead to divergent interpretations of the CISG by national courts.

The principle of good faith operates differently within different national legal systems.[457] For example, in the United States its relevance is formally limited to performance and enforcement of the contract.[458] On the other hand, in most of the civil law systems, as well as in socialist systems, the principle of good faith is not limited to performance but also extends to the formation and interpretation of contracts.[459] Moreover, even between civil law systems the specific application of the principle of good faith in practice may differ considerably.[460]

Bonell, one of the principal exponents of the thesis that attributes wider importance to the inclusion of the principle of good faith in the CISG, explains that, even as a simple aid to the interpretation of the CISG's specific provisions, the principle of good faith may have some impact on the behaviour of the parties - for instance, in cases where a party is prevented from invoking rights and remedies normally granted to him under the CISG.[461] Such a view is supported by Honnold's argument that a party to an international contract of sale governed by the CISG, who demands specific "performance within an additional period [according to Articles 47 or 63] may not, in good faith, refuse to accept the performance that he requested." [462] It is further suggested that compelling specific performance, or avoiding a contract after a market change [463] that permits a party to speculate at the other's expense, "may well be inconsistent with the Conventions provisions governing these remedies, when they are construed in the light of good faith."[464]

Further support for the argument that the relevance of the principle of good faith is not limited to the interpretation of the CISG is offered by the observation that there can be found within the CISG a number of provisions which constitute a particular application of the principle of good faith, thus confirming that good faith is also one of the "general principles" underlying the CISG as a whole, for purposes of gap-filling (as per Article 7(2)).[465] A distinction must, however, be drawn between good faith in the interpretation of the CISG (Art. 7(1)) and good faith as a general principle upon which the CISG is based. The argument in favour of extending the scope of good faith to the behaviour of the parties and attributing to it the quality of a "general principle" of the CISG [466] runs the risk of being driven to the conclusion that, as such, the principle of good faith in Article 7(2) may even impose on the parties "additional obligations of a positive character."[467]

(c) Arguments against the imposition on the parties of a positive duty of good faith imposing further obligations of a positive character on the parties

The possibility of imposing additional obligations on the parties is clearly not supported by the legislative history of the CISG. Article 7(1), as it now stands in the CISG's text, is the result of a drafting compromise between two diverging views, which reflects the political and diplomatic maneuvering necessary for the creation of an international Convention. It cannot now be given the meaning originally suggested by those advocating the imposition of a positive duty of good faith on the parties, as this would be reversing the intent of the compromise. On the other hand, this does not mean that the opposite view (i.e., that good faith represents merely an instrument of interpretation) should be adopted instead. This interpretation would unnecessarily deny the value of good faith and its potential function within the CISG.

It is part of the present writer's thesis that what is needed is a balanced approach to the doctrine of good faith, so that it is neither condemned to do too little nor allowed to do too much. The parties' behaviour must be measured on a standard of good faith, limited by the Convention's scope of application ratione materiae.[468] Good faith, like all the other terms in the CISG, must be approached afresh and be given a new definition which will describe its scope and meaning within the CISG, separate from the peculiar loads that it carries in different, and often within, legal systems. It may take some time for the principle of good faith to be developed naturally and to crystalise in the case law, in the spirit of continuing deliberation and discourse that characterises the community of the CISG members. Until then, perhaps the most balanced position to adopt is that uttered by Maskow: "… the most objective criterion for what the principle of good faith in international trade means is the Convention itself."[469]

(d) The "international trade" qualification to the principle of "good faith"

Attention must be paid to the functional value of the qualification to the "observance of good faith," made by the additional words "in international trade," as inserted in Article 7(1). There are two points that can be made about the reference to "good faith in international trade".

The first point is that the principle of good faith may not be applied according to the standards ordinarily adopted within the different national systems.[470] This point can be illustrated by the following example. Under German law, when a party to a sales contract becomes the recipient of a written communication, claiming to constitute a simple confirmation of the prior oral agreement between the parties to the contract, but in fact containing additional or different terms, the recipient is under a duty to immediately object to these terms if he does not want to be bound by them.[471] In other legal systems such a rule is, however, either entirely unknown,[472] or limited to the case in which the additional or different terms do not materially alter the content of the earlier agreement.[473] Therefore, it is not very likely that such a rule could be applied to a contract of sale governed by the CISG.[474]

The second point is that the principle of good faith as expressed in the CISG must be construed in light of the special conditions and requirements of international trade. There are two things to be said on this second point.

Firstly, the CISG specifically governs commercial contracts only and all consumer transactions are expressly placed outside the ambit of its operation.[475] Even domestic laws generally make a distinction in the application of the principle of good faith in commercial contracts (contracts between merchants) compared to consumer transactions. Rules applicable to consumer transactions, intended to protect the economically weaker or inexperienced party, are for the most part excluded when both parties contract in their professional capacity.[476] And, in the case of a transaction between merchants, the general obligation to act in good faith is often understood in the sense of imposing special standards, such as "the observance of reasonable commercial standards of fair dealing."[477]

Secondly, there is a further distinction that needs to be made; the Convention deals only with international commercial transactions. The significance of this point lies in the fact that substantial differences exist between commercial transactions of a purely domestic nature and transactions concluded at an international level. This point is expounded by Bonell, who goes as far as saying that in the case of a sales contract between an exporter from a highly industrialised country and an importer from a developing country "… it may well be that the discrepancy between the bargaining power of the two parties corresponds to that normally to be found in a consumer transaction stipulated at national level."[478]

This statement may well be too sweeping, and it runs the risk of oversimplifying the differences between national and international trade. It attempts to establish that the distinction generally made within domestic laws between consumer transactions and contracts of a commercial nature can be used in order to determine the precise meaning of "good faith in international trade." This implies that the interpretation of the CISG could be used to protect the weaker party.[479] It is doubtful that this would work at the international level. Although it is generally accepted that differences in the bargaining power of parties to an international contract exist, and that these differences are usually related to the parties' role in the contract (i.e., importing, or exporting) and to their technological sophistication and/or economic environment (i.e., coming from industrialised, or developing countries), to equate such an international commercial relationship to a domestic consumer transaction may be stretching any comparative value of such an analogy beyond its legitimate limits. In contractual relations between industrialised and developing countries, it may not always be the party from the developing country who is the weaker party.[480] Further, it is not easy to identify the interest of all developing countries unequivocally, because they do not constitute an undifferentiated mass of countries with the same economic interest.[481] Therefore, without completely discounting the generic imbalance that frequently exists between developed and developing countries, problems arising out of the unification of international sales law and affecting developing, or third world, countries cannot always be determined in advance.

A further element that discounts the value of such an analogy is the diversity exhibited in the standards of business in different parts of the world. As has been correctly remarked, this lack of uniformity in the domestic or regional standards of business around the world entails that

"a particular line of conduct, which may reasonably be expected from merchants operating in the same country or region, could hardly be imposed on a party belonging to a country with a different economic and social structure."[482]

It is arguable that though there may be some value in the comparative use of the distinction made within domestic laws between commercial and consumer transactions, in an effort to determine the precise meaning of "good faith in international trade," such an analogy has inherent limitations that should not be forgotten, or underestimated. International trade is characterised by intense competition and arm's length dealings and it is in that context that the Convention operates and must be interpreted. Observance of good faith in international trade should not be equated with the establishment of material justice between the parties. Rather, it should imply the "observance of such a conduct as is normal among [international] tradesmen."[483] It is part of the present writer's thesis that the reference in Article 7(1) to the "observance of good faith in international trade" carries only descriptive and not normative value. It is addressed to the interpretation of the CISG's provisions and seeks to describe good faith in international trade as it is used, rather than state what it should be. It is not (and cannot) be concerned with establishing a norm regarded as a standard of correctness in international trade for the reasons discussed in preceding sections of this thesis.[484]

Further indications as to the precise meaning of the third part of Article 7(1) may be found within the CISG itself. One such reference is provided by the wording of the CISG Preamble, which expressly states that

"… the development of international trade on the basis of equality and mutual benefit is an important element in promoting friendly relations among States …"

and that

"… the adoption of uniform rules which ... take into account the different social, economic and legal systems would contribute to the removal of legal barriers in international trade and promote the development of international trade …"

It is the view of the present writer that this reference reinforces the point made above. The observance of good faith in international trade is delineated by the parameters of international commercial transactions. Thus, the principle of good faith may not be applied according to the standards ordinarily adopted within the different national systems and must be construed in light of the special conditions and requirements of international trade. The reference to "equality" should not be equated with the imposition of positive duties upon the parties, as this would be incompatible with the quintessential nature of commercial transactions and the legislative history of the CISG. Rather, it implies the observance of such a conduct as is acceptable among international tradesmen contracting freely with each other.

6. REMEDIES AGAINST DIVERGENT INTERPRETATIONS

International trade law is subject to the tension between two forces - "the divisive impact of nationalism and our unwillingness to confine our activities within national borders."[485] Even if there are universal principles of right and justice, national laws responding to these principles are expressed in words and concepts that have developed from diverse human experiences and in diverse socio-legal contexts.

The CISG attempts to establish uniform international rules for the international sale of goods, in order to minimise the uncertainties and misunderstandings in commercial relationships that result from two basic problems:

(1) uncertainty over which domestic law applies in case of a dispute; and

(2) uncertainty over the proper application of a wide range of foreign legal systems by a domestic tribunal, or court.

It has been maintained throughout this thesis that the idea that the CISG's international origin and character demand that it be interpreted differently from domestic legislation is only a pre-condition for its uniform application in practice. Uniformity does not result automatically from an agreement on the wording of the uniform rules. The objectives of that agreement can be undermined by different domestic approaches to interpreting and applying the uniform international rules. For a uniform application of the CISG to be attained, it does not suffice that the CISG is considered an autonomous body of law, since it could still be interpreted in different autonomous ways in various States. If such an unfortunate scenario were to develop, uniformity would be attained only as a "very unlikely coincidence."[486] In theory there exists a wide range of remedies against such a risk,[487] but in practice it will be up to the national judges and arbitrators interpreting the CISG to attain, and then maintain, its uniform application to the highest degree possible.

There are some interpretative aids at the disposal of the interpreters of the CISG that may assist in the maintenance of its uniform application and may act as a hindrance to the development of divergent interpretations. For example, in case of ambiguities or obscurities in language, the existence of several equally authentic language versions of the Convention permits the interpreter to consult another official version of the CISG for assistance.[488] What follows is an examination of different means that can be utilised in the battle against divergent interpretations of the CISG.

(a) Jurisprudence (case law)

Arguably the most effective means of achieving uniformity in the application of the CISG consists in having regard to the way it is interpreted in other countries.[489]

The development of a body of case law based on the provisions of the CISG and the careful consideration of this jurisprudence by later courts are very important steps in the process of interpretation of the CISG. A judge, or arbitrator, faced with a particular question of interpretation of the CISG's provisions, which may have already been brought to the attention of a court in another Contracting State, should take into consideration the solutions so far elaborated in the foreign courts. Given also the lack of machinery for legislative amendment in the CISG, the importance of case law in understanding international sales law will be all the greater. Thus, it is arguable that as a matter of principle and common sense, courts should, at least, consider the jurisprudence developed by foreign courts applying the CISG.[490] The difficulty lies in the importance (e.g., binding force, or merely persuasive value) that a court should place on a decision of a foreign court and the reasoning behind that decision, and the degree to which any such precedent may be followed and adopted by other foreign courts.[491]

This approach may encounter difficulties in practice, due to the relatively small number of judicial decisions relating to the CISG and the effectiveness of the distribution of any such decisions internationally. On the first issue, it can only be hoped that, as the number of States adopting the CISG grows even further and the use of the CISG becomes even more widespread, more cases seeking solution will reach judges and arbitrators.

In 1988, UNCITRAL, in its twenty-first working session, decided to establish a procedure in which the decisions rendered in the application of the uniform law in the various Contracting States are gathered by so called "national correspondents," who then send to the UNCITRAL Secretariat the full text of the decisions in their original languages so that the Secretariat could make these decisions accessible to any interested persons.[492] The Commission also adopted a procedure for the distribution of information about the decisions, whereby the national correspondents prepare abstracts of the decisions emanating from their country, that could then be translated by the U.N. into the six official languages and published as part of the regular documentation of the Commission.[493] These abstracts are released regularly by the UNCITRAL Secretariat as part of the CLOUT system of standardised reporting of national decisions through the U.N.[494]

The Centre for Comparative and Foreign Law Studies in Rome maintains the UNILEX database.[495] UNILEX,[496] a "reasoned collection of case law and an international bibliography on the CISG",[497] presents, both on disk and on paper, features similar to those found on the internet under the foregoing site. Also, the Pace Law website, which has been utilised extensively in this thesis, offers an excellent and updated source of CISG-related information.[498] This site provides the most up-to-date bibliography on the CISG, extensive commentary on all of the CISG's articles and related materials, as well as case law from all over the world.[499]

Similar web-sites have been created in many countries,[500] based mainly at various universities.[501] In recognition of the importance of foreign decisions to the uniform interpretation of the CISG, many efforts have been made to collect, translate and provide commentary to relevant decisions.[502] The growing size of CISG scholarship has prompted Professor Honnold to conclude, at the Symposium for the ten years of the CISG, that "… this massive outpouring of writing about the Convention [is a] testimonial to the world-wide interest in international legal unification."[503]

Focusing on the substantive issue of consideration and evaluation of existing case law on the interpretation of the CISG's provisions, the basic question that needs answering regards the reaction of a judge or arbitrator, who, faced with an issue of interpretation in the CISG, discovers that divergent solutions have been adopted in regards to that same issue by different national courts. The prevailing view is that, as long as the divergences are rather isolated and rendered by lower courts, or the divergences are to be found even within one and the same jurisdiction, "it is still possible either to choose the most appropriate solution among the different ones so far proposed or to disregard them altogether and attempt to find a new solution."[504]

The treatment that the CISG will receive from common law and civil law jurisdictions alike and the resolution of conflicting the CISG precedent, are issues of catalytic importance for the emerging the CISG jurisprudence and for its role in achieving and maintaining the desired uniformity of interpretation and application of the CISG.[505]

Common law jurisdictions and international precedent

The United Kingdom applies the notion of "stare decisis" (binding precedent). Trial courts are bound by decisions of the House of Lords and the Court of Appeal, but not by their own decisions. The House of Lords usually follows its own previous decisions, although it is not bound to do so and can distinguish a previous decision it disapproves of. Traditionally, courts in the United Kingdom have given relatively little weight to the interpretation of uniform laws by courts in other adhering States,[506] while the decisions of the House of Lords, the English Court of Appeal and the Privy Council have always carried persuasive authority in Australia,[507] Canada,[508] New Zealand,[509] and Singapore[510] - especially in relation to commercial matters having an international impact, where it has been recognised that uniformity is highly desirable. At the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law, in 1986, Professor Sutton stated that although Australian courts would seek to follow "a body of case law" from civil law courts interpreting the CISG, if the decisions were in conflict, the courts would tend to follow the view prevailing in the common law English speaking jurisdictions.[511]

The use of civil law experience in dealing with uniform international rules would be further encouraged by a line of United Kingdom decisions, culminating at the House of Lords with Fothergill v. Monarch Airlines,[512] which will probably be followed in the other jurisdictions of the Commonwealth, and the U.S decision in the case of Air France v. Saks.[513]

The doctrine of stare decisis has always been part of Canadian common law as well, although provincial courts of appeal are starting to break down the tradition of being bound by their own decisions.[514] Canadian courts were expected to be receptive of case law in civil law jurisdictions. Common law jurisdictions in Canada have been introduced to the civil law by contact with the law of Quebec,[515] and the theoretical differences between common law and civil law jurisdictions concerning the binding nature of precedent seem to have little practical significance. In Quebec, "the doctrine and practice of precedent is remarkably close to that of the common law."[516]

A civil law commentator has noted that government legislation sets in place uniform law, but "[i]n reality, uniform law is not the work of governmental legislation. It is a creation of jurists, a kind of respublica jurisconsultorium communicating amongst themselves by widely diffused means of information."[517] Lord Scarman's earlier statement in the Fothergill case, that "courts … have to develop their jurisprudence in company with the courts of other countries from case to case,"[518] was imbued with the same spirit of international juridical co-operation. The words of Lord Scarman still compose the simple message that has to be heeded by common law and civil law jurists alike in order to respond successfully to the requirements of uniform law. In essence, "[u]niform law requires … a new common law" in which "[f]oreign precedents would not be precedents of a foreign law but of uniform law." [519]

Civil law jurisdictions and international precedent

In some civil law jurisdictions, court decisions have less binding effect than in common law countries, at least in theory.[520] In France, Article 5 of the Code Civil forbids courts from pronouncing for the future in a general, rule-making way. Thus, not even the Cour de Cassation can lay down precedent. The Cour de Cassation can quash lower courts' judgments in appropriate cases and, after a second reference, it can substitute its own decision if the lower court refuses to follow its direction. A stream of case law ("jurisprudence constante") has a persuasive effect, but no more than this. The French distinguish between sources of law (statute, custom) and legal authorities (case law, doctrine).

In the Netherlands, de jure Dutch law denies binding authority to court decisions. De facto the courts accept binding authority of decisions of superior courts, especially decisions of the Hoge Raad. According to Professor van der Velden, "there is no reason to expect a different attitude towards decisions of uniform law courts."[521] In the Netherlands, there have been no instances in which Dutch courts stated that they relied on foreign courts in interpreting uniform law, even in cases where it seemed that foreign decisions were applicable. Professor van der Velden has concluded that, on this point, Dutch courts could learn from recent English decisions like the Fothergill case.[522]

The utility of comparative law research in interpreting uniform laws has been widely accepted in Polish legal writing.[523] A "generally accepted" approach to foreign courts' decisions and doctrine was illustrated by a 1975 decision of the Supreme Court interpreting the Guadalajara protocol to the Warsaw Convention on Air Carriage.[524] Similarly, Bulgarian courts and the court of Arbitration for International Commerce in Sofia take account of the interpretation of international conventions in other Contracting States to clarify the provisions of the conventions and to achieve uniformity of interpretation.[525]

Even though no mention is made in Article 7 of the authority of decided cases, the exhortation in Article 7(1) to treat the CISG as an international text and to promote uniformity in its interpretation will require deference to judicial opinions from other countries. This may not quite develop as a system of precedent, in the common law sense, but as common law courts must follow the wind of change in affording consideration to foreign precedent, so must civil law courts adjust their style as well. For example, the decisions of the Cour de Cassation are noted for their extreme brevity, explainable by the fact that they are not designed to persuade, or influence. In a new and unique jurisprudential system like the CISG's, where case law will be at a premium, civil law courts have an obligation to expand their reasoning process if they are to transmit relevant persuasion to courts of other legal systems. Interpretations of an international Convention by sister signatories should be taken into account "in a comparative … manner"[526] and with the "integrative force of a judgment … based on the persuasive reasoning which the decisions of the Court bring to bear on the problem at hand."[527] A judge ought to be "obliged to search for an to take into consideration foreign judgments ... at least the judgments from other Contracting States, when he is faced with a problem of interpretation of an international convention."[528]

CISG and conflicting interpretations

The difficult questions facing national courts are whether they should defer even to earlier bad decisions of foreign courts and how to deal with precedent which is unsound. A possible dilemma to be faced is whether the cause of internationalism is more important than the suppression of bad precedent. Courts may be tempted to manipulate the line between law and fact in order to distinguish unsound decisions.

A more difficult state of affairs exists when the existing precedents consist of divergent interpretations that are part of a distinct set pattern between certain jurisdictions. In this scenario, some States favour a certain interpretation of a given provision of the CISG, whereas other States constantly adopt a different interpretation of the same provision. The predicament that arises for an interpreter of the CISG in this instance is a serious one, and its solution involves a re-evaluation of the basic principles of interpretation set out in Article 7(1). The interpretative dilemma facing the interpreter consists of, on the one hand, the doctrinal necessity of interpreting the CISG "autonomously" and, on the other hand, the realistic compromise of making a choice between the different "national" interpretations.

This not so uncommon possibility of systematical divergence reveals the complexities of the issues concerning the application of an ambitious piece of international legislation that wishes to replace all existing law in its area of application and acquire its own autonomous interpretation. Bonell [529] tries to analyse this issue by referring to a similar predicament that arose in relation to the Geneva Uniform Law on Bills of Exchange and Promissory Notes (1930). Article 31(4) of the 1930 Geneva Uniform Law gave rise to a difference of interpretation between various national jurisdictions. French and German courts applying the provision to bills of exchange drawn in their own country but payable in a foreign State, rejected the idea of an "autonomous" solution and referred to the interpretation usually given to the provision by the legal system designated according to the rules of private international law of the forum.

The decisions that relied on the application of the rules of private international law have been appropriately criticised on the ground that

"… [I]n fields where uniform laws exist, and in dealings between States which have adopted these uniform laws, there is no longer a place for the application of the conflict of laws approach ..."[530]

This criticism has been questioned itself. Bonell,[531] although recognising the necessity to interpret uniform laws "autonomously" in general, is of the opinion that an exception must be made if an insuperable divergence of interpretation of a particular provision of the CISG exists between Contracting States:

"To insist even in such an hypothesis on an 'autonomous' approach seems to be unrealistic, and in practice the result could easily be the opposite of what was desired, that is to say that courts in each country could feel free to apply their own 'national' interpretations irrespectively of the circumstances of the single case. It is much better to acknowledge that with respect to the specific issue the uniform law failed, at least for the time being, to bring about uniformity in the laws of the Contracting States, and to accept as the only possible remedy the recourse to the traditional conflict of laws approach. After all, by applying the interpretation prevailing within the State the law of which would govern the transaction in the absence of the uniform law, it may be hoped that the solution will be the same irrespective of the forum chosen by the parties."[532]

Bonell's alternative should be read with caution because it puts the rules of private international law back into the domain that the CISG is trying to cover.

It is the present writer's opinion that resorting to private international law, either directly (i.e., Article 7(2)), or indirectly (i.e., Bonell's alternative on divergent interpretations), should be avoided by anyone who believes that uniformity is a goal that is worth pursuing seriously. Should the resort to private international law receive further support and legitimacy, it is doubtful whether any domestic tribunal will approach the CISG in the "a-national" frame of mind that it commands. In any case, the analogy used by Professor Bonell between the CISG and the Geneva Uniform Law (1930) may not be entirely appropriate, since the latter - unlike the former - governs not only international transactions, but domestic ones as well. Conflicting interpretations under Conventions like the Geneva Uniform Law, pose greater difficulties than divergent interpretations of the CISG, which is confined to international transactions.

The belief that careful consideration of foreign experience may be helpful has become widely diffused, not only in legal writings,[533] but also in judicial practice. There is an increasing number of references made by judges from one country to decisions of municipal courts of another Contracting State, with a view to avoiding "judicial diversification of uniform private law."[534] Even in England, there is a tendency to adapt traditional rules of construction of statutes to meet the particular ends of uniform law.[535]

Having examined the attitudes of different legal systems to foreign precedent and having noted the modern trends in that area, we must address another real problem that affects a municipal judge's efforts to cope with foreign decisions. The issue at hand is not one of access to foreign decisions - because UNCITRAL has taken many steps to ameliorate any practical difficulties relating to access, including the establishment of CLOUT, whereby the original texts of decisions and other materials may be obtained from the UNCITRAL Secretariat on payment of the cost of copying and mailing.[536] Of more concern is the issue of the ability of law students, practitioners and judges to understand foreign decisions. The unwillingness of some judges to consider foreign jurisprudence is often due to mistrust and an uneasy awareness of their lack of familiarity with foreign systems of law.[537]

It has long been suggested that the common preference of judges for the law of their own country - a phenomenon known as "chauvinisme judiciaire"[538] - might be explained by a sincere recognition of their not having been trained to cope with foreign law.[539] The risk with respect to foreign decisions in the field of uniform law is that judges may find it easier to follow the interpretation of a uniform international law provision given by the courts of their own State, than that prevailing in another Contracting State.[540] Law schools should take on the task of education in this area. The difficulties associated with understanding foreign jurisprudence should not be exclusively attributable on actual differences between the rules of substantive law because there are not that many. Rather, it is mainly the different classifications and general notions of each legal system that make it unique. Universities should educate students to deal with foreign legal concepts and classifications, stressing more the operative side of these, rather than dramatising differences by expressing foreign legal rules through rigid conceptual tools.[541] As the modern lawyer needs to understand and deal with foreign precedent, the modern student (who may be the future judge) needs to be educated with an international perspective. Only then may judges be able to exorcise their suspicion of foreign decisions, which at times is quite outspoken and fallacious. One such instance of a judgment riddled with suspicion towards foreign case law was provided by Lord Diplock in the Fothergill case.[542] This example is indicative of the problem discussed above, not so much because of the stress Lord Diplock laid on the caution to be used when dealing with a foreign judgment, but because of his rather approximate representation of the French legal system.[543]

(b) Doctrine (scholarly writings; commentaries)

Another "antidote"[544] to the danger of divergent interpretations of the CISG is the use of "doctrine", academic writings. The bibliography concerning the literature on the CISG is voluminous.[545] The value of scholarly writings and international commentaries in the promotion of an autonomous, international interpretation of the CISG and its uniform application cannot be overlooked.[546]

The role played by doctrine in the interpretation of legislation varies in different legal systems. In civil law countries, recourse to doctrine as an instrument of interpretation for domestic and foreign law has never been doubted.[547] On the other hand, common law jurisdictions have traditionally given little effect to scholarly writings. But even in common law countries, such as England and America, where judges traditionally have been reluctant to have recourse to scholarly writing, the need for uniformity in interpreting international Conventions has led to a more liberal approach and the use of doctrine has become increasingly common.[548] In the United States, academic writing is cited freely in judicial opinions, while there was similar reliance in England, in Fothergill v. Monarch Airlines Ltd.[549] In that case, at the House of Lords, the issue was an article of the Warsaw Convention on Carriage by Air. Several foreign precedents were quoted, but their example was dismissed and it was stressed that caution to be used when dealing with foreign judgment.[550] The result, which might seem paradoxical for a common law system, was that more weight was attached to foreign literature than to its case law.[551]

The sharpest divergence from traditional common law practice is reported in Canada, where courts long ago shed reluctance to use scholarly writing and regularly cite textbooks, law reviews and other scholarly literature. This development is explained "by the wide geographical dispersal of Canadian courts, a less cohesive bar, less specialisation among judges and the greater influence exercised by Canadian law schools."[552] It is interesting to note that some of the factors responsible for the Canadian development could also be true, structurally at least, in the context of the CISG and its application world-wide.

It is the view of the present writer that in considering the interpretation given to the CISG by foreign courts, all national courts should consider the doctrinal writings that influenced such interpretation in those foreign courts. This practice gains its legitimacy by the recognition of the vital role that doctrine can have in avoiding interpretative diversity in the CISG. This is achieved by the introduction, through the use of doctrine, of international, rather than domestic lenses to view the CISG.

(c) Travaux préparatoires (legislative history)

Another useful guide for resolving doubts about the exact meaning, scope and effect of the CISG's provisions is the legislative history of the CISG. The study of the travaux préparatoires - which include not only the acts and proceedings of the Vienna Conference, but also the summary records of the previous deliberations within UNCITRAL. The use of such material is generally advocated by most commentators.[553] The relationship between the old and the new law can often be found in the "travaux préparatoires". The same commentators have, however, also stressed that the value of the legislative history should not be overestimated.[554] There are a few reasons for this caution.

First, it should not be forgotten that the CISG, once adopted by the Contracting States, "has a life of its own"[555] and its meaning can change with time and use. It becomes apparent that the original intention of the drafters, documented in the travaux préparatoires, is only one of the elements to be taken into account for the purpose of the CISG's current interpretation.

It should also be borne in mind that not all countries' rules on the interpretation of treaties are the same. In civil law countries, courts often resolve legislative problems of interpretation by referring to the legislative history of the particular legislation.[556] In contrast, courts in common law countries such as England, traditionally, have not accepted the legitimacy of legislative history so readily, sticking to narrow traditions of literal interpretation.[557] More recently, however, the use of travaux préparatoires has been permitted in certain cases.[558] This is a welcome development because an international uniform law, being the product of an international uniformity process, may not be treated just like any other domestic law enacted by an adopting State. In Fothergill v. Monarch Airlines, the House of Lords first recognised that restrictive canons of statutory interpretation ought not to be brought to bear upon an international uniform text. In Fothergill, the House of Lords was unanimous in holding that the legislative history of the Warsaw Convention should be examined for assistance in interpreting the word "avarie" (or "damage").[559]

Another reason for a cautious treatment of the legislative history of the CISG is that the travaux préparatoires sometimes reveal a difference of opinion among the drafters themselves. Also, even when the arguments put forward in favour of the adoption of a given provision were not controversial, they are not always, or necessarily, decisive for the final product. In other instances, the difference in opinion documented is of a political rather than legal nature. It should always be kept in mind that the provisions of the CISG were adopted in a diplomatic conference.

(d) Other Proposals

(i) International Tribunal

Other proposed methods to counter divergence in the interpretation of the CISG and to ensure that any tendencies towards divergence shall be corrected, include the establishment of an international tribunal with ultimate jurisdiction - similar to the International Court of Justice - to make preliminary rulings on questions arising out of the interpretation of the provisions of the Convention.[560] In one version of such a possible arrangement, it has been suggested that during the sittings of the international tribunal, national courts be required to suspend their decisions until after the judgement of this tribunal and then decide in accordance with that judgement.[561] A similar procedure already exists within the framework of the European Community. Under that scheme, the European Court of Justice has been given the competence to act at the request of national courts of the European Member States on questions relating to the interpretation of European Community Law[562] and other international Conventions concluded between the Member States,[563] and to deliver binding decisions on such questions.

The main hindrance to the conception of a similar solution with respect to the CISG has to do with the special nature and origins of the Convention itself. The theoretical and practical difficulties that arise in a discussion of the establishment of a world court to deal with matters of the CISG can be attributed to the following factors:

(a) Geographical distance between the Contracting States. Like other international Conventions elaborated under the auspices of the United Nations, the CISG is not restricted to a particular regional area, but is intended to receive world-wide acceptance. This factor can create problems regarding the choice for the tribunal's sittings, a decision that can have a negative psychological impact on certain geographically remote Contracting States, as well as being excessively time consuming and financially taxing.

(b) Social, political, economical, legal and cultural difference among the Contracting States. It has been observed that to expect all Contracting States - incorporating a huge cultural diversity of social, political, economical and legal structures - to agree on conferring upon an international tribunal the exclusive competence to resolve divergences between the national jurisdiction on the interpretation of the uniform international trade law, would be "entirely unrealistic."[564]

(c) Diversity of commercial disputes resolution. Since disputes arising in connection with international sale contracts are frequently referred to arbitration for settlement, there exists the problem of ensuring that private arbitrators, when faced with a question of the CISG's interpretation, would submit the case to such a hypothetical international tribunal.

(d) Financial-logistical support for such an expensive operation. The creation of such a hypothetical international tribunal and the establishment of the necessary supporting infrastructure (human and financial resources) require complex and expensive arrangements within UNCITRAL, as well as high costs to litigants in money and delay. Although the model of an International Court of Justice has worked with issues of public international law, it is extremely unlikely that it could also work with private international law themes, such as the CISG, for the reasons highlighted above.

(ii) Advisory Body

A modified and less ambitious proposal is to entrust an international organ,

"…whether a court or a particularly qualified international organisation, with the limited task of rendering advisory opinions concerning the proper interpretation to be given to the Convention."[565]
One innovation contained in this proposal, when compared to the previous one, is that while it is up to the judge, the arbitrator, or the parties themselves to instigate the proceedings in the international tribunal, this organ's consultative role would not be limited to disputes that have already arisen.

Under the second proposal, the tribunal would also operate in a general and abstract context. For instance, national authorities, desiring to ensure a correct application of the CISG within their State, could request from the tribunal clarification on a particular CISG provision.[566] Precedents for such a procedure exist and at the eighteenth session of UNCITRAL, the Secretariat submitted a note discussing the possibility of establishing a similar procedure for current UNCITRAL legal texts.[567]

The number of objections that can be raised even against such a proposal is, however high, and the substance of these objections still serious.[568] These objections regard:

(a) The proper authorization of the tribunal. The biggest problem relates to the proper source of authorisation for UNCITRAL to give its opinion on an instrument which has been adopted in final form not by the Commission itself, but by a diplomatic conference to which all Member States of the United Nations have been invited.

(b) The structural organisation of such a body. There are many questions as to whether the decisions would be rendered by UNCITRAL as a whole at its annual sessions, or whether a permanent committee, composed of a restricted number of UNCITRAL members, should be set up for this purpose.

(c) The legitimacy of the body's consultative function. The main issue here is whether it would be appropriate to entrust an organ composed of representatives of States with such an important and politically controversial task. In comparison with the prior proposal involving an international tribunal, the Advisory Body option seems more feasible. It is arguable that a similar proposal for the establishment of an Advisory Body or Council could materialise as a result of a private initiative. For instance, such a Body could be composed of international participants or members who are not political representatives of - and have no mandate from - national governments; a kind of "scientific" representatives of legal cultures with comparative law sensibility. Their task would be to confer interpretative opinions or commentary on the application and interpretation of the CISG. Although the degree of authority that different national courts or tribunals would attach to interpretative opinions of such a Body remains anybody's guess, one hopes that such an initiative can establish the requisite parameters for the CISG's healthy and uniform development.

7. CONCLUSIONS

The legislative history of Article 7(1) was examined in this chapter. It provided an insightful look at the provision's drafting and revealed some of the compromises made in producing its text. The creation and adoption of the CISG are only the preliminary steps towards uniformity in international sales law. It is the interpretation - and the uniform application - of the uniform law that will complete the process. It is at these latter stages that the success, or failure, of the unifying effort can be judged. This chapter analysed the main issues that arise in relation to Article 7(1) - the CISG's international character, the need to promote uniformity in the CISG's application and the observance of good faith in international trade - in order to help understand the structure, scope and function of the article.

The present writer also argued that an autonomous interpretation of the CISG is not simply a consequence of the international characterisation of the CISG but that it is also necessary for uniformity in the CISG's application to be achieved. This is because the elements of "internationality" and "uniformity" are not only inter-related, but inter-dependent as well. It was further argued that, in interpreting the CISG, the rules and techniques traditionally followed in interpreting ordinary domestic legislation should be avoided and that Article 7 represents an implied provision in the body of the law for the undertaking of a liberal approach to the Convention's interpretation.

The ultimate aim of the CISG - to achieve the broadest degree of uniformity in the law for international sale transactions - cannot be achieved properly if national principles or concepts - taken from the law of the forum, or from the law which in the absence of the Convention would have been applicable according to the rules of private international law - are used in the interpretation of the CISG. The "nationalisation" of the uniform rules would deprive the instrument of its unifying effect.

The concept of good faith and its scope and function in different legal systems was discussed in the previous chapter. Some issues concerning the final inclusion of the principle of good faith in the CISG were explored in this chapter, in order to determine the nature, scope and meaning of the concept in the application and interpretation of the CISG. Whether to endorse the literal meaning of the provision and conclude that the principle of good faith is vague and nothing more than a tool of interpretation, or to adopt a broader interpretation of good faith, stating that the duty to observe good faith is also directed to the conduct of the parties - was examined. The present writer argued that the broad, liberal approach is preferable, with the important qualification that the principle should not be stretched to impose on the parties additional obligations of a positive character.

Different interpretative aids - ranging from the use of case law, travaux préparatoires and doctrine, to the establishment of institutional structures - that may assist in the maintenance of the uniform application of the CISG and act as a hindrance to the development of divergent interpretations were also discussed in this chapter.

It was argued that as a matter of principle, common sense and effectiveness, courts should at least consider the jurisprudence developed by foreign courts applying the CISG. Such deference would require certain concessions to be made in legal techique and attitude by both common and civil law jurisdictions and the establishment of a relaxed system of precedent, whereas resorting to private international law should be avoided. Recent developments in the case law have provided some optimism that the activity around the CISG is focused towards the right direction.


CHAPTER 4: ARTICLE 7(2) OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON CONTRACTS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL SALE OF GOODS 1980

1. Introduction
2. Legislative History of Article 7(2) CISG
3. Article 7(2) CISG and GAP-Filling Methodology

(a) Gaps "praeter legem"
(b) Gap-filling methodology
(c) Article 7(2) CISG and gap-filling
4. Gap-filling by Analogy
5. "General Principles" and CISG
(a) Principles in CISG's provisions
(b) Principles of comparative law on which CISG is based
6. The UNIDROIT Principles and CISG
(a) The UNIDROIT Principles - an introduction
(b) Clarifying CISG language
(c) Filling gaps praeter legem in CISG
(d) Working with CISG in an expanded role
7. The Rules of Private International Law
8. A Gap-filling Exercise
(a) Article 16 CISG
(b) Identifying the gap in Article 16 CISG
     (i) Examination of the legislative history of the provision
     (ii) Examination of similar cases regulated by CISG provisions
     (iii) Examination of the principles that underlie CISG
(c) Application of the gap-filling analysis to Article 16 CISG
9. Conclusions

ARTICLE 7(2) OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON
CONTRACTS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL SALE OF GOODS 1980

1. INTRODUCTION

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.[569]

The CISG represents an attempt to provide a uniform body of law applicable to international sale transactions. It does not constitute an exhaustive body of rules, however, and thus does not provide solutions for all the problems that can originate from an international sale transaction. Indeed, the issues governed by the 1980 Uniform Sales Law are limited to the formation of the contract and the rights and obligations of the parties resulting from such a contract.[570] This limitation gives rise to problems relating to the necessity of filling gaps that exist in any type of incomplete body of rules.[571] It is to comply with such necessity that Article 7(2), designating the rules for filling any gaps in the CISG, was drafted. The justification for such a provision lies in the fact that "it is hardly possible for an international group to draft a voluminous and complicated piece of legislation without leaving gaps behind,"[572] especially in the field of contract, as contracts have infinite variety. The aim of this provision is not very different from that which the interpretation rules found in Article 7(1) are pursuing, i.e., uniformity in the CISG's interpretation and application.

Article 7(2) and gap-filling are directly connected to Article 7(1) and interpretation, not only due to the proximity of their location in the text but, more importantly, because of their substantive relationship with each other.[573] Gaps in the law constitute a danger to the uniformity and autonomy of the CISG's interpretation, because "one way to follow the homeward trend is to find gaps in the law."[574] Further, interpretation must be the means whereby gaps in the CISG are filled, because when a gap praeter legem is detected the problem arising thereby should be solved by way of interpretation of the CISG. In accordance with the basic criteria established in Article 7(1) and discussed in the previous chapter of the current work, uniformity in the CISG's application is the ultimate goal. It follows that for the interpretation of the CISG in general - not only in the case of ambiguities or obscurities in the text, but also in the case of gaps praeter legem - "courts should to the largest possible extent refrain from resorting to the different domestic laws and try to find a solution within the Convention itself."[575]

The relevant textual reference in Article 7(2) leaves the CISG prone to divergent gap-filling (i.e., in conformity with the relevant law applicable according to the rules of private international law). This thesis argues that the use of the rules of private international law to resolve questions concerning matters governed but unresolved by the CISG will harm the Convention's uniform application by producing divergent results. An alternative approach to gap-filling - one based on the concept of internationality and on generally acknowledged principles upon which the CISG is based - would serve and promote the purpose of the new law (i.e., uniformity in its application) rather than hinder it.

This chapter examines the functional elements of Article 7(2). This is done by tracing the legislative background and the drafting compromises that led to the wording of the provision, in order to reveal the true character of the provision. Its potential to undertake a dominant and expanded role in the interpretation of the CISG as a uniform international code is noted and supported through a discussion of gap-filling methodology. It will be argued in this chapter that this gap-filling provision of the CISG not only has a vital role in promoting the uniformity and internationality of the CISG, but also that it contains a potential threat to uniformity, in its reference to the use of private international law rules. It is part of the present writer's thesis that this reference in Article 7(2) - which was the result of another diplomatic drafting compromise between delegates at the Vienna Conference - should remain a dead letter, or that it should only be used with full concept of the diversity that it will produce.

Resorting to the rules of private international law would not only represent regression into the uncertainty of choice of law rules and the escalation of transactional costs for litigants, but it would also endanger the CISG's success by undermining the uniformity of its application. Article 7(2) clearly directs the use of the rules of private international law in the absence of any general principles. The present writer notes that any court or tribunal entrusted with the interpretation of the CISG should be acutely aware of the adverse consequences that the use of private international rules entails. The healthy development of the CISG will depend, to a large extent, on the enthusiasm that the goal of uniformity can inspire in every judge or arbiter applying the Convention. Such enthusiasm, or the lack of it, will be reflected in the vigor with which each court or tribunal searches for general principles on which the Convention is based, or in the ease with which the court turns to rules of private international for gaps praeter legem. It is part of the present writer's thesis that in filling any gaps concerning matters governed by the CISG, the elusive goal of uniformity is promoted through the use of general principles; whereas resorting to the rules of private international law detracts from that goal.

2. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF ARTICLE 7(2) CISG

As has been discussed in the previous chapter of this work,[576] the ULIS, predecessor to the CISG, contained two provisions addressed to the problem of its interpretation. The first provision stated:

"Rules of private international law shall be excluded for the purpose of the application of the present Law, subject to any provision to the contrary in the said Law."[577]
The second provision made a special reference to the problem of gap-filling:

"Questions concerning matters governed by this Law which are not expressly settled in it are to be settled in conformity with the general principles on which the present Law is based."[578]

When these two provisions are read together, one realises the strong indication that ULIS was "intended to constitute a self-contained law of sales, to be construed and applied autonomously, i.e., without any reference to or interference from the different national laws."[579] This approach of independence and self-sufficiency strengthens the position of the uniform law as an international instrument that should be interpreted and applied in a uniform manner. As has been correctly pointed out,

"… if courts were permitted to turn to their domestic law, this would preclude the application of the uniform law in many cases that the drafters and the parties themselves had wanted to be covered by the uniform law."[580]

A further argument in favor of a gap-filling provision excluding the use of the rules of private international law (i.e., in terms similar to those in Article 17 ULIS), is that reversion to national laws would involve

"a great amount of uncertainty because the relevant rules of private international law for the determination of which national law should be applied in each case are neither clear nor uniform."[581]

It was, however, strongly argued, in UNCITRAL, that the uniform law could not be considered as totally separated from the various national laws - as the uniform law did not deal with a number of important questions related to contracts of sale - and that it would be unrealistic and impractical to construe many undefined terms contained in the CISG without having recourse to national law.[582]

At the first session of the Working Group, in 1970, several proposals were submitted for the revision of Article 17 of the ULIS.[583] One of the suggestions put forward was the deletion of the provision in its entirety, or the modification so that it stated expressly that "private international law shall apply to questions governed but not settled by ULIS." None of the proposed suggestions was supported by a majority of the Working Group.[584] At the request of the Commission, which at its third session, in 1970, was equally unable to reach an agreement,[585] the Working Group discussed the matter again at its second session, in 1971, and on that occasion it decided to recommend the adoption of the following new version of Article 17:

"In interpreting and applying the provisions of this Law, regard shall be had to its international character and to the need to promote uniformity in its interpretation and application."

The report of the Working Group stated that the proposed revision would clearly express two considerations not mentioned in the original Article 17:

(i) the international character of the law, and
(ii) the need for its uniform interpretation and application.

It was added, by the Working Group, that the omission of the reference to "the general principles on which the present Law is based" from the original text was due to the fact that such a reference was considered to be too vague.[586] Article 7(1) CISG was slowly taking shape during this process of revising Article 17 of the ULIS, while the reference to the "general principles" of the uniform law was to find a way back into the CISG in what, eventually, was to become Article 7(2) of the CISG.

At its fourth session, in 1971, the Commission approved the new provision as proposed by the Working Group. At the same time it was suggested that the provision be supplemented by an additional paragraph dealing with gaps in the uniform law. Opinions were equally divided between those who insisted on a "general principles" solution along the lines of Article 17 of the ULIS and those who, on the contrary, favored the approach according to which possible gaps in the uniform law should be filled in by the domestic law indicated by the rules of private international law. The Commission decided not to take any final decision on this matter and to refer it to the Working Group for its consideration at an appropriate time.[587] At subsequent sessions devoted to the revision of the ULIS, the Working Group did not discuss the matter further. Subsequent sessions dealt with the revision of the Uniform Law on Formation of Contracts and with the eventual insertion of the notion of "good faith in international trade" in what was, by now, Article 6 of the new consolidated UNCITRAL Draft Convention:

"In the interpretation and application of this Convention regard is to be had to its international character and to the need to promote uniformity and the observance of good faith in international trade."[588]

During the discussion of Article 6 of the UNCITRAL Draft Convention that took place at the Vienna Conference, there were two types of amendments submitted. The first type was of a drafting nature and led to some changes in the wording of the article that today is known as Article 7(1) of the CISG. The second type of amendment was of a substantive nature and greater importance, since it led to the addition of a new paragraph to the provision dealing with gap-filling in the CISG.

The substantive amendments proposed for the gap-filling mechanism of the CISG can be divided into two different groups. In the first group belong amendments which proposed that gaps in the CISG should be filled according to a certain set of legal rules already in existence. Examples of this type are provided by Bulgaria's proposal that gaps should always be filled in conformity with "the law of the seller's place of business"[589] and by Czechoslovakia's proposal that "the law applicable by nature of the rules of private international law"[590] should determine unsettled matters. There was, however, also a different type of solution offered, one that called for the utilisation of the "general principles" of the Convention as a primary mode of filling any gaps in the CISG. Such was the amendment proposed by Italy, which read as follows:

"Questions concerning matters governed by this Convention which are not expressly settled therein shall be settled in conformity with the general principles on which this Convention is based or, in the absence of such principles, by taking account of the national law of each of the parties."[591]

For a variety of reasons, none of the proposed amendments gained sufficient support. Bulgaria's proposal was resisted on the basis that it was biased in favor of the seller too much, because

"… even if one intended to accept its underlying idea according to which gaps in the Convention should always be filled on the basis of domestic law, it was not advisable to refer in every single case for this purpose to the law of the seller's place of business."[592]

The Italian amendment failed to convince the delegates because its reference to "the national law of each of the parties" was thought to be unclear and unable to cope with a situation where the national laws of the parties provided irreconcilable solutions on a particular issue of dispute.[593]

The solution was in the form of a compromise, by combining the two groups of amendments. The first part of the Italian proposal was kept, but its troublesome last part was replaced with the Czechoslovakian proposal. The resulting paragraph was added as a second paragraph to Article 6 of the UNCITRAL Draft Convention - thus creating what is now Article 7(2):

"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."

Although some delegations opposed the addition of this new paragraph to the uniform law and maintained their preference for the original text of Article 6 of the UNCITRAL Draft Convention, the compromise proposal was adopted on a count of 17 votes, in favour, to 14 votes, against, with 11 abstentions.[594]

The compromise that is Article 7 makes clear the following:

(i) for the purposes of interpretation of the Convention in general, "regard is to be had to its international character and the need for uniformity in its application;"[595]
(ii) questions arising in connection with an international contract of sale and falling within the scope of the CISG, but not specifically regulated by any of its provisions, are to be filled, where possible, by applying the "general principles on which it is based;"[596]
(iii) only in the absence of such "general principles" is recourse to be had to solutions provided by the domestic law applicable by virtue of the rules of private international law.[597]

It is evident from the above observations that courts, or other tribunals, interpreting the CISG should, to the "largest possible extent,"[598] refrain from resorting to domestic laws and try to find a solution within the CISG itself.

Although Article 7(2) represents a drafting compromise, it is a compromise more favourable to the supporters of Article 17 ULIS, than to its opponents. As noted earlier, the CISG represents an attempt to codify the law on international sale of goods contracts and it was intended to replace existing domestic statutes and case law. It was not meant to be complementary to national laws; rather, it was intended to be an exhaustive regulation.[599] If the compromise struck to draft Article 7(2) had instead favored the approach proposed by the opponents of Article 17 ULIS, effectively making recourse to domestic law more readily available, the CISG's goal of uniformity would have been severely undermined.[600] Under different domestic laws, deemed to apply according to the rules of private international law, the parties to a contract would have been faced with the uncertainty that accompanies such a determination.[601]

In the manner that Article 7(2) is drafted, the risk of diversity in the Convention's gap-filling from one jurisdiction to another is minimised, since recourse to domestic laws is to be had only when it is not possible to fill a gap by applying the general principles on which the Convention is based. In the opinion of the present writer, when dealing with a matter governed by the CISG, it should be a rare, or non-existent, case where there are no relevant general principles to which a court might have recourse under Art. 7(2). In this chapter, the present writer will argue for an expanded definition of "the general principles" on which the CISG is based. In applicable instances, this includes the UNIDROIT Principles, which because of their general character may be, in suitable cases, should be applied on a much wider scale, so that there will be less of a need to have recourse to conflict of laws rules.

3. ARTICLE 7(2) CISG AND GAP-FILLING METHODOLOGY

(a) Gaps "praeter legem"

Before the gap-filling rule in Article 7(2) can be put into operation, the matters to which the rule applies must first be identified.

The starting point of the gap-filling analysis is the observation that the gaps [602] to which the rule refers, are not gaps "intra legem" (i.e., matters that are excluded from the scope or the application of the Convention - such as the matters discussed in CISG Articles 2,[603] 3,[604] 4 [605] and 5 [606]); they must be gaps "praeter legem"[607] (i.e., matters that are governed but are not expressly resolved by the CISG). Professor Bonell has noted that the "first condition" for the existence of a gap, in the sense of Article 7(2), is that the issue concerns matters "governed by the Convention," and that issues which are not within the scope of the Convention "have been deliberately left to the competence of the non-unified national laws."[608] It has also been correctly stated that the absence of a uniform law provision dealing with such issues cannot be regarded as a gap, "but is a logical consequence of that preliminary decision"[609] to be left outside the scope of the CISG's domain.

(b) Gap-filling methodology

In general gap-filling methodology, three different approaches exist to fill gaps praeter legem.

The first approach is based on the application of the general principles of the CISG and is known as the "true Code approach."[610] According to the "true Code approach," a court, when faced with a gap in a Code, should only look at the Code itself, including the purposes of the Code and the policies underlying the Code, but no further. It follows that, for the solution of questions governed by a Code, the answer can be found within the framework of that Code. The justification of this approach lies in the belief that a "true Code" is comprehensive and, as such, "… it is sufficiently inclusive and independent to enable it to be administered in accordance with its own basic policies."[611] In effect, the Code is approached as a source of law itself.

The second approach relies on the use of external legal principles to fill gaps found in the Code and is known as the "meta-Code approach."[612] This approach is based on the idea that external legal principles should supplement the provisions of a Code, unless this is expressly disallowed by that Code.[613]

The third approach to gap-filling is a combination of the foregoing approaches.[614] According to this approach, one is supposed to first apply the general principles of the CISG. In the absence of any such principles, however, one should resort to the rules of private international law.

The drafters of the 1964 Hague Conventions chose the first approach.[615] Therefore, Article 2 ULIS "excludes the application of rules of private international law, except in a few instances"[616] and Article 17 ULIS provides that the general principles underlying the 1964 Uniform Law are to be used to fill any gaps. It has been correctly concluded that "[t]his has the intended negative implication that courts may not refer to the domestic law of the country whose law would otherwise apply under the rules of private international law."[617]

ULIS's pursuit of absolute independence from domestic law failed the test of acceptance. The solution adopted in ULIS has been criticised and has been considered by some commentators as one of the reasons for its failure to win wide acceptance.[618]

However, a solution different from the one that had been adopted in ULIS was endorsed for the Vienna Convention. It is an approach that combines recourse to general principles with an eventual recourse to the rules of private international law. When a matter is governed by the CISG but is not expressly settled in it, Article 7(2) offers a solution by: (i) internal analogy, where the CISG's other provisions contain an applicable general principle; or (ii) reference to external legal principles (the rules of private international law) when the CISG does not contain an applicable general principle.[619]

Having recourse to general principles in filling gaps constitutes a method well-known in civil law systems. It has been observed that the approach endorsed for the settlement of questions in conformity with the general principles of the Convention, in Article 7(2), "reflects the approach established for civil law codes."[620] Bonell sheds some more light into the nature of this approach when he notes that even

"in countries such as France or the Federal Republic of Germany, where the approach is not formally imposed by statute, it is taken for granted that a Code or any other legislation of a more general character must be considered as more that the mere sum of its individual provisions. In fact, it must be interpreted and, if necessary, supplemented on the basis of the general principles which underlie its specific provisions."[621]

Although the notion of general principles also exists in common law, it is quite different from that in civil law since it derives from different sources[622] and has a different function. Commenting on the origin and function of general principles, Bonell has stated that, in common law,

"statutory law is seen as only fixing rules for defined situations, not as a possible source of general principles. As such, not only are the statutes traditionally interpreted in a very strict sense, but if there is no provision specifically regulating the case at hand, the gap will immediately be filled by principles and rules of the judge-made law."[623]

(c) Article 7(2) CISG and gap-filling

The approach to gap-filling adopted in Article 7(2) is influenced by similar solutions to gap-filling that can be found in the codes of continental Europe.[624] Any gaps must be filled, whenever possible, within the Convention itself; a solution that complies with the aim of Article 7(1), i.e., the promotion of the Convention's uniform application.[625] As has been noted above, there are various types of logical reasoning that can be employed in order to find a solution to a gap within the CISG itself, and recourse to the CISG's general principles constitutes only one method of gap-filling. This observation leads to a further interpretation issue, the interpretation of Article 7(2) itself. One must determine whether Article 7(2) should be interpreted broadly, i.e., whether it includes other methods of legal reasoning as well, such as analogical application,[626] or whether it is to be interpreted restrictively.

It is the view of the present writer that Article 7(2) must be interpreted broadly and that there are two complementary methods of gap-filling allowed under this provision (with a fine distinction within the latter method - between principles extrapolated from within specific CISG provisions and general principles of international commercial law on which the CISG as a whole is founded [627] - to be expounded later): (a) an analogical application of specific provisions of the CISG; and (b) a consideration of the general principles underlying the CISG as a whole, when the gap can not be filled by analogical application of specific provisions.

The difference between the two gap-filling methods is explained well by Professor Bonell, as follows:

"Recourse to 'general principles' as a means of gap-filling differs from reasoning by analogy insofar as it constitutes an attempt to find a solution for the case at hand not by mere extension of specific provisions dealing with analogous cases, but on the basis of principles and rules which because of their general character may be applied on a much wider scale."[628]

Analogical application has also been accepted as a method of gap-filling by many other scholars in this area. An explanation of this method is provided by Enderlein and Maskow, who, in endorsing a broad interpretation of Article 7(2), state that

"gap-filling can be done, as we believe, by applying such interpretation methods as extensive interpretation and analogy. The admissibility of analogy is directly addressed in the wording contained in the CISG because it is aimed at obtaining, from several comparable rules, one rule for a not expressly covered fact and/or a general rule under which the fact can be subsumed."[629]

There is strong academic opinion in favor of the view that not only does the CISG permit both methods of gap-filling, but also that, in the case of a gap in the CISG, "the first attempt to be made is to settle the unsolved question by means of an analogical application of specific provisions."[630]

4. GAP-FILLING BY ANALOGY

One of the elements necessary for gap-filling by analogy is the discovery of a specific provision dealing with similar issues to the ones present in the gap. The method of analogical application requires examination of the provisions of the CISG, because the rule laid down in an analogous provision may be restricted to its particular context and, thus, its extension to other situations would be arbitrary and contrary to the intention of the drafters or the purpose of the rule itself.[631] Where there are no special reasons for limiting the analogical application of a specific rule to another CISG provision, the interpreter must consider whether the case regulated by this rule and the gap at hand are "so analogous 'that it would be inherently unjust not to adopt the same solution' ..."[632] If the answer to this question is affirmative, then the gap should be filled by an application of that rule by analogy.

There is some diversity in academic opinion on the exact test to be applied in such cases. Ferrari uses a criterion similar to that offered by Bonell, stating that when the matters expressly settled in the Convention and the matters in question are so closely related that it would be "unjustified to adopt a different solution,"[633] one can fill the gap by analogy. Honnold offers a different test, placing the focus of the inquiry on whether the cases were so analogous that the drafters "would not have deliberately chosen discordant results". Only in such circumstances, according to Honnold, it would be reasonable to conclude that the rule embracing the analogous situation is authorised by Article 7(2) CISG.[634]

It is important to note that gap-filling by analogy is concerned with the application of certain rules, or solutions, taken from specific CISG provisions to be applied in analogous cases in order to resolve legislative gaps. This method should not be confused with the application of general principles that are expressed in the CISG, or upon which the CISG is founded. It is the present writer's contention that gap-filling by analogy is primary gap-filling. Only when no analogous solutions can be found in the CISG's provisions should the interpreter resort to the application of the CISG's general principles - internal and external - which is secondary gap-filling. This is a fine, but clear, distinction. It deserves to be maintained, although there may ultimately not be a lot of practical importance attached to maintaining it, due to the tendency of commentators to blur the distinction by focusing on the use of general principles in gap-filling and the potential of general principles to dominate the CISG's gap-filling function. However, the value of recognising its existence lies in the theoretical clarity and legitimacy that it adds to the consistent and systematic examination of the interpretative structure embedded in the CISG.

5. "GENERAL PRINCIPLES" AND CISG

When the solution to a gap-filling problem cannot be achieved by analogical application of a rule found in a specific CISG provision, gap-filling can be performed by the application of the "general principles" on which the CISG is based.[635] This procedure differs from the analogical application method,[636] in that it does not solve the case in question solely by extending specific provisions dealing with analogous cases, but on the basis of rules which may be applied on a much wider scale, due to their general character. At this point it is appropriate to note another fine - but valid, distinction in the types of general principles that concern the CISG and its interpretation. The distinction must be drawn between principles extrapolated from within specific CISG provisions and general principles of comparative law - namely, those rules of private law that command broad adherence throughout various countries, or general principles of law of civilised nations - on which the CISG is generally based. This distinction is important in the present writer's thesis on the methodology of the CISG's interpretation, in that it will assist in the reduction of the need to resort to rules of private international law for gap-filling and thus maintain the integrity of the CISG's uniform and international application and interpretation.

(a) Principles in CISG's provisions

Despite the clear provision for the use of the CISG principles in gap-filling by Article 7(2), there is no other textual reference as to the identification of such principles and the manner of their application, once identified, in order to fill a gap in the CISG. While some principles will be expressly stated in the CISG,[637] most of them will usually be extracted from provisions dealing with specific issues. General principles that are capable of being applied to matters governed by, but not expressly regulated by the CISG, may be inferred from specific rules established by specific CISG provisions.[638]

Some general principles can be easily identified since they are expressly stated in the provisions of the CISG itself. One such principle is the principle of good faith,[639] which had already been considered a general principle under the regime of ULIS.[640]

The principle of autonomy [641] is another general principle expressly outlined in the CISG. Party autonomy has been described as the most important principle of the CISG.[642] Some commentators have inferred from this principle that the CISG plays solely a subsidiary role as it provides only for those cases which the parties neither contemplated, nor foresaw.[643] According to this premise, it is logical to conclude that in case of conflict between the parties' autonomy and any other general principle of the CISG, the former always prevails.[644]

Many commentators have offered the following as examples of principles expressly enunciated in the CISG, which implies that they can perform the gap-filling function that such a characterisation allows them:

The present writer holds reservations - based on theoretical objections - regarding the characterisation of the above provisions as "general principles", and is of the opinion that they are no more than rules set out in the CISG. A general principle stands at a higher level of abstraction than a rule, or might be said to underpin more than one such rule. For example, the principle of party autonomy, also recognised in Article 6, mandates that effect be given to the intentions of the parties, no matter in what form those intentions may be expressed. This principle of party autonomy can be said to underpin the rules set out in Articles 11 and 29(1).

Most general principles have not been expressly provided by the CISG. Therefore, they must be deduced from its specific provisions by the means of an analysis of the contents of such provisions. If it can be concluded that they express a more general principle, capable of being applied also to cases different from those specifically regulated, then they could also be used for the purposes of Article 7(2).

There is a notable divergence of opinion as to the exact nature of such an analysis of specific CISG provisions. Bonell states that

"just as in interpreting specific terms and concepts adopted in the text of the Convention, also in specifying 'general principles' courts should, in accordance with the basic criteria of Article 7(1), avoid resorting to standards developed under their own domestic law and try to find the particular solution 'autonomously', i.e., within the Convention itself, or, should this not be possible, by using standards which are generally accepted at a comparative level."[649]

Bonell's argument relies on the premise that, although there are principles, such as that of party autonomy and the dispatch rule, which can be directly applied, others, such as the principle of good faith and the concept of "reasonableness", need further specification in order to offer a solution for a particular case. The question that arises here relates to the standards to be used for the purpose of the identification of the principles that belong to the latter category of principles. For example, how could a judge of a highly industrialised country apply the "reasonableness" test in order to determine which party in a particular circumstance has been acting with due diligence? Surely, the judge should not automatically refer to the standards of care and professional skill normally required from national business people in domestic affairs. Bonell is of the opinion that the answer should be found "either in the Convention itself or at least on the basis of standards which are currently adopted in other legal systems."[650]

On the other hand, there is strong academic opinion that comparative law should not be used to identify such general principles. Enderlein and Maskow are of the opinion that it is:

"not possible to obtain the Convention's general principles from an analysis prepared by comparison of the laws of the most important legal systems of the Contracting States ... as it was supported, in some cases, in regard to Article 17 [of] ULIS. ... The wording of the Convention does in no way support the application of this method."[651]

In addressing this issue, tribunals must be conscious of the mandate in Article 7(1), that regard is to be had to the CISG's international character and the need to promote uniformity in its application. Although Bonell's model is not the same as resorting to rules of private international law, the temptation to adopt a domestic law analysis of the problem should be resisted. Tribunals must recognise the uniquely international nature of the CISG and its proper function as uniform law. Bearing in mind what has already been said about the potential dangers to the autonomy and uniformity of the CISG's interpretation and application that the use of different domestic concepts and laws carry, it seems that the latter, rather than the former, opinion is better. It is hoped that the difficulties that can arise, let us say, in a dispute between a German seller and a Zambian buyer, relating to a notice of non-conformity "within a reasonable time" under Article 39, can be solved in a way that respects the CISG's character and objectives - bearing in mind the different perceptions that may exist in these two countries as to time. The suggestion of the present writer on this hypothetical dispute is that the concept of reasonableness might be allied with the Article 8(2) reference to "the understanding that a reasonable person of the same kind as the other party would have had in the same circumstances", or even with the provision on usage (under Article 9) to permit regional variation of due diligence.

Irrespective of the result in the debate as to the theoretical justification of the method of extracting general principles by analysing the contents of specific provisions of the CISG, in practice, several general principles can be deduced by this method and then applied to cases not specifically regulated by any of the CISG's provisions. The following is a list of such general principles:[652]

In Article 74, the Convention also contains a rule with civil law origins,[667] which limits recoverable damages to those that are foreseeable.[668] There are other rules that are considered to be general principles as well, by some commentators, but generally there is no universal agreement as far as their legitimate qualification is concerned.[669]

(b) Principles of comparative law on which CISG is based

As was argued earlier in this chapter, a distinction must be drawn between those principles extrapolated from within specific CISG provisions and the general principles of comparative law on which the CISG as a whole is founded. This distinction is important in the present writer's thesis on the methodology of the CISG's interpretation, because it provides the theoretical framework for the introduction of elements of the UNIDROIT Principles (and arguably the Principles of European Contract Law, too) - as part of the "general principles" on which the CISG is based - into the gap-filling function of Article 7(2).

The CISG is the world's uniform international sales law. Two more recent documents can be regarded as companions to the CISG: the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts (promulgated in 1994; discussed in more detail in the following section of this work), and the Principles of European Contract Law (PECL) (complete and revised version 1998; discussed only briefly in this chapter).

Unlike the CISG, which is a uniform sales law adopted by countries that account for over two-thirds of all world trade in goods, the PECL are a set of principles whose objective is to provide general rules of contract law in the European Union, and will apply when the parties have agreed to incorporate them into their contract or that their contract is to be governed by them.[670]

The UNIDROIT Principles and the PECL were written by persons learned in this field of law, who had been associated with the drafting of the uniform law. Although both instruments are broader than the CISG in scope, each in different ways, these are "Restatements" that include provisions derived from the CISG (as well as other sources). Both "Restatements" take cognisance of insights derived from the text of the CISG, from scholarly commentaries on the CISG, from cases that have interpreted the CISG, and from other sources.

Restatements can help interpret a law. For instance, the Uniform Commercial Code is the U.S. uniform domestic law and a Restatement has served as its companion also. The U.S. Restatement of Contracts (Second) has a broader scope than the U.C.C.; it takes cognisance of insights derived from the text of the U.C.C., from scholarly commentaries on the U.C.C., from cases that have interpreted the U.C.C., and from other sources. In the United States, when a tribunal is ruling on sales provisions of the U.S. Uniform Commercial Code, references to the Restatement of Contracts are frequently encountered. Its examples and explanations of the meaning of terms and concepts are useful. In U.C.C. proceedings, courts and arbitrators refer to the Restatement of Contracts as it helps them reason through the applicable law.

The main issue here is whether - and to what degree - the UNIDROIT Principles and the PECL can aid in the interpretation of the CISG's provisions. There are instances where Restatements can be regarded as "fleshing out bones already present in the skeletal structure of the uniform law;"[671] and where the Restatements have bones and accompanying flesh that cannot be readily affixed to the uniform law they accompany. For example, a recent survey of the PECL has revealed:[672]

(1) PECL provisions that are identical to counterpart CISG provisions and either (a) go no further than their CISG counterparts, or (b) ones that embellish, add to or make more explicit that which is implicit in the CISG provisions. Just as one regards the UCC as more detailed than the CISG, the latter categories of PECL material are more detailed than their CISG analogs;[673]

(2) PECL provisions that are substantially the same as or similar to the CISG provisions;

(3) PECL provisions that are somewhat similar to the CISG provisions; and

(4) PECL provisions that are substantively different from the CISG counterparts.

Where provisions of the CISG are skeletal and those of the PECL more full-bodied, for the CISG researcher the utility of PECL comparatives ranges from most relevant to least relevant. It is arguable that where either set of the Principles (UNIDROIT, or PECL) can be regarded as fleshing out bones already present in the skeletal structure of the uniform law, they can be utilised in interpreting problematic CISG provisions. It is doubtful whether the same can happen where the Restatements have "bones and accompanying flesh" that cannot be readily affixed to the uniform law they accompany. Where, as is often the case, the PECL dovetails with or approximates the CISG, PECL comparatives can be helpful to the CISG researchers and interpreters. For example, the PECL "Restatement" offers enlightenment (a) with comments that explain provisions and illustrations that apply them to case law environments, and (b) with notes that identify domestic antecedents and analogs, that match provisions with Continental and Common Law doctrine and jurisprudence.

In a similar vein, examples of cases exist in which tribunals have referred to the UNIDROIT Principles as it helped them reason through the CISG.[674] One can anticipate many such references to the UNIDROIT Principles in the CISG proceedings. The general affinity of the CISG to its companion Restatements demands such a comparative approach, especially where it can be shown that their respective provisions share a common intent. Although the CISG preceded the UNIDROIT Principles (and the PECL), the present writer argues that the CISG can be said to be "based" on certain of the UNIDROIT Principles (and the PECL) because the latter also form part of the new international legal order to which the CISG belongs. The temporal discordance of the instruments should not be used to hide their similarities in origin and substance, or to impede their common purpose, which is the unification of international commercial law. In essence, the word "based", in Article 7(2), should be given a substantive and thematic nuance, which is broader than the one merely signifying a strict temporal correlation.

It is asserted by the present writer that the UNIDROIT Principles (and arguably the PECL) could and should assist in the reduction of the need to resort to rules of private international law for gap-filling, and thus help maintain the integrity of the CISG's uniform and international application and interpretation. Even in cases where the international sales contract is governed by the CISG, the UNIDROIT Principles may serve an important purpose. The principles and criteria for the proper interpretation of the CISG are laid out in Article 7(1), and for gap-filling in Article 7(2). Particularly, in Article 7(2) reference is made to:

"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 ..."

The pervasive influence of the UNIDROIT Principles in international trade law includes the use of the UNIDROIT Principles as a guide in contract negotiations. Although not expressly mentioned in its Preamble as one of its purposes, this has also turned out to be one of the most important ways in which they are being used in practice.[675]

The use of the UNIDROIT Principles as lex contractus is also significant. A UNIDROIT Secretariat's survey has revealed that among those who chose the UNIDROIT Principles as the law governing the contract, half did so by expressly referring to the Principles in the contract and the other half by considering the UNIDROIT Principles as an expression of "general principles of law," the lex mercatoria, or the like (almost a third specifying they had done so on more than one occasion).[676] This last point offers direct support to the present writer's thesis that the UNIDROIT Principles can play an important role in the CISG's interpretation under Article 7(2). Where it can be shown that a relevant Restatement provision shares a common intent with a CISG provision under examination, then the former can help interpret the latter by being utilised as an expression of the "general principles" upon which the CISG is based. This would reduce, if not eliminate, the need for recourse to conflict of laws rules in that context.[677]

Further evidence of the wide acknowledgement that the UNIDROIT Principles reflect general principles of private law is provided by a survey of arbitral awards rendered by the Court of Arbitration of Berlin in 1992, the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce in 1995 and 1996 [678] and an unpublished decision of the Court of Appeal of Grenoble.[679] In those instances, the UNIDROIT Principles were applied as a means of interpreting the applicable domestic law to demonstrate that a particular solution provided by the applicable domestic law corresponds to the general principles of law as reflected in the UNIDROIT Principles.[680]

There are also awards in which the UNIDROIT Principles were chosen as the law governing the contract, implicitly considering the UNIDROIT Principles as a source of the lex mercatoria and a reflection of wide international consensus. Three of these awards have been rendered by the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce.[681] Another award of this kind was rendered by the National and International Court of Arbitration of Milan.[682]

The wide recognition of the UNIDROIT Principles as a clear expression of "general principles" of private law adds legitimacy to the present writer's thesis for their inclusion in the gap-filling mechanism laid out in Article 7(2). From such post, and assuming that they satisfy the formal requirements for their use in conjunction with the CISG, the Principles could offer considerable assistance in the uniform interpretation and application of the Convention that the drafters of the CISG had intended. The following section of this work examines in more detail the nature of this proposed role of the UNIDROIT Principles.

6. THE UNIDROIT PRINCIPLES AND CISG

(a) The UNIDROIT Principles - an introduction

In producing the CISG, UNCITRAL drew heavily on earlier work by the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), under whose auspices the predecessors to the CISG had been drafted.[683] The UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts[684] was produced under the auspices of UNIDROIT, with the participation of many legal scholars from a considerable number of countries, and it is the result of the efforts put in by many of the same individuals who had been involved for a considerable number of years in the drafting of the CISG.[685] To the extent that the UNIDROIT Principles address issues also covered by the CISG, they [often] follow the solutions found in that Convention, with such adaptations as were considered appropriate.[686]

In a similar vein, one of the principal architects of the Principles has stated:

"To the extent that the two instruments address the same issues, the rules laid down in the UNIDROIT Principles are normally taken either literally or at least in substance from the corresponding provisions of CISG; cases where the former depart from the latter are exceptional."[687]

It has been said that where the Principles address issues also covered by the CISG and follow solutions found in that Convention, the supranational committee of experts constituted to devise the UNIDROIT Principles can be regarded as a council of "wise men [and women]" whose views can help us interpret the CISG.[688]

The UNIDROIT Principles have been greeted as "a significant step forward in the globalisation of legal thinking."[689] Even a scant examination of the UNIDROIT Principles reveals that they bear a significant degree of similarity to the provisions of the CISG. Despite the general affinity that exists between the two instruments, there are also three significant differences.[690] The first difference is one of scope; the Convention is limited to contracts for the sale of goods and, furthermore, it avoids many issues relevant to sales contracts. For example, the CISG generally avoids the question of contractual validity.[691] On the other hand, the UNIDROIT Principles are far broader in scope, since they deal not only with the broad range of commercial contracts, but also with some questions of validity.[692]

A second variance between the UNIDROIT Principles and the CISG is the degree of maturity that each instrument has reached. A parameter that has to do with the quality of the solution that their respective provisions afford to certain inveterately difficult issues in international contracts, such as the notorious problem of the "battle of the forms." This issue has caused some debate. The fact that the Convention does not have a specific rule addressing the battle of the forms issue, whereas the UNIDROIT Principles do, may suggest that the Convention does not provide an answer to this problem. Some commentators believe that the battle of the forms problem is not solved by the rules of the Convention and, therefore, the regulation of the battle of the forms must be found by applying a solution, such as the one stated in UNIDROIT Principles Article 2.22, in supplementation of the CISG.[693] Some other commentators have strongly countered that this situation could occur "if the tribunal is unaware of the objectives of the Convention and the legislative history of the CISG Article 19 and thereby permit themselves to be influenced by the aversion to applying the last-shot-rule by some Convention scholars."[694] The latter believe that the Convention rules are thorough enough to solve the battle of the forms conflict; that the legislative history of Article 19 indicates that the battle of the forms is regulated under the offer and acceptance norms recited in the CISG text.

Some other scholars have argued that the way in which the Principles deals with the "battle of the forms" represents a considerable improvement over the timorous draftsmanship found in the respective provision of the CISG and have concluded that "the Principles is a better, more mature product."[695]

Irrespective of the outcome of the debate on the merits of the competing approaches to the issue of the battle of the forms adopted by the Principles and the CISG respectively, it is clear the two instruments are not in accord on the issue. This is an example of a case in which one could not use the UNIDROIT Principles as an aid to the proper interpretation of the CISG, since the UNIDROIT provisions are substantively different from their CISG counterparts; i.e., the "Restatement" provisions contain "flesh and bones" that cannot be readily affixed to the uniform law they accompany.[696]

The third distinction between the UNIDROIT Principles and the CISG relates to characterisation. The instrument of the UNIDROIT Principles, contrary to the CISG, is not intended for adoption as a treaty, or as a uniform law. Rather, the document is in the nature of a non-binding "Restatement" of the existing international commercial contract law. The nature and the potential function of such a "Restatement" are highlighted in the Preamble of the UNIDROIT Principles, which reads as follows:

"These Principles set forth general rules for international commercial contracts. They shall be applied when the parties have agreed that their contract be governed by them. They may be applied when the parties have agreed that their contract be governed by "general principles of law", the 'lex mercatoria' or the like. They may provide a solution to an issue raised when it proves impossible to establish the relevant rule of the applicable law. They may be used to interpret or supplement international uniform law instruments. They may serve as a model for national and international legislators."

Professor Bonell, who is also a legal consultant with UNIDROIT, informs us that

"[w]hen deciding in 1994 the publication of the UNIDROIT Principles the Governing Council of UNIDROIT recommended their widest possible distribution and stressed the need '... to monitor their use with a view to a possible reconsideration of them at some time in the future'."[697]

We are further informed by Bonell of the "more than favourable reception in the international business and legal community" that the UNIDROIT Principles have enjoyed since their introduction.[698]

The UNIDROIT Principles have also created great interest in academic and professional circles. Over the years the Principles have been not only the subject of numerous international seminars and colloquia,[699] but also the subject of discussion in an ever-growing number of international legal journal writings,[700] in a tone that has generally been very positive.[701]

In addition, the UNIDROIT Principles have been included in the teaching materials of many Law Schools around the worid.[702] The UNIDROIT Principles have also played an important role in some recent codifications, in the sense that they have served as a model for national and international legislation. This can be said of the new Dutch Civil Code, the new Civil Code of Quebec and the new Civil Code of the Russian Federation.[703]

References to individual provisions of the UNIDROIT Principles may also be found in the Final Report of the Commission for the Revision of the German Law of Obligations.[704] After the publication of the UNIDROIT Principles, the Estonian Government officially declared that it considered them one of the most important and authoritative sources of inspiration in the drafting of the new law on obligations.[705] Professor Bonell has also noted that most of the provisions of the draft Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania, dealing with contracts in general, follow very closely the UNIDROIT Principles,[706] and the same is expected to occur regarding the new Czech Civil Code, currently under preparation.[707] Also, the Scottish Law Commission, in its proposals for the reform of the rules on interpretation of legal acts, expressly refers to specific provisions contained in Chapter 4 of the UNIDROIT Principles.[708]

Professor Bonell has also noted similar developments outside Europe, such as the recent drafts for the revision of Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code, concerning sales contracts,[709] the draft of a new Commercial Code of Tunisia [710] and the draft Uniform Law on General Commercial Law which is currently being prepared by the 15 member States of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa.[711] Specific provisions of the UNIDROIT Principles have also been chosen as the basis for a tentative draft code prepared by a member of the New Zealand Law Commission and intended to lay down the basic principles of the New Zealand law of contracts.[712]

It is evident that the UNIDROIT Principles have already had a significant influence on national and international codifications of private law world-wide, among countries of divergent social, legal and cultural modes. It is, however, the interpretative and supplementary function of the UNIDROIT Principles that is of special interest to us. Even in cases where the international sales contract is governed by the CISG, the UNIDROIT Principle may serve an important purpose by being utilised as a means of interpreting and supplementing the CISG.[713]

(b) Clarifying CISG language

The UNIDROIT Principles (and arguably the PECL) can be utilised to help clarify the often opaque, or vague language found in the provisions of the CISG.

According to Article 7(1):

"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."

It is arguable that the UNIDROIT Principles could considerably facilitate the task of finding the principles and criteria for the proper interpretation of the CISG. For example, one of the most important concepts in the CISG is the "fundamental breach" of a contract. The term "fundamental breach" is used in various remedial provisions of the Convention. Its most important role is that it constitutes the usual precondition for the contract to be avoided.[714] In addition, where the goods do not conform to the contract, a fundamental breach can give rise to a requirement to deliver substitute goods.[715] Furthermore, a fundamental breach of contract by the seller leaves the buyer with all of his remedies intact, despite the risk having passed to him.[716]

The Convention deals with the concept of fundamental breach in the following convoluted provision of Article 25 CISG:

"A breach of contract committed by one of the parties is fundamental if it results in such detriment to the other party as substantially to deprive him of what he is entitled to expect under the contract, unless the party in breach did not foresee and a reasonable person of the same kind in the same circumstances would not have foreseen such a result."

Article 25 attempts to define "fundamental breach" in terms of (foreseeable) "substantial detriment."[717] The CISG does not define the term "detriment". The present writer argued in the previous chapter that an autonomous interpretation of the CISG is not simply a consequence of the international characterisation of the CISG but that it is also necessary for uniformity in the CISG's application to be achieved.[718] It was also argued that, in interpreting the CISG, the rules and techniques traditionally followed in interpreting ordinary domestic legislation should be avoided and that Article 7 represents an implied provision in the body of the law for the undertaking of a liberal approach to the Convention's interpretation.

It is part of the present writer's thesis that the ultimate aim of the CISG (i.e., to achieve the broadest degree of uniformity in the law for international sale transactions) cannot be achieved properly if national principles or concepts - taken from the law of the forum, or from the law which in the absence of the Convention would have been applicable according to the rules of private international law - are used in the interpretation of the CISG. The "nationalisation" of the uniform rules would deprive the instrument of its unifying effect. This means, above all, not to proceed to interpret it from national juridical constructions and terms.[719] Therefore, the term detriment should be autonomously interpreted in the light of the Convention's legislative history, as well as its intended purpose.[720]

Reliance upon the Secretariat Commentary on the 1978 Draft Article 23 (which became Article 25) as an aid to interpretation appears questionable because the Commentary was written prior to a number of significant changes made to the official text. A CISG researcher can turn to the UNIDROIT Principles and the PECL for a comparative look at similar provisions that may aid in clarifying the CISG text, if it is shown that the relevant provisions are the expression of a general principle underlying the CISG. This limitation is necessary to prevent the arbitrary use of general principles that would undermine a uniform interpretation of the Convention.

Article 7.3.1(2) of the UNIDROIT Principles also provides for termination of the contract for fundamental non-performance. It provides a list of factors relevant to deciding whether the non-performance was fundamental. The criteria laid down in Article 7.3.1 of the UNIDROIT Principles may be used for a better understanding its counterpart CISG provision. In addition to the general criterion laid down in Article 25 (i.e., the fact that the non-performance must substantially deprive the aggrieved party of what it was entitled to expect under the contract, provided the other party could not reasonably have foreseen such a result), paragraph 2 of Article 7.3.1 of the UNIDROIT Principles indicates as further factors to be taken into account in each single case, whether:

"[...]

(b) strict compliance with the obligation which has not been performed is of essence under the contract;

(c) the non-performance is intentional or reckless;

(d) the non-performance gives the aggrieved party reason to believe that it cannot rely on the other party's future performance;

(e) the non-performing party will suffer disproportionate loss as a result of the preparation or performance if the contract is terminated."

In similar tone, the corresponding Article 8:103 [Fundamental Non-Performance] of the PECL (complete and revised version 1998) provides:

"A non-performance of an obligation is fundamental to the contract if:

(a) strict compliance with the obligation is of the essence of the contract; or

(b) the non-performance substantially deprives the aggrieved party of what it was entitled to expect under the contract, unless the other party did not foresee and could not reasonably have foreseen that result; or

(c) the non-performance is intentional and gives the aggrieved party reason to believe that it cannot rely on the other party's future performance."

There are obvious textual similarities in the CISG, UNIDROIT Principles and the PECL. The term "non-performance" in the UNIDROIT and PECL is analogous to "breach" as used in the CISG. The PECL and UNIDROIT, as well as the CISG, distinguish between fundamental non-performance of the contract and non-performance which is not of a serious nature. It is arguable that the concept of fundamental non-performance referred to in UNIDROIT Article 7.3.1 and PECL Article 8:103 corresponds generally to the concept of fundamental breach referred to in the CISG Article 25. In all three instruments the main significance of the fundamental non-performance is to empower the aggrieved party to terminate the contract.

Despite their similarity, the relevant provisions have certain differences between them. Article 25 has no express provision like Article 7.3.1 (2)(b) UNIDROIT, or Article 8:103(a) PECL. However, it is arguable that the expectation interests in all three Articles are tied entirely to the terms of the contract. Therefore, if a contract governed by the CISG requires strict compliance with an obligation, a minor deviation from the defined standard of performance would amount to a fundamental breach of contract. In all three systems, the fundamentality of a non-performance is made dependent on its consequences (substantial deprivation), as well as its foreseeability by the breaching party. However, note that only Article 7.3.1 (2)(e) UNIDROIT includes as a factor the "disproportionate loss [to be suffered by the non-performing party] as a result of the preparation or performance if the contract is terminated."

Also, the CISG has no provision similar to Article 8:103(c) PECL, which is confined to intentional non-performance. Under this provision, even if the non-performance in itself is minor and its consequences do not substantially deprive the aggrieved party of what he is entitled to expect under the contract, it might be treated as fundamental if there is indication of intentionality that gives the aggrieved party reason to believe that he cannot rely on the other party's future performance. Article 7.3.1 (2)(c) UIDROIT goes even further by including reckless non-performance. Unlike UNIDROIT and the PECL, the CISG does not interfere with special rights and remedies that domestic law gives to persons who have been induced to enter into contract by fraud.[721]

All three instruments distinguish between fundamental breach and breach which is not of a serious nature. The distinction is of great importance, because the concept of fundamental breach or non-performance plays a central role in the remedial provisions of all three systems. According to the present writer it is arguable that Article 7.3.1 of the UNIDROIT, Article 8:103 of the PECL and Article 25 of the CISG adopt a similar approach, although the terms and content sometimes differ. For the CISG researcher, the utility of these comparatives ranges from most relevant to least relevant, as per the "skeletal" theory adopted in the previous section of this chapter.

A continental commentator, who generally agrees that most factors applied by the UNIDROIT Principles in determining fundamental non-performance do not differ substantially from those employed by scholars and practitioners in defining fundamental breach under the Convention, points to a significant difference between those two instruments:[722]

"Unlike under the Convention, the relationship between the seller's right to cure and the buyer's right to terminate is clear under the UNIDROIT Principles. The buyer's right to terminate is suspended provided that the seller's offer to cure is appropriate and the buyer has no "legitimate interest" in refusing an offer to cure [see UNIDROIT Principles 7.1.4 (1)]. Moreover, the seller's right to cure is not precluded by notice of termination [see UNIDROIT Principles 7.1.4 (2)] In other words, the buyer cannot exercise his right of termination for the purpose of denying the seller an opportunity to cure. Under the UNIDROIT Principles, therefore, curability is, de facto, a relevant factor in determining whether or not non-performance is fundamental."

According to Koch, the nature of the Convention's remedial system supports an interpretative approach that focuses on the nature of the contractual obligation and a remedy-oriented approach.[723] Koch introduces a new methodology to determine fundamental breach, which further elaborates an approach that has recently been employed by the German Supreme Court.[724] He has concluded that:

"[I]t is necessary not only for both practical and theoretical reasons, but also on grounds of certainty and predictability, to rethink the existing approaches in determining fundamental breach and to replace them by a more coherent unified concept. The new methodology incorporates a test that asks whether the purpose of the contract has been frustrated due to the breach, and whether the aggrieved party needs the remedy of avoidance or substitute delivery -- as opposed to damages -- in determining fundamental breach. In case of a breach and in the absence of any contractual provision providing for fundamental breach, with the help of this new methodology, it should not be difficult for the aggrieved party to determine whether this breach is fundamental."[725]

On the broader issue concerning the practice of comparing different international uniform laws in order to systematically interpret their provisions, the same commentator cites academic support for the view that such practice is arbitrary and contrary to the purpose of unification because:

"[A]t the international level there exists no international legislator and thus no legal order, which requires consideration of one statute's relationship to other statutes and interpretation of similar provisions in such a way to avoid contradiction. … Only when a convention expressly refers to another convention should reference to the latter be permissible. Under the Convention, however, there is no such reference and, therefore, other international conventions should not generally act as a source for its systematic interpretation."[726]

Koch argues that the very existence of the PECL provides an additional theoretical objection to the specific suggestion that the UNIDROIT Principles should be used as a means of interpreting the Convention. He is of the opinion that although the PECL address basically the same issues of general contract law and are very similar to the UNIDROIT Principles in terms of formal presentation, the existence of competing instruments to interpret the Convention per se contradicts the purpose of the Convention to unify international sales law. Ultimately, Koch is concerned that the difference in the geopolitical structure for membership to each of these two Restatements (since the territorial scope of the PECL is formally limited to the Member States of the European Union, while the UNIDROIT Principles are universal) will produce in practice more divergence in the interpretation and application of the Convention:

"[I]t is to be expected that the courts and tribunals outside of Europe or in commercial transactions involving non-Europeans would apply the UNIDROIT Principles to interpret the Convention, while within the European Union or in purely intra-European contracts, the European Principles would be applied."[727]

A simpler example of the potential utilisation of the UNIDROIT Principles in clarifying the language of the CISG's provisions may be found in paragraph 1 of Article 7.4.9 of the UNIDROIT which, by expressly stating that the right to interest is independent of whether or not the non-payment of the sum of money due is excused, provides an answer to a question which Article 78 of the CISG leaves open.[728]

(c) Filling gaps praeter legem in the CISG

It is the opinion of the present writer that the UNIDROIT Principles, in many instances, may also be used to fill gaps praeter legem found in the CISG. On the question of whether the UNIDROIT Principles can serve as a means of interpreting and supplementing existing international uniform law instruments, and if so to what extent, the answers given are sharply divided. Professor Bonell has categorised the existing opinions into two groups.[729]

In the first group, belong those who categorically deny that the UNIDROIT Principles can be used to interpret or supplement the CISG, invoking the rather formalistic - and, ultimately, unconvincing - argument that the UNIDROIT Principles were adopted later in time than the CISG and therefore cannot be of any relevance to the latter. The present writer refuted this argument (earlier in the current chapter) by offering a substantive and thematic, rather than a formalistic and literal approach to the issue and concluding that the temporal discordance of the two instruments cannot be used to hide their similarities in origin and substance, or to impede their common purpose, which is the unification of international commercial law.

In the second group, Bonell has included those opinions that justify the use of the UNIDROIT Principles for this purpose on the mere ground that they are "general principles of international commercial contracts," before concluding that:

"The correct solution would appear to lie between these two extreme positions. In other words, there can be little doubt that in general the UNIDROIT Principles may well be used to interpret or supplement even pre-existing international instruments such as the CISG; on the other hand in order for individual provisions to be used to fill gaps in the CISG, they must be the expression of general principles also underlying the CISG."[730]

The present writer supports the use of the UNIDROIT Principles in CISG's gap-filling, as long as the important caveat pointed out by Bonell - the need to show that the relevant provisions of the UNIDROIT Principles are the expression of a general principle underlying the CISG - is satisfied.[731] This caveat is not satisfied where the Principles and the CISG adopt different solutions; for example, in their approach to the battle of the forms (discussed earlier in this chapter).

The gap-filling mechanism of the CISG is set out in Article 7(2):

"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 ..." [732]

It is each judge's, or arbitrator's, task to determine these general principles, and from these general principles, to derive the solution for the specific question to be settled, on a case-by-case basis. It is the thesis of the present writer that the latter task often could be facilitated by resorting to the UNIDROIT Principles. The only condition that needs to be satisfied is to show that the relevant provisions of the UNIDROIT Principles are the expression of a general principle underlying the CISG. This point seems to have been missed by a section of scholarly opinion. For instance, Drobnig has rejected the idea of resorting to the UNIDROIT Principles in the context of Article 7, arguing that

"Article 7 para 2 refers for matters governed by the Convention to the general principles on which the Convention is based ... And if there are no such principles, the provision refers to the law applicable by virtue of the rules of private international law ... Thus there does not seem to be any room for recourse to the UNIDROIT Principles [in interpreting and supplementing CISG]."[733]

It seems that Drobnig is treating the UNIDROIT Principles as a formal source of law which, since not listed in Article 7(2), may not be invoked. The Principles are actually more like a useful summary of what might be obtained via a comparative legal survey.

The balance of academic opinion, however, seems to be that Article 7(2) legitimises resorting to the UNIDROIT Principles as a means of interpreting and supplementing the CISG, as long as there is a gap on a matter governed by the CISG and the relevant provisions of the UNIDROIT Principles are the expression of a general principle underlying the CISG and not inconsistent with the CISG provision in question.[734] Professor Magnus provides the conceptual framework for resort to the UNIDROIT Principles as expressions of general principles underlying the CISG. He states:

"The 'Principles' are nevertheless to be considered as additional general principles in the context of the CISG. The most important reason for this is that they vastly correspond both to the respective provisions of the CISG as well as to the general principles which have been derived from the CISG. … In light of the fact that the CISG basically was the force behind the 'Principles', this correspondence is not surprising.

"Further, the approach in developing the 'Principles' appears appropriate with respect to the current state of attempts to unify law. The CISG provides a basic set of rules which has resulted from an intensive comparison of legal systems and politically supported compromises between these legal systems. Therefore, the CISG can and should constitute the basis for the creation of a general law of contracts. Its provisons are to be generalized only to supplement new issues and solutions and align these issues and solutions with the needs of the industry. The UNIDROIT working group has proceeded with this concept in mind. Thus, its results, to the extent that they formulate general principles which cannot be derived directly from the CISG, can be utilized for filling gaps in the Convention. ..."[735]

The manner in which the UNIDROIT Principles formulate general principles which cannot be derived directly from the CISG, but which can be utilized for filing gaps in the Convention, has already been illustrated by many commentators. For example, Articles 6.1.7, 6.1.8 and 6.1.9 of the UNIDROIT Principles may provide an answer to the questions not expressly settled in the CISG, of whether - and if so, under what conditions - the buyer is entitled to pay by cheque, or by other similar instruments, or by a fund transfer, and in which currency payment is to be made. As explained earlier, one of the general principles on which the CISG is based is that of reasonableness.[736] The duty of the parties to act in a reasonable manner clearly underlies the rule laid down in Article 6.1.7 of the UNIDROIT Principles, according to which the obligor may pay:

"... in any form used in the ordinary course of business at the place for payment," but the obligee who accepts a cheque or other similar instrument ... "is presumed to do so only on condition that it will be honoured."

The duty of the parties to act in a reasonable manner is also evident in Article 6.1.8(1) of the Principles, which deals with payment by funds transfer. It states that "[u]nless the obligee has indicated a particular account, payment may be made by a transfer to any of the financial institutions in which the obligee has made it known that it has an account."

In a similar "reasonable" tone, Article 6.1.9 states that, even if a monetary obligation is expressed in a currency other than that of the place for payment, payment may be made in that latter currency unless, apart from an agreement to the contrary between the parties, that currency is not freely convertible.

Further instances, where provisions of the UNIDROIT Principles may be used to fill gaps in the CISG, are paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 7.4.9 on interest and Article 7.4.12 on the currency in which damages are assessed. The questions of the time from which the right to interest accrues, or of the rate of interest to be applied, and that of the currency in which to assess damages, are not expressly settled in any of the CISG's provisions. Since the principle of full compensation can be considered to be a general principle underlying the CISG,[737] however, these gaps may well be filled by the above mentioned articles of the UNIDROIT Principles which are inspired by the same principle.[738] Article 7.4.9 of the UNIDROIT Principles states that the aggrieved party is entitled to interest "from the time payment is due" (paragraph 1) and that the applicable interest rate shall be

"... the average bank short-term lending rate to prime borrowers prevailing for the currency of payment at the place for payment or, where no such rate exists at that place, the same rate in the State of the currency of payment. In the absence of such a rate at either place the appropriate rate fixed by the law of the State of the currency of payment."[739]

From the above, it can be concluded that the UNIDROIT Principles clearly intended to make sure that the interest to be paid covers to the greatest possible extent the loss actually suffered by the aggrieved party as a consequence of the non-payment of the sum of money due.[740] The same idea is present in Article 7.4.12, according to which:

"Damages are to be assessed either in the currency in which the monetary obligation was expressed or in the currency in which the harm was suffered, whichever is more appropriate."

It must be noted that the weight of all current judicial authority is to the effect that it is inappropriate to use the UNIDROIT Principles as an aid to the determination of rate of interest under Article 78. There is, however, arbitral authority to the effect that it is appropriate to use the UNIDROIT Principles in this fashion. Three awards - two rendered by the International Court of Arbitration of the Federal Chamber of Commerce of Vienna, [741] and one by the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce [742] - refer to the UNIDROIT Principles in order to fill a gap in the CISG.

The first two cases related to disputes arising from contracts between an Austrian seller and a German buyer for the supply of steel. As the CISG, which governed the two contracts, does not determine the rate of interest to be applied, the arbitrator filled this gap in accordance with Article 7(2). In view of the fact that one of the general principles underlying the CISG is full compensation for the damage suffered, the arbitrator, in both cases, granted the average bank short-term lending rate applied with respect to the money of payment in the country of the creditor - as the payment had to be made there - and in support of this solution expressly referred to Article 7.4.9(2) of the UNIDROIT Principles.

The third case concerns a sales contract between an Austrian and a Swiss company. The contract was governed by the CISG, and the sole arbitrator filled the gap to be found in the CISG, as to the applicable rate of interest, by applying the annual London International Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) plus 2%. In doing so, the arbitrator expressly referred to the rule laid down in Article 7.4.9(2) of the UNIDROIT Principles - as well as to the same rule contained in Article 4.507(1) of the Principles of European Contract Law - which he defined as "one of the general principles according to Article 7(2) CISG."

The question of whether the UNIDROIT Principles may also be used in order to settle important issues of precontractual liability not covered in the CISG is a difficult one to answer. The body of law on precontractual liability in civil law and common law regimes is rich, diverse and always evolving. So far the prevailing view in legal writing is that precontractual liability is outside the scope of the Convention.[743]

In the deliberations that led to the Convention, there is no record of any effort to array the different domestic approaches to precontractual liability and from that develop for international traders a common denominator. There were, however, specific proposals that would have impacted upon precontractual liability (they were rebuffed), and general proposals - primarily dealing with "good faith" - which, depending on the interpretation given to the compromise language that emerged, may or may not have an impact upon precontractual liability.

(d) Working with the CISG in an expanded role

A final, but definitely very important use for the UNIDROIT Principles is to apply them to an international contract in conjunction with the CISG. As noted earlier, the UNIDROIT Principles have a broader scope and a more comprehensive nature than the CISG. The parties to a contract may well wish to apply them in addition to the CISG for matters not covered therein. To effect this, a clause could be included in the contract which might read as follows:

"This contract shall be governed by CISG, and with respect to matters not covered by this Convention, by the UNIDROIT Principles".[744]

There is a great difference between the role attributed to the UNIDROIT Principles under such a clause and the role that they may play under Article 7(2), as has been argued by the present writer in this thesis.

Under Article 7(2), the UNIDROIT Principles merely serve to fill in any lacunae to be found in the CISG, i.e., to provide a solution for questions "concerning matters governed by [CISG] which are not expressly settled in it" and with respect to which recourse to domestic law is permitted only as a last resort. By contrast, if the parties incorporated a clause in their contract which expressly allowed reference to the UNIDROIT Principles, the latter would apply to matters actually outside the scope of the CISG and which otherwise would fall directly within the sphere of the applicable domestic law. This is a very important development because it would go a long way towards achieving a more harmonious, if not unified, international commercial law of sales.

Nevertheless, a considerable amount of caution accompanies the above thoughts on the proposed expanded role of the UNIDROIT Principles, due to their special nature as a non-binding "Restatement". It should also be noted that the impact of such an incorporated reference is likely to vary according to whether a State court or an arbitral tribunal is called upon to interpret such a contract. State courts will tend to consider the parties' reference to the UNIDROIT Principles as a mere agreement to incorporate them into the contract and to determine the law governing the contract on the basis of their own conflict-of-law rules.[745] As a result, they will apply the UNIDROIT Principles only to the extent that the latter do not affect the provisions of the proper law from which the parties may not derogate.[746]

The outcome could be different if the parties agree to submit the disputes arising from the contract to arbitration, since arbitrators are not necessarily bound to base their decision on a particular domestic law.[747] In arbitral proceedings, the UNIDROIT Principles may be applied not merely as terms incorporated into the contract, but as "'rules of law' governing the contract together with the CISG, irrespective of whether or not they are consistent with the particular domestic law otherwise applicable."[748]

There is a court decision, rendered by the Cour d'appel de Grenoble, which used the UNIDROIT Principles as a means to supplementing the CISG.[749] The case concerns a sales contract between a German and a French company. In order to determine its own jurisdiction, in conformity with Article 5(1) of the Brussels Convention on Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Judgements in Civil and Commercial Matters (1968), the court had to determine the place of performance of the seller's obligation to return part of the price unduly paid by the buyer. The CISG, which governed the contract, is silent on this point. The court, while openly rejecting the opposite solution adopted by both French and German domestic law, decided in favor of the buyer's place of business. In doing so, it based the decision on the general principle that monetary obligations are to be performed at the obligee's place of business, which could be extracted not only from Article 57(1), but also from Article 6.1.6 of the UNIDROIT Principles.

An argument against the utilisation of the UNIDROIT Principles is that they do not support the goal of reducing unpredictability in trade,[750] and that the Principles indeed have the potential to increase the uncertainty surrounding a business transaction because several of their provisions "appear to depart from normal trading practices".[751] It has also been argued that arbitrators should not feel free to use the UNIDROIT Principles in conjunction with the CISG unless the parties to the contract have explicitly agreed to them, because the Principles are not law and they often diverge from the equivalent provisions of the CISG.[752]

The significant success encountered by both the CISG and the UNIDROIT Principles, as evidenced by their warm reception by many different socio-political cultures, demonstrates that they each have their own raison d'être. In addition, the valuable assistance that the UNIDROIT Principles can offer in clarifying the language of the CISG and in settling matters governed but not expressly settled by the CISG, highlights the fact that the two instruments can work together harmoniously. With respect to international commercial transactions different to sales contracts, there is virtually no risk of a clash between the two instruments, given the restricted scope of the CISG. Even within the ambit of international contracts of sale, there is, at least at this point, no real competition between the UNIDROIT Principles and the CISG. In view of the important function which the UNIDROIT Principles may fulfil side by side with the CISG, in the expanded role outlined above, it is arguable that they not only do not threaten the CISG's role or success, but indeed seem likely to enhance its effectiveness and practical value.

7. THE RULES OF PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW

Unresolved issues concerning matters governed by the Convention constitute a danger to the uniformity and autonomy of the CISG's interpretation because one way to follow the "homeward trend" is to find such gaps in the law. Further, interpretation ought to be the means whereby such gaps in the CISG are filled because when a gap is detected the problem arising thereby should be solved by way of interpretation of the CISG. In accordance with the basic criteria established in Article 7(1) and discussed in the previous chapter of the current work, uniformity in the CISG's application is the ultimate goal. Therefore, for the interpretation of the CISG in general - not only in the case of ambiguities or obscurities in the text, but also in the case of gaps praeter legem - courts should to the largest possible extent refrain from resorting to the different domestic laws and try to find a solution within the Convention itself.

The first part of Article 7(2) states that gaps in the Convention are to be filled in conformity with the Convention's general principles. After lengthy deliberations,[753] a rule was laid down in the second part of Article 7(2) according to which, in the absence of general principles, gaps must be filled "... in conformity with the law applicable by virtue of the rules of private international law."

The first important conclusion that can be drawn from this provision is that it qualifies considerably the idea of the CISG being an autonomous and self-contained body of rules, independent of and distinct from the different domestic laws. This "subsidiary method"[754] of gap-filling, embedded in Article 7(2), found support under the 1964 Hague Conventions,[755] even though the prevalent opinion was to the contrary.[756] There was strong academic opinion in favour of the idea that, absent general principles of the Convention with which to fill the gaps, such gaps should be filled not by making recourse to the rules of private international law, but by resorting to the general principles of the law,[757] i.e., to the so-called allgemeine Rechtsgrundsatze.[758] It has been argued by exponents of this idea that gap-filling in such instances should be performed by application of "principles and rules which are most commonly adopted within the different Contracting States and/or particularly suited for the case at hand."[759]

This approach based on "general principles of law" has, however, received its own share of criticism. The main argument against this approach is that the identification of such principles by interpreters trying to settle a particular dispute would be difficult, if not impossible, considering that not even specialists have been able to identify such principles despite prolonged deliberations during the preparation of the uniform law.[760] Moreover, the result would in any event be great uncertainty concerning the final decisions in each case.[761]

There is strong academic support for the view that in interpreting the CISG, in the absence of general principles of the Convention - i.e., as ultima ratio[762] - "one not only is allowed to make recourse to the rules of private international law; one obliged to do so."[763] The present writer contends that although this conclusion is strictly valid, as Article 7(2) refers to it, the search for relevant general principles should be expanded so as to avert recourse to the rules of private international law as much as possible. It is part of this thesis that avoiding the use of private international law rules is essential for the creation and promotion of uniformity in the CISG's interpretation and application. Despite its relevant textual inclusion in the gap-filling mechanism of the CISG, recourse to the rules of private international law offers nothing to "the development of international trade on the basis of equality and mutual benefit" that is mandated in the Convention's Preamble. Moreover, it fosters the creation of divergent interpretations of the CISG, thus endangering the CISG's long-term success and survival.

A more conservative position on this issue is that recourse to the rules of private international law represents "… a last resort to be used only if and to the extent that a solution cannot be found either by analogical application of specific provisions or by the application of 'general principles' underlying the uniform law as such."[764]

An initial observation that can be made about this position is that lawyers from civil law systems can cope with such a structure, since they are accustomed to the idea that every attempt must be made to find a solution within the code itself before turning to an external source to fill in a gap of a code. Courts in countries without this tradition may, however, have to try hard to grasp the fact that every effort to fill a gap must first be made on the basis of the other criteria in Article 7(2), before turning to domestic law via the rules of private international law.[765] The domestic law "applicable by virtue of the rules of private international law," will be the law which would have governed the contract in the absence of the CISG, or some other law referred to by the competent conflict of law rules. Stern warnings have been issued against the danger of an abuse of the recourse to the rules of private international law during gap-filling in the CISG, since the gaps can too easily be filled by virtue of the rules of private international law. As one commentator has noted: "… it is enough to state that no general principles can be found and therefore the only way out is to resort to private international law."[766]

It is the opinion of the present writer that the CISG is, and must remain, a self-contained body of rules independent of, and distinct from, the different domestic laws. The nature of the effort that created the Convention indicates that the CISG should stand on its own feet, supported by the general principles that underlie it. Due to its unique nature and limitations, it is necessary that the CISG exist on top of a legal order that can provide doctrinal support and solutions to practical problems - such as gap-filling - in order to guarantee the CISG's functional continuity and development without offending its values of internationality and uniformity. The necessary legal backdrop for the CISG's existence and application can be provided by general principles of international commercial law consistent with the intent of the CISG legislators, such as those exemplified by many of the provisions of the UNIDROIT Principles and the PECL.

Against this background, the recourse to rules of private international law represents regression into doctrinal fragmentation and practical uncertainty. The relevant reference to such a method in Article 7(2) is unfortunate, as it does not assist the goal of uniformity. Recourse to the rules of private international law impedes and frustrates the unification movement and can reverse the progress achieved by the world-wide adoption of the CISG as a uniform body of international sales law by producing divergent results in the application of the Convention.

On the other hand, minimising the need to invoke the rules of private international law in the context of Article 7(2) goes a long way towards strengthening the unification effort. This approach requires reliance upon and aggressive search for general principles that underlie the Convention. The present writer has argued that such principles can [often] be found in international Restatements, such as the UNIDROIT Principles and the PECL. The latter instruments belong together with the CISG to a new international legal order that their respective drafters had envisaged. The interpretative and supplementary function of these instruments concerning the proper application of the CISG, best reflect the objectives of the United Nations - as these are were stated in CISG's Preamble - to remove "legal barriers in international trade and promote the development of international trade." As was argued in Chapter 2 of this thesis, the CISG represents an attempt to create ab initio an international community of members that can communicate and arrange their commercial affairs using the text as their common language. Providing answers to unresolved matters governed by the CISG affects the uniformity of the Convention's application. It is arguable that in such cases international uniformity is promoted if the answer can be given by reference to any of the CISG's general principles that may provide elsewhere (e.g., in the UNIDROIT Principles, or the PECL answers to such unresolved matters). Conversely, recourse to the rules of private international law for the same purpose hinders and harms uniformity.

A strong argument in favor of the "general principles" approach is provided by Professor Kritzer.[767] This argument relies on the concept of "reasonableness"; a fundamental general principle of the Convention which receives numerous mentions in the text of the CISG.[768] Kritzer points out that although reasonableness is not specifically defined in the CISG, the concept is defined in the PECL and that this definition also fits the manner in which the concept is used in the CISG.[769] This definition can help researchers apply reasonableness to the CISG provisions in which it is specifically mentioned and as a general principle of the CISG. It is the latter function of reasonableness, as a general principle of the CISG, that is important to this argument because in that capacity, reasonableness has a strong bearing on the proper interpretation of all provisions of the CISG, as per Article 7(2). Kritzer states that there is much doctrine in support of gap-filling in the CISG with reference to general principles, in lieu of the recourse to the rules of private international law, wherever it is reasonable to do so:

"… regarding reasonableness as a fundamental principle of the CISG and reading reasonableness into every article of the CISG, whether specifically mentioned in the article or not, helps tilt the scales in favor of Part One rather than Part Two applications of Article 7(2) - a tilting of scales that … is required by virtue of the good-faith and uniform-law mandate recited in Article 7(1) of the CISG."[770]

According to the above, the proper interpretation of the Convention is to rely on general principles rather than on the rules of private international law, where it is reasonable to do so. Thus, since it is also reasonable to read into Article 7(2) the good faith and uniform law mandates recited in Article 7(1), it would also be reasonable to make such election in the operation of Article 7(2) when these mandates (i.e., the promotion of uniformity in the Convention's application and the observance of good faith in international trade) are at stake. The present writer has argued, as did many delegates present at the 1980 Vienna Diplomatic Conference, that recourse to rules of private international law should not have been made a part of Article 7(2). Nonetheless, the text is there for all to peruse. The various academic and theoretical objections to this inclusion have been recorded and have been themselves discussed further, but the main question remains essentially the same: ultimately, can the CISG unite the law of international sales?

The answer to this question is two-fold. The CISG indeed has the potential to achieve the vision of its drafters and satisfy the needs of international buyers and sellers for certainty and uniformity. But its potential is endangered by the specific reference to conflict of laws for purposes of gap-filling in Article 7(2). The overwhelming preponderance of the evidence (i.e., the text and its legislative history) points to a strong, common desire in favor of uniformity, despite evidence of compromise in the final form of the CISG (e.g., the relevant compromise in Art. 7(2)). The traces of the political differences that remain in the text are, however, important ones in terms of the CISG's goal of achieving uniformity in the law of international sales. This is because they are arguably capable of turning the CISG into little more than an improved - but ultimately disappointing - revision of its predecessors, the 1964 Hague Conventions that failed to achieve the same goal.

The drafters and the diplomatic delegates completed their respective tasks in 1980, with varying degrees of success. The interpreter called upon to apply the CISG now (and in the future) has a clearly defined, albeit difficult task - to apply the provisions of the Convention according to the specific rules of interpretation contained in Article 7. The present writer has shown the existence of a danger to the the uniformity of the Convention's interpretation and application during this process, regarding the diverse results produced when the conflict of laws approach is implemented for gap-filling purposes. The relevant textual reference in Article 7(2) leaves the CISG prone to divergent gap-filling; i.e., in the absence of general principles, the solution is to be provided in conformity with the relevant law applicable according to the rules of private international law.

The present thesis has provided a theoretical framework for the introduction of elements of the UNIDROIT Principles (and arguably the Principles of European Contract Law, too) into the Convention's intepretation, as the CISG's companion. It has been argued that relevant portions of the Principles can be regarded as part of the "general principles" on which the CISG is based. Thus, when they satisfy the formal requirements for their use in conjunction with the CISG, they can aid in the Convention's interpretation and gap-filling as per Article 7(2). This development will promote uniformity and reduce the need to resort to the conflict of laws approach that produces divergent results.

8. A GAP-FILLING EXERCISE

The inability of any statute to address and solve all circumstances and problems that arise under its provisions is well recognised.[771] Bearing in mind the enormity of the task undertaken by the drafters of the CISG, the complexity and duration of the consensus-style drafting process,[772] and the difficulty of revising an international convention,[773] it is inevitable that gaps will be identified in the CISG.[774]

In this section, the present writer examines what he believes to be a gap praeter legem in Article 16. In dealing with the suggested gap, the gap-filling procedure set out in Article 7(2) is analysed. This analysis is accompanied by a practical demonstration of its function, in order to evaluate its success or failure, in maintaining and promoting the goal of the CISG - i.e., uniformity in interpretation and application of the Convention.

(a) Article 16 CISG

Article 16 sets out the law in relation to revocability of offers. It provides that:

"(1) Until a contract is concluded an offer may be revoked if the revocation reaches the offeree before he has dispatched an acceptance.

(2) However, an offer cannot be revoked: (a) if it indicates, whether by stating a fixed time for acceptance or otherwise, that it is irrevocable; or (b) if it was reasonable for the offeree to rely on the offer as being irrevocable and the offeree has acted in reliance on the offer."

According to the discussion contained in the previous chapter dealing with Article 7(1), in interpreting the CISG, one should always study the legislative history of the articles of the CISG in order to understand better their nature, scope, and function.[775] An examination of its legislative history reveals that Article 16 was one of the most controversial articles discussed by the Convention's drafters in the eleven-year period that elapsed between the establishment of the Working Group and the approval of the Convention at the Diplomatic Conference in 1980.[776] Article 16 of the CISG owed most of its controversy to the apparent lack of agreement among the drafters as to how the article was meant to be interpreted,[777] although it was meant to lay down the uniform international sales law on the issue of revocability of offers.

On this preliminary point, it is evident that there is a considerable risk that the provision in question could be interpreted differently, depending on whether a civil law or common law tribunal is hearing the matter.[778] Clearly, this is a serious threat to the CISG's objective of achieving uniformity in interpretation and application. The main issue here, however, is the threat to a uniform law of international sale of goods due to the failure to adopt a common approach to gap-filling in the CISG.

Article 16 appears to contain a gap in the situation where an irrevocable offer has clearly been made. Professor Honnold has specified the existence of the gap in the following situation:

"Buyer offered to purchase complex machinery from Seller which Seller would manufacture according to designs supplied by Buyer. The offer included a stated price and stated that the offer would be open for two months to enable Seller to determine whether he could make the machinery at that price. Seller immediately started the process of designing manufacturing procedures and computing costs of production. Two weeks later, when Seller had spent substantial sums in computing costs but had not completed this work, Buyer notified Seller that he could no longer use the machinery and withdrew the offer. Seller thereupon stopped work on the cost estimates since it would be uneconomical to invest further funds in preparing to make machinery that Buyer would not accept and perhaps could not pay for."[779]

In the above hypothetical case suggested by Honnold, S has relied on B's irrevocable offer for the creation of an international contract for the purchase of goods and incurred considerable expense to determine whether it can accept B's offer. When B notified S that the offer was being withdrawn, S had not yet reached the point where it would be able to accept the offer, since it had not yet completed the process of calculating the costs of production of the relevant goods. The issue that has to be resolved is whether, under the CISG's provisions, S could recover the expenditure incurred in reliance on B's initial offer.[780]

Article 74 CISG provides that damages for a loss suffered by one party may be obtained when the other party has committed a "breach of contract." Since S has not accepted the irrevocable offer of B, however, Article 23 CISG would suggest that a contract had not been concluded between B and S. Where there is no "concluded contract" there can be no "breach of contract", since there is no contract that can be breached. It follows that Article 74 cannot operate and that, consequently, damages will not be available to the Seller. In this situation, the inability of the S to recover damages suggests that there is a gap in the CISG, since the CISG intended to provide parties with effective remedies.[781]

(b) Identifying the gap in Article 16 CISG

The gap-filling mechanism of the CISG is laid down in Article 7(2). Procedurally, there is a specific method of analysis when considering whether there is a gap in the provisions of the CISG. Before the gap-filling rule in Article 7(2) can be put into operation, the matters to which the rule applies must first be identified.

The starting point is the observation that the gaps to which the rule refers are gaps "praeter legem", i.e., issues to which the CISG applies, but which it does not expressly resolve. The first condition for the existence of a gap in the sense of Article 7(2) is that the issue concerns matters "governed by the Convention". Specifically, Article 7(2) requires the determination of two questions:

(1) Is the matter governed by the CISG? [782] If the answer to this initial question is negative, then the gap-filling mechanism cannot be put into operation, since a gap praeter legem can only exist in relation to matters that are governed by the Convention.[783] On the other hand, a positive answer to the initial question allows the inquiry to proceed to the next question.

(2) If the matter is governed by the CISG, is it expressly settled under it? If the answer to this second question is positive, then the gap-filling mechanism cannot be put into operation either, since a gap cannot exist if the CISG deals with the matter. It is generally accepted that a matter will be expressly settled by the CISG "… if it could be said that the drafters intended the provisions of the Convention to be the exclusive and comprehensive law in relation to the matter."[784]

Where such an intention is evident there cannot be a gap. If the answer to the second question is negative, it must be concluded that there is a gap in the CISG and according to Article 7(2) it must be settled: (a) in conformity with the general principles on which the CISG is based, or (b) in the absence of such principles, in conformity with the law applicable by virtue of the rules of private international law.

The theoretical framework of gap-filling having been established, it can be put into practice for the problem at hand.

Is the matter of revocation of offers governed by the CISG? It can be debated whether the CISG is concerned with precontractual negotiations in situations where an irrevocable offer has not been made. While there is no express provision governing precontractual negotiations generally,[785] a principle that underlies the CISG is that the Convention is indeed concerned with precontractual negotiations where a party has acted in reliance on a representation made by the other.[786] Article 16(2) protects a party who has "acted in reliance" on an offer in the reasonable belief that it was irrevocable. While Article 29(2) provides that a party may be precluded by its conduct from asserting that a modification to a contract must be in writing "to the extent that the other party has relied on that conduct."[787] From the above it can be concluded that the CISG governs revocation of offers. Article 16 was intended to govern the field as to when an offer can, or cannot, be revoked. This is plain from the express language of the provision, its legislative history and the academic opinion on point.[788]

Is the matter of revocation of offers "expressly settled" by the CISG? It appears that the CISG allows an offeree to recover damages if it has accepted an irrevocable offer that is unlawfully withdrawn, but does not allow damages in the absence of acceptance.[789] The crucial question, for our purposes, is whether the drafters of the CISG intended not to provide damages in the absence of acceptance - in which case there would be no gap in the CISG - or whether there is a gap in the remedial provisions of the CISG. The gap-filling procedure can only take place if one concludes that the absence of the remedy resulted from the failure of the drafters of the CISG to foresee the situation and resolve it.[790] In order to determine whether the absence of remedial provision for the specific case is a gap or, alternatively, was intended by the drafters, one must examine the legislative history of the provision, similar cases regulated by specific provisions of the CISG, and the principles which underlie the CISG.[791]

(i) Examination of the legislative history of the provision

The examination of the legislative history of the provision takes place in order to investigate whether the drafting debates reveal an express intention that no remedy be available in the particular case, or whether the absence of the remedy resulted from the failure of the drafters to foresee the situation and resolve it. Upon examination of the legislative history of Article 16 and Article 74 of the CISG, there is no evidence to suggest that the hypothetical case posed by Honnold had been envisaged by the drafters, nor that they had intended that damages ought not to be available to S.

(ii) Examination of similar cases regulated by CISG provisions

Examining similar cases regulated by specific provisions of the CISG can assist in considering whether they can be of any assistance.[792] If it appears that no remedy is provided under the CISG for the particular case, but that a remedy is available in analogous situations, it will usually be reasonable to conclude that a gap exists.[793] Alternatively, if a remedy is not available in analogous situations either, it will be reasonable to conclude that that the drafters of the CISG did not intend it to be available in the case in question.

To perform such an examination of other cases governed by Article 16, we can change the facts in Professor Honnold's hypothetical to create slightly different questions to the ones at hand in order to see how Article 16 deals with them.[794]

Variation A - Seller accepts the offer prior to its withdrawal by the Buyer

Suppose that S carried out all its research and notified B that it had accepted the offer prior to its withdrawal by B. B subsequently informs S that it can no longer use the machinery and will not go through with the sale. In this variation of the facts, could S recover damages from B for the expenditure incurred in reliance of the offer?

Solution A

This is a clear case where the offer cannot be withdrawn; thus B has repudiated. It is important, however, for the complete treatment of our case problem to analyse the mechanics of the solution to Variation A.

According to Article 18 "[a]n acceptance of an offer becomes effective at the moment the indication of assent reaches the offeror. ..." Therefore, the communication by S to B of its acceptance becomes effective at the moment that it reaches the offeror, i.e., prior to the withdrawal of the offer. Under Article 23, a contract is concluded at that time.

Upon conclusion of a valid contract, B takes on certain obligations that are stated in Chapter III of the CISG. Article 53 provides that: [t]he buyer must pay the price for the goods and take delivery of them as required by the Contract and the Convention." (emphasis added). Faced with B's subsequent withdrawal of the offer, S must look at the remedies that are available under the provisions of the CISG.

(i) avoidance of the contract

Under Article 72(1), S may declare the contract avoided "[i]f prior to the date for performance of the contract it is clear that one of the parties will commit a fundamental breach of contract ..." (emphasis added).

The facts in Variation A constitute an example of anticipatory breach. According to Article 25: "A breach of contract committed by one of the parties is fundamental if it results in such detriment to the other party as substantially to deprive him of what he is entitled to expect under the contract ..."

B's stated intention that it will not go through with the contract and will not pay the contract price clearly constitute a "fundamental breach", under Art. 25, for the purposes of the case in Variation A. Article 72(2) requires that "... the party intending to declare the contract avoided (the Seller) must give reasonable notice to the other party (the Buyer) that it intends to avoid the contract to permit him to provide adequate assurance of his performance."

In a case like Variation A, where B declares that it will not perform its obligation to pay, S would be able to avoid the contract for anticipatory breach of contract, without any major difficulty.

(ii) damages

In addition to avoiding the contract under Article 72, S can exercise its right to claim damages under the CISG, pursuant to Article 61 and 74. Article 61 directs that: "(1) If the buyer fails to perform any of his obligations under the contract or this Convention, the seller may: ... claim damages as provided in Articles 74 and 77."

According to Article 74, damages for breach of contract by one party "consists of a sum equal to the loss, including loss of profit, suffered by the other party as a consequence of the breach."

Article 74 provides the general rule for a calculation of damages for losses suffered by the buyer, or seller, as a result of a breach and seeks to place the injured party in the position it would have been had the other party properly performed the contract.[795] Article 74 provides both an objective and subjective test for foreseeability. The consequence of the breach need only be possible [796] and the consequences of the breach need only be contemplated by the breaching party. It follows that S would be able to recover the costs it incurred in reliance on B's offer.

Variation B - Buyer withdraws the offer prior to Seller's notification of acceptance

In this variation of Professor Honnold's hypothetical case problem, let us suppose that B informs S that it is withdrawing its offer before S has notified B of its acceptance and before the initial period within which it was stated that the offer would remain open has expired. Could S recover damages for the expenditure incurred in reliance on the offer, if it ignored B's notice and notified B that it accepted the offer?

Solution B

According to Article 16 CISG: "(2) ... an offer cannot be revoked: (a) if it indicates, whether by stating a fixed time for acceptance or otherwise, that it is irrevocable; or (b) if it was reasonable for the offeree to rely on the offer as being irrevocable and the offeree has acted in reliance on the offer.

Applying the wording of the above provision to the facts of Variation B, it can be seen that that the offer cannot be revoked prior to the expiration of the two month period during which it was represented that it would be held open. Therefore, it appears that, for the purposes of the CISG, B's revocation of the offer in Variation B would have no legal effect. Consequently, since S notified B that it has accepted the offer which was to remain open, the preceding analysis on the breach of contract in Variation A would also apply in Variation B. The result would also be the same.

Professor Honnold's hypothetical case and Variations A & B

From the above analysis of S's remedies in Variations A and B, it can be seen that the CISG makes provision for the recovery of damages by S for the expenditure incurred in reliance on B's offer. Variations A and B are clearly analogous to Honnold's hypothetical Problem Case. The factual similarities of the three cases centre on the point that in all three cases S has relied on B's irrevocable offer and suffered a loss of expenditure in reliance on the offer. The factual variations between the three cases are based on the distinction that in Variations A and B, but not in Professor Honnold's hypothetical, S has:

(i) completed its research of designing and manufacturing procedures and computing costs of production and decided to accept the offer within the two month period within which the offer was to remain open; and

(ii) notified B that it accepts the offer before the expiration of the relevant period.

Answering the question of whether, or not, a gap in the CISG exists in relation to revocability of offers, depends on the answer to the following question: Do the factual differences in the three cases outlined above lead to the conclusion that damages were not intended to be available in Professor Honnold's hypothetical Problem Case?

Argument that there is no gap in Article 16 CISG

The argument that there is no gap in Article 16 would have to be based on the conclusion that the differences between Variation B and Professor Honnold's hypothetical lead to the conclusion that damages were not intended to apply to the latter case. This conclusion could be supported on the premise that before CISG's remedial provisions are brought into effect there must be an acceptance of an offer, so as to create a contract that can be governed by the CISG.

If this argument were valid, it would mean that Article 16 was intended to enable a party relying on an irrevocable offer to accept the offer and recover damages if the other party failed to perform its obligations. A natural conclusion, then, would be that Article 16 was not intended to operate to enable a party to recover damages if it did not accept the offer, as in such circumstances there would be no contract. Thus, it would follow that, as there was no acceptance in the Problem Case, there is no remedy and, consequently, no gap.

Argument that a gap exists in Article 16 CISG

The above argument that no gap exists in the CISG on the specific point of contention seems to be defective. The main criticism is that it creates an absurdity by supporting that the CISG makes provisions for the recovery of damages by the Seller in Variation B but not in Professor Honnold's hypothetical Problem Case.[797] The charge of inanity attributed to this argument is supported by the fact that on such an interpretation of the CISG's provisions, S is not entitled to damages in Professor Honnold's hypothetical, but may become entitled to damages by incurring additional expenditures (which it would subsequently recover if it can establish a breach) and notifying B (within the relevant period that the offer was to remain open) that the offer was accepted. To conduct itself in this manner, in order to be allowed to recover damages, however, S would have to act in defiance of, and direct opposition to, one of the expressly stated general principles of the CISG, the principle of mitigation, as this is expressed in Article 77:

"A party who relies on a breach of contract must take such measures as are reasonable in the circumstances to mitigate the loss of profit, including loss of profit, resulting from the breach. If he fails to take such measures, the party in breach may claim a reduction in the damages in the amount by which the loss should have been mitigated."

It makes better sense to conclude that the drafters of the CISG did not intend to force a party to act in an exaggerated and economically inefficient manner, by incurring additional loss, in order to qualify for a remedy. This conclusion can be supported further by Article 61(1), which provides that damages will be available to the seller "[i]f the buyer fails to perform any of his obligations under the contract or this Convention..." (emphasis added).

Relying on the wording of this provision, it can be argued that the drafters in fact intended that the CISG's remedial provisions be available in cases where, while there is no breach of contract, there was a failure to perform an obligation created under the CISG. This argument, if accepted, would mean the existence of a "general principle" that could be used to fill the relevant gap.

From the above analysis, it would follow that damages were intended to be available in Honnold's hypothetical Problem Case, given that the Seller has suffered a loss as a consequence of the Buyer's breach of its obligation (as stated in Article 16(2)) to hold the offer open. The absence of a specific legislative intent to exclude the remedy, the availability of the remedy in closely analogous situations, the conflict with the principle of mitigation, and the provision of Article 61, compel the conclusion that the drafters simply failed to foresee the Problem Case arising. In other words, the matter has not been expressly settled and a gap exists in Article 16.

(iii) Examination of the principles that underlie the CISG

An examination of the principles that underlie the CISG is necessary to clarify the drafter's intentions. It has been correctly noted that

"… if the availability of the remedy conflicts with any of the principles which underlie the provisions of the Convention, it is unlikely that a gap exists. Conversely, if the absence of a remedy conflicts with any of the Convention's general principles, it is likely that a gap exists."[798]

From the above analysis of the case in favour of the existence of a gap, it can be seen that there is a strong argument for the CISG's remedial provisions to be available in cases where, there is no breach of contract, but there was a failure to perform an obligation created under the CISG. While the Convention's provisions on damages are written in terms of providing remedies for breach of contract, these provisions must be read in light of Article 61. There is a strong argument that the principle underlying Article 74 is that damages should be available for both a breach of contract and a breach of obligation under the CISG. If this argument is correct, parties may be exposed to actions for damages in a variety of situations where obligations are created by the Convention.[799] The fact that Section III of the CISG is headed "Remedies for Breach of Contract by the Buyer" should not overshadow the fact that headings ought not to be given greater weight than the provisions themselves.

Conclusion on the existence of a gap in Article 16 CISG. The present writer, having examined (i) the legislative history of the provision in question (Article 16), (ii) similar cases regulated by specific provisions of the CISG (to consider whether they can be of any assistance), and (iii) the principles that underlie the CISG (to clarify the drafter's intention), is of the opinion that the matter of revocation of offers is governed by the CISG, but is not expressly settled in it, i.e., a gap does exist in Article 16.

(c) Application of the gap-filling analysis to Article 16 CISG

Once it has been concluded that a gap exists in a CISG provision, it is necessary to determine how it should be filled. As explained earlier in this chapter, Article 7(2) the CISG provides two alternative methods to perform the gap-filling operation. The gap is filled either by applying the general principles on which the CISG is based, or, in the absence of applicable principles, by recourse to domestic law via the rules of private international law. Of course, in considering these alternatives, regard must be had to the CISG's international character and the need to promote uniformity in its application, as prescribed in Article 7(1).

It is submitted that in Professor Honnold's hypothetical Problem Case, the gap can and should be filled by applying the general principle underlying Article 74 that damages are available to an innocent party where the other party has breached its obligation under the contract or the CISG. This result flows from the argument outlined earlier in this chapter, according to which the Seller can exercise its right to claim damages under the CISG pursuant to Articles 61 and 74. Article 61 directs that "[i]f the buyer fails to perform any of his obligations under the contract or this Convention, the seller may: .... claim damages as provided in Articles 74 and 77."

According to Article 74: "Damages for breach of contract by one party consists of a sum equal to the loss, including loss of profit, suffered by the other party as a consequence of the breach. ..."

Following what is stated in Article 74, the Seller would be able to recover the costs it incurred in reliance on the offer, as well as damages for any reasonably foreseeable loss of profit that flowed from the breach of contract by the Buyer.

Honnold's hypothetical Problem and Variation B were found to be analogous: In both cases: (i) an irrevocable offer was made; (ii) S reasonably relied on the offer and incurred considerable expenditure to determine whether to accept the offer; (iii) B unlawfully withdrew the offer, with the result that S's reliance expenditure is wasted.

The similarity of the two cases is so great that the Seller in the Problem Case can, by its unilateral action, place itself in the same situation as S in Variation B and obtain damages under Article 74. The similarity between the two cases, together with the effect of Article 61, which makes provision for the recovery of damages where a buyer breaches its obligation under the CISG, leads to the conclusion that damages should be available to the Seller in the hypothetical Problem Case. The drafters "would not have deliberately chosen discordant results" for the two cases.[800] Consequently, it is submitted that Article 7(2) requires that the gap in Article 16 be filled by applying the principle underlying Article 74. Nevertheless, should a tribunal decide that there was no general principle under the CISG that could be applied to fill the gap, recourse would be had to the domestic law applicable by virtue of the rules of private international law.[801]

It is part of the present writer's thesis that recourse to the rules of private international law should not be made easily, because this would destabilise the unifying effort that the CISG represents. Instead, it is suggested that the proper interpretation of the CISG is to rely on a "general principles" solution, as this would enhance uniformity. An examination of certain domestic legal systems in relation to this point supports this thesis. As the law stands in certain civil law states, the Seller is likely to be allowed to recover reliance damages. In Italy, the Codice Civile would allow the Seller to recover damages for the loss suffered in preparing to perform.[802] Similarly, in Germany, Brazil, Greece and Switzerland, an offeror

"… is not simply under a duty not to withdraw the offer but actually has no power to do so ... an attempted withdrawal simply has no legal effect at all."[803]

In France, while an offer stated to be open for a set period can be withdrawn by the offeror before the expiry of that period, the law provides that such a withdrawal will render the offeror liable to the offeree in damages.[804] Although there is some dispute in French law as to the legal basis for the offeror's liability in damages, it seems likely that the Seller in the hypothetical Problem Case could obtain damages equivalent to the expenses it incurred in reliance on the Buyer's offer remaining open.[805]

Courts in some common law countries are also likely to allow the Seller damages under the doctrines of equitable or promissory estoppel. In the United States, the Uniform Commercial Code Article 2-205 may not be of assistance in the Problem Case, as the offer is not in writing. However, U.C.C. Article 1-103 provides that, unless displaced by particular provisions of the Act, the principles of law and equity, including estoppel, shall supplement the provisions of the Act. United States courts have consistently shown a willingness to apply the principles of promissory estoppel to enable plaintiffs to recover reliance damages in cases where UCC Article 2-205 does not apply.[806] The law of promissory estoppel in the United States is derived from section 90 of the Restatement (Second) of Contracts, which states:

"A promise which the promisor should reasonably expect to induce action or forbearance on the part of the promisee or a third person and which does induce such action or forbearance is binding if injustice can be avoided only by enforcement of the promise. The remedy granted for breach may be limited as justice requires."[807]

Consequently, it is likely that the Seller in the Problem Case would recover reliance damages if United States domestic law applied.

The Australian High Court, in the case of Waltons Stores (Interstate) Ltd. v. Maher,[808] endorsed the use of equitable estoppel as a cause of action. In Australia the law stands as it was pronounced by the Supreme Court of New South Wales in the following terms:

"For equitable estoppel to operate ... there must be the creation or encouragement by the defendant in the plaintiff of an assumption that a contract will come into existence or a promise be performed, and the reliance on that by the plaintiff, in circumstances where the departure from the assumption by the defendant would be unconscionable."[809]

Thus, it is likely that an Australian court would also uphold an action by the Seller in the Problem Case, this time on the basis of equitable estoppel. The remedy granted to satisfy the equity would be whatever is necessary to prevent detriment resulting from the unconscionable conduct.[810]

However, English courts, unlike their Australian counterparts, would probably not allow the Seller to recover damages because the use of the doctrine of promissory estoppel in England is still limited to providing the equitable defence to an action, rather than giving rise to a cause of action.[811] It follows that the Seller in the Problem Case would be unable to recover reliance damages in England.

The above analysis reveals that while most domestic law systems will enable the Seller in the hypothetical Problem Case to institute proceedings to recover damages for its reliance loss, this will not always be the case. As a result, if the gap in Article 16 is filled by recourse to domestic laws applicable by virtue of the rules of private international law, non-uniform results may follow. Therefore, it is submitted that the provision in Article 7(2) for recourse to domestic solutions, even as a last resort, should not be activated, as its activation will produce divergent results in the CISG's interpretation and application.

9. CONCLUSIONS

The benefits of a uniform law for the international sale of goods are substantial. A uniform law would provide parties with greater certainty as to their potential rights and obligations. This is to be compared with the results brought about by the amorphous principles of private international law and the possible application of an unfamiliar system of foreign domestic law.

Another advantage of a uniform law of international sales of goods is that it would serve to simplify international sales transactions and thus "contribute to the removal of legal barriers in international trade and promote the development of international trade." The CISG seeks to achieve such uniformity. Whether or not it is successful will largely depend on two things: first, whether domestic tribunals interpret its provisions in a uniform manner and, secondly, whether those same tribunals adopt a uniform approach to the filling of gaps.

From what has been said so far, one main conclusion can be drawn: ultimately, it is the interpreter's task to decide whether the CISG can really become a uniform law; i.e., whether universalism prevails over nationalism, and whether any progress has been made since the enactment of the national codes that overturned what could have been a basis for a new ius commune. Unlike the 1964 Hague Conventions, the 1980 Vienna Convention provides an ideal framework that should permit a positive answer to the foregoing question.

A survey of a number of common law and civil law domestic legal systems reveals that if recourse were made to domestic law to fill in a specific gap praeter legem in the CISG, non-uniform results will follow. This demonstrates that such recourse may provide an answer in the absence of relevant general principles; but this answer does not promote uniformity in the Convention's application. It is evident that for the proper construction and application of the CISG, domestic tribunals should comply with the general mandate in Article 7(1) for internationality and uniformity. These concepts arguably should imbue all of the CISG's provisions. Recourse to domestic law does not promote uniformity, but is allowed (in the absence of relevant general principles) for gap-filling purposes under Article 7(2). A liberal but principled approach to the CISG's interpretation - one that makes informed choices when confronting textual problems or contradictions - can prevent the diversity of results produced by a literal interpretation of Article 7(2).

One such approach is suggested by the present writer; it is an approach that involves the utilisation of UNIDROIT Principles (and the PECL) in the interpretation of the Convention, when it can be shown that the former are part of the general principles that underlie the latter. The Principles can and should assist in the reduction of the need to resort to rules of private international law for gap-filling; a positive step toward maintaining the integrity of the CISG's uniform and international application and interpretation. The UNIDROIT Principles, being the result of the work of a group of experts acting under the auspices of an inter-governmental organisation with no legislative power, may have appeared to a sceptical observer, at first sight, to be little more than an academic exercise of no practical utility.[812] The experience gained by their use and usefulness since their publication has, however, shown that this is not the case. Their success in practice has already been significant.[813] The reception of the UNIDROIT Principles in academic and professional circles has been very warm and widespread, as they have been used as teaching materials, as a model for national and international legislation, as a guide in contract negotiations, as the law chosen by the parties to govern their contract, and as rules of law referred to in judicial proceedings. As pointed out by an eminent Swiss arbitrator:

"[The UNIDROIT Principles], are likely to find a quite universal acceptance, since they have been worked out ... with the contribution of over seventy well known specialists from all major areas and legal systems of the world, including formerly socialist countries, Latin America countries and countries of the Far East."[814]

Yet, there might also be more practical reasons for the success of the UNIDROIT Principles. As one experienced American lawyer has commented

"The great importance of the [UNIDROIT] Principles is that the volume exists. It can be taken to court, it can be referred to page and article number, and persons who are referred to its provisions can locate and review them without difficulty. This alone is a great contribution towards making lex mercatoria definitive and provable."[815]

Closer to our concerns though, cases involving the application of the UNIDROIT Principles have indicated that they can indeed provide valuable assistance in filling gaps in the CISG. The UNIDROIT Principles, and arguably the PECL, can and should be utilised in interpreting problematic CISG provisions. As international Restatements, both instruments can help interpret the Convention. Certain provisions in the Principles and the PECL bear a striking similarity to their CISG counterparts and can be regarded as "fleshing out bones" already present in the skeletal structure of the uniform law. It is doubtful whether the same can happen where the Restatement provisions have "bones and accompanying flesh" that cannot be readily affixed to the uniform law they accompany. Where, as is often the case, either the UNIDROIT Principles or the PECL dovetail with or approximate the CISG, the relevant comparatives can be helpful to the CISG researcher. The general affinity of the CISG to its companion Restatements demands such a comparative approach, especially where it can be shown that their respective provisions share a common intent. The proper introduction of the UNIDROIT Principles and the PECL into the gap-filling mechanism of the CISG aids in reducing the need to turn to the rules of private international law; this is a positive step towards uniformity.


CHAPTER 5: CISG CASE LAW - THE FINAL STEP TOWARDS UNIFICATION OF THE LAW ON THE INTERNATIONAL SALE OF GOODS

1. CISG in Practice - Case Law Results and Patterns
2. Critical Analysis of the U.S. Case Law on CISG - An Interpretation of CISG Based on Domestic Laws and Practices
3. An Approach to CISG's Interpetation based on Internationality and General Principles of Law

(a) The language of CISG: Plain meaning and full context
(b) Legislative history: Its nature and scope
(c) Statutory "gaps" and international uniformity
(d) International case law and uniformity
     (i) General remarks
     (ii) Theoretical issues
     (iii) Practical, substantive and methodological issues
(e) General principles of international law: UNIDROIT Principles
      (i) Introduction to gap-filling issues
      (ii) The UNIDROIT Principles as "general principles"
      (iii) The legitimacy of their use in Article 7(2) CISG
(f) Final remarks

CISG CASE LAW - THE FINAL STEP TOWARDS UNIFICATION OF
THE LAW ON THE INTERNATIONAL SALE OF GOODS

1. THE CISG IN PRACTICE - CASE LAW RESULTS AND PATTERNS

Uniform international law, due to its nature, presents special challenges to those who interpret it. As stated in its Preamble, the CISG was created to "contribute to the removal of legal barriers in international trade and promote the development of international trade." It has been argued throughout this work that the CISG is an important document whose objectives can be accomplished only if it is interpreted properly. The CISG's rules for international trade are now part of the living law of more than fifty countries that embrace a heavy majority of the world population and trade.[816] Yet the number of international commercial transactions that may be affected by the CISG is even greater. The Convention is applicable not only when both parties have their places of business in (different) Contracting States (Art. 1 (1)(a)), but also when the rules of private international law lead to the application of the law of a Contracting State (Art. 1(1)(b)), including the case where the forum is that of a non-Contracting State;[817] a number of cases will involve the CISG.

The continuous and steady increase in the number of CISG decisions is clear when one compares the 550 or so CISG decisions published by Will in 1999,[818] to over 820 cases listed on the Pace Law website in January 2001.[819] The great majority of cases are in central Europe - in countries that had over a decade of satisfactory experience with the predecessor to the CISG, the 1964 Hague Convention that provided uniform rules for international sales.[820]

On the other hand, the United States, one of the earliest adherents to the CISG, with its massive volume of international trade, has surprisingly produced very few cases. The desire in some trade sectors to exclude the Convention's application altogether, the use of alternative means of dispute resolution, and the non-publication of relevant awards are the main reasons why in some countries, such as Italy and the United States, the case law relating to the CISG is still rather limited.[821]

A further reason for this development is the apparent reluctance of the result-oriented international business community and international legal practitioners to embrace the CISG because of the unpredictability of its law in international sales transactions.[822] It is arguable that the establishment of a record of all litigation that involves CISG related issues could increase predictability.[823]

Notwithstanding these negative practices, the number of national court decisions and arbitral awards applying the CISG is constantly growing.[824] Although German and Dutch case law continues to be the most copious, Austrian, French, Swiss and Hungarian judgments are increasing in number while judgments handed down by courts in Denmark, Belgium and China have been reported for the first time. In addition to the awards of the I.C.C. Court of Arbitration in Paris and the International Court of Arbitration of the Federal Chamber of Commerce of Vienna, some interesting arbitral awards have also been rendered under the Rules of the Hungarian and Russian Federation Chambers of International Commerce.[825]

In this formative stage of jurisprudence, courts must pay particular attention to developing a method of interpretation that takes into account the CISG's international character. Legal scholars and commentators have long recognised the enormous potential of the CISG as a historic milestone towards unification of international law.[826] It is, however, the business community and legal practitioners that will cast the final decisive votes by either embracing the CISG, or by opting out of it, based upon their perception of whether the courts are able to implement it as a unifying tool in international sales transactions.

The disappointing element that emerges from a survey of the existing CISG case law is that very rarely do decisions take into account the solutions adopted on the same point by courts in other countries. A treaty is only as good as its implementation and interpretation. Since the goal of the CISG is the unification of the law pertaining to international sales, predictability and certainty of interpretation is desirable. Unfortunately, there is no single judicial body charged with applying the Convention. Instead, domestic fora - whether they are national courts, or arbitration panels - will interpret its provisions. The decisions concerning the CISG are not subject to central review; there is no central world court for that purpose.

Until now, it would appear that there are only a few decisions rendered by national judges in which express reference is made to foreign precedents. Even though hundreds of cases concerning CISG are already in existence, these appear to be the only ones in which a court has referred to decisions from foreign jurisdictions to validate their argument. The first of these judgments was handed down by the Tribunale Civile di Cuneo and the second by the Cour d'appel de Grenoble.

In the first case, the Italian court had to apply the CISG provisions that require the buyer to examine the goods and give notice of any lack of conformity. For the purpose of interpreting the rather vague formulae "within as short a period as is practicable in the circumstances" and "within a reasonable time," contained in the relevant CISG Articles 38 and 39, the court did not hesitate to refer to two judgments handed down in similar cases in Switzerland by the Pretore of Locarno-Campagna and in Germany by the Landgericht of Stuttgart.[827]

The second judgment was rendered by the French Cour d'appel of Grenoble.[828] In this instance, the Court of Appeal expressly referred to a decision of the Oberlandesgericht of Düsseldorf [829] to hold that the Vienna Convention established the place of payment of the price as the seller's place of business (Art. 57(1)); and that the usual interpretation of this provision was that it expressed the general principle that payment should be made at the place of domicile of the creditor.

The next relevant case comes from the Obergericht des Kantons Luzern in Switzerland.[830] The plaintiff was an Italian seller of medical supplies, and the defendant was a Swiss buyer. After reviewing the international case law, the court stated that there were serious gaps in the construction of the terms "examination of the goods" and "notice of lack of conformity," with the extremely restrictive German case law, on the one hand, and the more liberal American and Dutch case law, on the other. The court observed that the gap between these two positions had to be narrowed. Then the court found a period of ten days after delivery to be appropriate (Art. 38), as regards examination of the goods by the buyer for the purpose of determining their conformity with the contract. As to the notice requirement for lack of conformity, the court held that a "rough average" of one month was also appropriate (Art. 39 CISG).

The next case of interest is MCC-Marble Ceramic Center, Inc. v. Ceramica Nuova D'Agostino S.p.A.[831] This case involved the sale of ceramic tiles by an Italian manufacturer to a U.S. retailer. The key issue before the court was whether the parol evidence rule of domestic law applies to the interpretation of a contract governed by the CISG. The U.S. federal appellate court held that Article 8(3) precludes the application of the U.S. parol evidence rule. The court expressly rejected an indication to the contrary in Beijing Metals & Minerals Import/Export Corp. v. American Business Center, Inc.[832] The court also rejected the seller's argument that the parol evidence rule was a procedural rule outside the scope of the CISG. The court paid attention to the CISG doctrine, citing a number of commentators, and to the CISG jurisprudence as well. While not citing foreign precedents, as there were none on the issue considered, it pointed out the need to consider such precedents and discussed U.S. decisions that drew distinctions between this ruling and a prior ruling of another U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.[833] It is also noteworthy that the court provided guidance to counsel by calling attention to the Pace Law website as "a promising source" for "persuasive authority from courts of other States Party to the CISG."[834]

In Medical Marketing International, Inc. v. Internazionale Medico Scientifica, S.r.l.,[835] a U.S federal court of first instance also cited the ruling of a court of a foreign jurisdiction. The defendant, an Italian seller of medical equipment, sought to have an arbitral ruling overturned on the grounds that the arbitrators misapplied the CISG, and that they refused to follow a German Supreme Court case [836] interpreting the Convention. The buyer was a Louisiana marketing corporation that had entered into a business licensing agreement in which the seller granted exclusive sales rights for certain medical equipment to the buyer. Although the federal court was unwilling to accept this argument, the significance of the case lies in the U.S. judicial reference to an interpretation of the CISG by a court of another Contracting State. This was also the case in Tribunale di Pavia, which too cited the ruling of a court of a foreign jurisdiction.[837]

The most recent case that cites and comments on rulings of courts of foreign jurisdictions comes from Tribunale di Vigevano in Italy.[838] In this case, a German insurance company (the buyer's assignee) brought suit against an Italian seller of rubber used in the manufacture of shoe soles by the buyer. The buyer made the material into shoe soles subsequently purchased and used in the manufacture of footwear by an Austrian company, which then sold the finished product to a Russian company. The Russian company returned the shoes to the Austrian manufacturer, stating that once the soles were placed on the market and subject to use, they wore out in a short time, and were consequently not fit for the purpose for which they were produced. In turn, the Austrian manufacturer returned the shoes to the buyer and was reimbursed through the buyer's assignee. The plaintiff arranged for the redistribution of the defective footwear at below cost price and sued the seller, pursuant to Italian Civil Code art. 1201, standing in all the contractual and extra-contractual rights of the buyer, its insured. The plaintiff argued that the seller should be held to pay actual damages of more than 80,000 Marks, which resulted from the re-sale of the finished product at a lower price due to non-comformity.

The court held that the plaintiff failed to meet its burden of proof under the procedural law of Italy, as well as under the CISG. The court held that under the circumstances, given the kind and nature of the goods, the buyer did not provide the seller with a timely or sufficiently specific notice of any non-conformities, as per CISG Articles 35(1), 35(2), 38(1) and 39(1). The most important aspect of this case, for our purposes, is the court's willingness to cite foreign CISG jurisprudence (American, Austrian, Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Swiss court cases contained in national reporters, ICC arbitral awards, as well as two CISG websites and UNILEX) and to mostly follow the prevalent views expressed therein. What must be regretted, however, is the lack of any reference by the court to doctrine or the legislative history of the Convention. With respect to foreign jurisprudence the court stated that, even if it is not binding, it should be taken into consideration with "regard" to promoting uniform application of the Convention and the observance of good faith, as mandated by Article 7(1).

Although this case was decided on the threshold question as to the allocation and the content of the burden of proof, it is hoped that the court's approach to CISG issues, (involving extensive analysis of the application of the Convention and the foreign jurisprudence; e.g., on the meaning of "reasonable" and "within as short a period as is practicable in the circumstances," on the specificity requirement recited in Art. 39(1), and on reasoning by analogy to arrive at a tenable identification and application of "general principles") influences the way other tribunals interpret and apply the CISG. There are also some tribunal decisions in which the CISG has been interpreted by express reference to the UNIDROIT Principles.[839] In particular, mention may be made of an award by the I.C.C. Court of Arbitration in Paris [840] which, following a precedent set by the International Court of Arbitration of the Federal Chamber of Commerce of Vienna,[841] applied the UNIDROIT Principles in order to determine the rate of interest.

Commentators around the world have already published critical analyses of the CISG case law, in which they discuss various court decisions and arbitral awards on a large number of the CISG's provisions.[842] For example, there are many cases dealing with matters implicitly excluded from the ambit of the CISG. Since the list provided in Article 4 is not an exhaustive one, problems arise in determining what other matters are excluded from the scope of the CISG - and are thus governed by the applicable domestic law - and in distinguishing them from matters which, though not expressly settled in the CISG, fall within its scope and must therefore be settled in conformity with the general principles underlying the CISG.[843] There are decisions which confirm that the CISG does not cover issues relating to the capacity of the parties,[844] the existence of an agency relationship,[845] the right to set-off against the other party's claim,[846] the validity of the assignment of one party's right to third parties,[847] prescription (i.e., limitation period),[848] the validity of a penalty clause,[849] the recovery of damages arising from mandating an agent to collect debts,[850] the validity of a settlement agreement,[851] and defects in consent.[852]

In this chapter, closer attention is paid to the case law concerning the interpretative issues in Articles 7(1) and 7(2) that were raised in the previous chapters of this work and relate to the thesis advanced herein. As such, mention must be made of an award rendered by the I.C.C. Court of Arbitration affirming the applicability of the CISG as an expression of the new lex mercatoria.[853] As the contract did not indicate the applicable law, the arbitral tribunal, pursuant to Article 13(3) of the I.C.C. Rules, held that the contract was governed by the general principles of international commercial practice and accepted trade usages, and as such by the CISG which reflects these principles and usages.

Mention may also be made of a decision by an Italian State court concerning a contract for the sale of raw oil and contained a FOB clause as well as a reference to NIOC standard terms. Although the contract was not governed by the CISG, the Corte d'Appello of Genova made an express reference to the CISG in support of its ruling that the FOB clause's scheme was binding as an international trade usage (under Article 9 the CISG).[854]

The marked contrast between the CISG's increasing world-wide acceptance, on the one hand, and its insignificant practical use in the United States, on the other, is cause for great concern for those of us who believe that the U.S., being one of the earliest adherents to the CISG and entertaining a massive volume of international trade, has an important role to play in the development and establishment of the CISG as the uniform code on the international sale of goods. This phenomenon must be examined further, since it involves a wide range of key theoretical and practical interpretative issues that affect the CISG, such as the treatment of the CISG's international character by the courts of a major Contracting State and the methodology that will actually promote uniformity in the CISG's application. The fact that the American case law has not fulfilled the expectations of the present writer (as these are expressed through the thesis advanced in this work), but demonstrates a fallacious approach to the CISG instead, makes its analysis more important since it can act as a paradigm of the pitfalls that current and future interpreters of the CISG must avoid.

2. CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE U.S. CASE LAW ON CISG - AN INTERPRETATION OF CISG BASED ON DOMESTIC LAWS AND PRACTICES

Very few cases interpreting the Convention have been reported in the courts of the United States to date,[855] despite the broad scope of the CISG.[856] Unfortunately, the first major U.S. Circuit Court decision interpreting the CISG is disappointing.[857] The court recognised superficially its additional charge, under Article 7(1), to interpret the CISG in light of its "international character and the need to promote uniformity" in its application, but ultimately failed to articulate a method of interpretation that took into account the CISG's international character and the stated goal of uniformity in its application.[858]

Unfortunately, the next case decided by a U.S. District Court was equally dissapointing. In Delchi Carrier, SpA v. Rotorex Corporation, the court applied the Convention's gap-filling mechanism to resolve certain matters in Articles 74-78 of the Convention.[859] In Delchi, an Italian manufacturer of air conditioners sued successfully its American supplier for breach of a contract to supply compressors necessary for the manufacture of its air conditioners and was awarded consequential damages from the breach and lost profits from the reduced sales of air conditioners.[860]

The Delchi decision has received extensive and strong, but valid criticism regarding the court's failure to grasp the Convention's spirit of internationalism.[861] This is evident in the methodology it followed in resolving most of the issues at hand,[862] from the applicability of CISG [863] and its discussion of the concepts of "fundamental breach" and "foreseeability",[864] to its damages [865] and pre-judgment interest award.[866]

The thesis that has been advanced by the present writer is that a domestic law resolution of a matter governed by CISG does not promote the creation of a uniform law because decisions based on domestic law are less likely to be adopted by foreign courts.[867] The court in the Delchi case set the stage in its decision by pointing out that the case "is governed by the CISG" - an international agreement which requires "… that its interpretation be informed by its 'international character and ... the need to promote uniformity in its application and the observance of good faith in international trade'."[868] However, the decision displays a clear lack of substantive adherence to the court's noble introductory statements. It is regrettable that no international sources or methods of analysis can be found anywhere in the judgment.[869]

The present writer argued in Chapter 3 of this work that in the CISG the elements of "internationality" and "uniformity" are not only inter-related but also inter-dependent. International - rather than national - interpretation is necessary in order for uniformity in the application of the CISG to be achieved; and uniformity of application is vital if the CISG is to maintain its international character. This goal is supported by the lingua franca found in the provisions of the Convention. An autonomous and uniform interpretation would go a long way towards completing the process of unification and achieving the aims of the drafters of the international instrument. However, the Delchi decision did not follow the general consensus concerning the appropriate method of analysis to be employed when interpreting the provisions of the CISG.[870] Article 7(1) directs that the language of the CISG must be carefully interpreted in accordance with the Convention's "international character," the need to promote uniformity in the CISG's application and the observance of "good faith in international trade."

It was also argued in Chapter 3 that in interpreting the CISG, the rules and techniques traditionally followed in interpreting ordinary domestic legislation should be avoided and that Article 7 represents an implied provision for the undertaking of a liberal approach to the CISG's interpretation. The Delchi case provides a perfect example of the shortcomings that a rigid and narrow approach entails.

It is part of the present writer's thesis that the ultimate aim of the CISG (i.e., the broadest degree of uniformity in the law of international sales) cannot be achieved if national principles or concepts - taken from the law of the forum, or from the law which in the absence of the CISG would have been applicable according to the rules of private international law - are allowed to be used in the interpretation of the CISG. The court in the Delchi case failed totally in these respects and by paying complete disregard to the legislative history of the Convention,[871] to international jurisprudence [872] and doctrine [873] it missed an important "opportunity to contribute to the international jurisprudence of CISG."[874]

It is submitted that the court in Delchi failed completely in its attempt to apply the CISG, in both form and substance. The method of interpretation employed in the Delchi decision was completely off the track designed for CISG's interpretation and application. The court showed good intentions superficially, but ultimately failed to rise to the occasion, which demanded a more thorough and accurate analysis of CISG's application than the one actually offered. The court missed an important opportunity to engage in an international dialogue with references to foreign decisions and commentaries, civil law principles, and the international legislative history of the CISG itself. According to an American commentator, the court "… understood its special mandate to be mindful of 'the international character' in the interpretation of the Convention and 'the need to promote uniformity in its application,' but was clearly unable to overcome its own ethnocentric bias."[875]

Note, however, that more recently, there have been encouraging U.S. reports of judicial attention to rulings on the CISG by tribunals and scholars of other jurisdictions.

In MCC-Marble Ceramic Center, Inc. v. Ceramica Nuova D'Agostino S.p.A., the key issue of the case was whether CISG Article 8 overrides the U.S. parol evidence rule.[876] The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it does. In its decision, the court paid close attention to CISG doctrine, citing a number of commentators, as well as U.S. case law, in marked contrast to the methodology of the Delchi court. In support of its holding that the CISG rejects the parol evidence rule, the court cited "the great weight of academic commentary on the issue."[877]

This is significant not only because it incorporates an aspect of civil law methodology, but also because it brings an international perspective to the analysis of the Convention, the authors cited by the court are prominent scholars trained in the legal traditions of continental Europe.[878] The court also searched vigorously for guidance from foreign case law applying the Convention, even venturing onto the Internet in hopes of finding relevant decisions from other jurisdictions, lamenting the fact that it could locate no relevant foreign CISG case law on the parol evidence issue. This action taken by the court is noteworthy not only because its search for guidance from foreign CISG decisions serves as a precedent, but also because its opinion will alert lawyers to a very valuable research resource mentioned by the court - the Pace Law website devoted to the CISG.[879]

While not citing foreign precedents, as there was none on the issue considered, the court pointed out the need to consider such precedents and discussed relevant U.S. decisions.

Compared to the approach taken by the court in Delchi, the methodology employed in MMC-Marble represents real progress. The latter represents a reasonably successful attempt to implement the mandate of CISG Article 7(1) to interpret the Convention with regard for its international character, and these need to promote uniformity in the Convention's application. It is thus a positive development for the CISG jurisprudence in the United States.

The MCC-Marble decision has been welcomed by the academic community [880] and has generated justifiable optimism that the U.S. courts are starting to approach the task of interpeting the CISG with the requisite attitude and methodology that respects the CISG's international character and promotes uniformity in the Convention's application.[881]

It is hoped that the above critical analysis of the U.S. case law has highlighted the practical dimensions of the theoretical difficulties associated with the interpretation of the CISG, thus putting the issue of the CISG's interpretation and application in its functional context, over and above the academic one. At the end of the day, the litmus test of the CISG's function as the uniform law of international sale of goods will take place at the practical level - in courts and arbitral centres.

3. AN APPROACH TO THE CISG'S INTERPRETATION BASED ON INTERNATIONALITY AND GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF LAW

The importance and feasibility of uniform law for international trade have been established in the early chapters of this work. Almost two decades have passed since the "birth" of the CISG, and it has already been implemented by more than fifty countries world-wide, representing different legal, social and cultural systems. Textual uniformity, achieved by enacting uniform laws, is a necessary but insufficient step towards creating substantive legal uniformity.[882] The subsequent uniform application of the agreed rules is not guaranteed, as in practice different countries, almost inevitably, come to put different interpretations upon the same enacted words.[883]

This thesis has considered certain issues that the present writer considers important for the healthy growth of the CISG into a Convention of uniform law not only in words but, especially, in its interpretation and application. The analysis offered has been based on an examination of the nature, scope, and function of, arguably, the most important provision of the Convention; Article 7 CISG. With the unifying law in force world-wide, jurists and scholars face the following problem: What approaches to interpretation will best promote uniform application of this law? In sum, this work has tried to answer the following questions: Which approaches to interpretation are most appropriate for uniform laws for international sales? Do existing national practices fit the problem at hand? If not, how can one develop more appropriate responses to the special needs of this young and promising member of the international legal order? The job at hand is to consider and evaluate different approaches to the interpretation of the CISG.

(a) The language of the CISG: Plain meaning and full context

The first hurdle to uniformity is intrinsic to the scope of the legislation under examination. In Chapter 2 of this work, the CISG was analysed as an attempt to create ab initio an international community of members that can communicate and arrange their commercial affairs using the text as their common language. The basic premise for such an endeavour is the obligation of fidelity to the words of the statute; departures from this principle would necessarily undermine the stated goal.[884] The size of the task matches its importance, since "[l]egal terms can have an elusive, chameleon-quality even in domestic legislation; in international legislation that must be translated into many other languages, the use of domestic legal terminology can produce chaos."[885]

In Chapter 1 it was noted that throughout the many years of efforts for unification of international sales law, the participants engaged in an ongoing discussion of the goals and methods of the project. A central theme in these unification efforts was the formation and facilitation of an international community whose members can conceive relationships and resolve conflicts through the use of a new, common legal language. The artificial nature of such a new linguistic construct is prescribed by the intrinsic difficulties embedded in the core of the unification process itself. The parameters of the definition and composition of the international community created by the CISG, as discussed in Chapter 1 of this work, also permeate the issue of a new lingua franca. As it was necessary for the drafters of the CISG to articulate a set of issues or topics (and a set of terms in which to discuss these topics) when delineating its field of operation, it was also necessary that the language used to express these issues reflected the values that operate throughout the CISG, so that the text of the Convention remains coherent and persuasive in the eyes of the members of that community.[886] Essentially, only the process that gave the CISG its communality could give the CISG's language the requisite legitimacy for the present and the future. And only the principles underlying the community of the CISG could provide the basis for the new language found in the CISG, because these principles suggest a common origin for both the substance and the form of the CISG community. Therefore, the drafters of the CISG took the unprecedented step of "rooting out words with domestic legal connotations in favour of non-legal 'earthy' words that refer to physical acts."[887] It is the position of the present writer that this policy adopted by CISG's drafting fathers is indicative of the need for a corresponding a-national, or supra-national, methodology for the application of the CISG.

The drafting style of the CISG promotes discussion among the members of the CISG community of the meaning of the language found in it. The members are placed on an equal footing in their attempts to interpret the CISG. In interpreting the text, applying the CISG's provisions and resolving any ambiguities therein, it is paramount that one approaches the CISG as a whole and grasps the power of its full context. The CISG must not be seen as piecemeal legislation. Its language provides not only formal, but importantly, substantive coherence. Such coherence is necessary to safeguard homeward tendencies when attempting to resolve any ambiguities in the CISG. For instance, according to Article 1 CISG, the Convention applies to a contractual relationship between parties whose relevant "places of business" are in different Contracting States. The ambiguity that could arise regarding the definition of "place of business", could also determine whether the CISG can be applied to a particular contract. Professor Honnold has argued that the full context of the Convention's provisions can resolve many instances of ambiguity, including the one above.[888] Article 10(a) CISG provides that the relevant place of business is the one "with the closest relationship to the contract and its performance". Further assistance is provided by CISG Articles 31(c), 42(1)(b) and 69(2), which make reference to the parties' place of business in the context of certain acts of performance.

It is submitted that the interpretation of the Convention's language must be guided by the principles of true internationality and autonomy. These principles enanciated in the CISG can also contribute to the linguistic coherency and independence upon which the CISG itself stands. Fidelity to the language of the CISG requires adherence to the plain meaning of the text and comprehension of the full context of the Convention's provisions.

(b) Legislative history: Its nature and scope

An interpretative methodology that adopts a literal approach in construing the language and is also sensitive to the contextual issues discussed above, may still be unsuccessful in settling all problems of uniform interpretation and application.[889] Legal scholars have advocated the consultation of the CISG's legislative history by judicial bodies.[890] Such a proposal makes good sense, since it places at the hands of CISG's interpreter the only one other common international point of reference for the Convention - its legislative history.

The legislative history of Article 7(1)(2) was examined in Chapters 3 and 4, in order to gain a better understanding of the nature, content and operation of the interpretative provisions of the Convention. This enlightening process revealed not only the truly international composition of the drafting body, but also the political nature of the drafting compromises made in Article 7 CISG.

Common law courts have traditionally refused to consult or even refer to the legislative history of statutes - a "necessary step for multi-lingual instruments."[891] However, since the 1981 House of Lords decision in Fothergill v. Monarch Airlines, more courts in England and the Commonwealth have adopted a more relaxed and productive appoach when it comes to considering such material. It is fortunate that common law courts have finally recognised the broader outlook mandated by multi-lingual international Conventions.

The CISG stands to benefit from this new relaxed attitude of common law courts. This favourable development should contribute to a better understanding of the CISG, further promoting uniformity in the Convention's interpretation and application. Article 7(1) CISG itself directs that interpretation should have regard to the CISG's "international character and the need to promote uniformity in its application." It is submitted that the proper interpretation of the CISG requires consultation of its legislative history.

A note of caution has, however, been sounded on the use of travaux préparatoires.[892] Once it is enacted, the CISG acquires its own life and should not be unnecessarily circumscribed by its preparatory material. Furthermore, it must be noted that in UNCITRAL's preparation of the 1978 draft for a Sales Convention, "consensus was reached on each provision without ever taking a formal vote."[893]

It is submitted that the Convention's legislative history can provide a valuable insight into its drafters' intentions but it cannot hold the CISG its life-long prisoner. As such, it can be used as an interpretative aid in the CISG's interpretation, but not as the ultimate tool. This last function should be reserved for the Convention's case law.

(c) Statutory "gaps" and international uniformity

Domestic approaches to statutory gap-filling differ. This thesis analysed the gap-filling mechanism of the Convention provided in Article 7(2) CISG and the different approaches to its operation. For the purposes of the CISG's interpretation and application, it is important to consider which approach best serves the objectives of international unification. This thesis does not pretend to examine in detail the features of the world's legal systems, since such a study "would require a multi-volume treatise prepared by a substantial team of comparative law scholars."[894]

In this thesis, different approaches to interpretation that ameliorate the danger of divergining interpretations were considered and evaluated. In civil law systems, judges are required to base their decisions in a specific article of a particular code - an approach requiring "creative extensions by analogy of the code's provisions to meet the multitude of new problems of interpretation and application"[895] that arise during the life of that code. In the common law world, on the other hand, the application of codified law relies heavily on judge-made common law.

As far as gaps praeter legem in the CISG are concerned, the approach to be adopted is prescribed by Article 7(2). The main dilemma posed for interpreters is whether they should carry out the gap-filling contemplated according to "the general principles on which [the Convention] is based," or find a solution based on the domestic law "applicable by virtue of the rules of private international law." Although the two methods are not phrased as alternatives in the CISG - since Article 7(2) states that recourse to the second may take place only "in the absence of [general] principles" - the present writer has argued that, in the overall context of the CISG as uniform law, the two approaches are incompatible with each other.[896]

The differences between these methodological approaches could produce conflicting results in the interpretation of the CISG. For instance, if common law judges prove unable to avoid the old ways of their common law tradition, uniformity in the Convention's interpretation and application will suffer irrepairably. Additionally and irrespective of jurisprudential heritage, familiar domestic law may be easier to apply - for reasons mentioned in previous chapters of this work - ultimately leading the CISG into the chaotic old world of private international law conflicts, not into the brave new world of uniform laws. The solution to the problem is beguilingly simple and is to be found in the answer to the question that all interpreters of the CISG should ask themselves: Which course is more consistent with the Convention's main goal of promoting international uniformity in international sale of goods?

The present writer has argued that a solution that applies analogous principles underlying express provisions of the CISG and is based on general principles of international commercial law on which the CISG is founded (such as portions of the UNIDROIT Principles and the PECL) is preferable, since it pays proper regard to the Convention's international character and promotes uniformity in its application.

Tribunals around the world dealing with CISG related issues should be faithful to the true character of the Convention, by adopting a similar interpretative approach and by considering relevant foreign jurisprudence. Thus they will contribute to the growing body of applicable international case law. On the other hand, a decision based on domestic law invoked by reference to the rules of private international law, hinders the development of uniformity. Thus, such a decision does not constitute a proper interpretation of the CISG, as it does not follow the international mandate embedded in Article 7(1) and need not be respected in other jurisdictions because it is theoretically unsound and practically counter-productive. As has been argued throughout this work, domestic law does not provide solutions that are compatible either with the nature, or with the structure of the CISG, or even with the special needs of international trade.[897]

The problems relating to the uneasy co-existence betwen "general principles" and the rules of private international law are due to the compromise inclusion, in Article 7(2), of the reference to domestic law, albeit as a last resort. The fact that the CISG does not explicitly state those general principles [898] has compounded the problem. Some members of the Working Group drafting the CISG objected to the general principles approach because "it is difficult or impossible to identify those general principles."[899] Supporters of the retention of the reference to general principles argued that one of the sources for these principles would be the generalisations that could be made from the various specific provisions of the text;[900] another source would be the "course of evolution of the Law."[901] The purpose was to provide the judge with guidance, rather than "to leave the matter in complete uncertainty," which could result in judges being "free to apply national law whenever a question [was] not expressly settled by the Uniform Law."[902] Otherwise, it would be "an invitation to disregard [the Convention] for those who would wish to avoid its application."[903]

While the CISG does not list the general principles on which it is based, it is possible to extract a number of those principles from the text of the CISG and from its legislative history.[904] In identifying these general principles, it should be kept in mind that the CISG's overall objective, as stated in its Preamble, is to promote international trade by removing legal barriers that arise from different social, economic, and legal systems of the world. The presence (and search) of general principles can reduce the need to revert to domestic law and nationally divergent legal concepts in construing specific CISG provisions.

While many general principles of the Convention can be extracted from the text alone, several courts have failed to provide adequate analysis on this issue and proceeded erroneously to apply domestic law solutions to matters governed but not expressly settled by CISG. Also, at least one commentator has argued that Article 7(2)

"… admits the possibility that there actually are [no] general principles underlying the Convention, or at least that the principles are not comprehensive."[905]

Both of these readings take an unjustifiably narrow view of the nature and role of the CISG. The Convention was drafted in an atmosphere of compromise. The drafters were seeking to find a reasonably workable solution. The CISG is not meant to be an exhaustive codification of international commercial behaviour. Such codification would have been unrealistic and would make the CISG too inflexible to adapt to changing circumstances in international trade.

It has been suggested that one should exercise restraint in extracting the general principles. Professor Honnold recommends that such findings of general principles should be limited to situations where the general principles are "moored to premises that underlie specific provisions of the Convention."[906] He further suggests that finding general principles to solve a specific problem is valid only when the lack of a specific provision governing the issue is due to deliberate rejection by the delegates to the Convention or due to the Convention's "failure to anticipate and resolve [the] issue."[907] If the CISG failed to anticipate a specific solution to an issue, an analogical extension from the existing provisions to the new situation would be appropriate.[908] Thus, any issue that has not been expressly excluded by the CISG,[909] and which can be resolved by applying the general principles of the CISG, should be solved accordingly. A faithful application of Article 7 requires this interpretative approach. In this sense, the general principles provide a safety net, without which domestic law will be applied whenever the CISG has not expressly provided for the resolution of an issue,[910] thus critically undermining the effectiveness of the CISG as a living uniform law by limiting its potential for development.

A review of the recent international case law indicates that many tribunals have failed to follow the advocated approach and have thus contributed to inconsistent results. A German tribunal rejected outright the approach based on general principles and argued that even when the CISG was still only in the preparatory stages, the delegates could not agree on a uniform solution.[911] Some courts display the intent to follow Article 7, but do not pay sufficient attention to the general principles. For instance, they simply state that the CISG has no general principles that are applicable.[912] This approach of following domestic law has led to lack of uniformity on the issue of the interest rate to be paid to the wronged party. For example, in Delchi Carrier S.p.A. v. Rotorex Corp.,[913] the United States District court stated that since Article 78 of the CISG does not specify the interest rate, the rate should be fixed in the court's "discretion" and granted the rate of the United States Treasury Bill. A German court determined that the interest rate is the average bank lending rate at the creditor's place of business.[914]

There have also been instances though where the concept of internationality and the function of general principles in Article 7, received proper treatment by the courts. For example, in Arbitral Award SCH-4318 between parties from Germany and Austria,[915] the arbitrator stated that merchants resort to bank credit when payment from the other party is delayed. Thus the buyer was compensated for the interest rate in his place of business with respect to the currency of payment, which was agreed upon as U.S. dollars. The arbitrator also noted that the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts suggest the same solution.[916]

This reasoning was also followed in another arbitral award from Austria.[917]

Finally, it must be noted that if a specific search failed to extract an applicable general principle, the CISG still provides an important alternative to domestic law. Article 9 provides that parties are bound not only "by practices they have established between themselves," but also by international trade usages. The combined effect of the ultimate principle of party autonomy in Article 6 with Article 9, is that established practices between the contracting parties and international trade usages "… not only supplement the Convention but also, in case of conflict, supersede the Convention's provisions …".[918]

(d) International case law and uniformity

(i) General remarks

There is strong academic support for the present writer's thesis [919] that the reference in Article 7(1) to the obligation to have regard to the CISG's international character, demands that one should have recourse neither to domestic concepts,[920] nor to domestic interpretive techniques [921] in interpreting the CISG.[922] Similar affirmations can now be found in several recent European court decisions.[923] In a Swiss case, the court expressly stated that a uniform interpretation of the CISG required one to take into account its international character and interpret it autonomously and not in light of any domestic law.[924] The German Supreme Court has concurred in this approach, by stating that generally it did not matter whether there were differences between the domestic law and the CISG, since one was not allowed to interpret the CISG in light of domestic law anyway.[925] This affirms the position that the CISG, in view of its international character and in line with its goal of uniformity, has to be interpreted autonomously.

There is also strong academic support for the present writer's opinion [926] that even where the expressions employed by the CISG are textually the same as expressions [927] that have a specific meaning within a particular legal system, they must be interpreted autonomously.[928] Such expressions have to be considered to be independent of [929] and different [930] from domestic concepts,[931] since the expressions employed by uniform law conventions, such as the CISG, are intended to be neutral in order to receive wider acceptance.[932] Indeed, it has been maintained throughout this work that any choice of one expression rather than another is the result of a compromise [933] and does not correspond to the reception of a concept peculiar to a specific domestic law.[934]

(ii) Theoretical issues

The last step towards uniformity can only be taken at the stage of actual interpretation and application of the CISG's provisions by the courts. The importance of international case law is two-fold. First, the existence (and the volume) of case law will provide the definitive indication as to whether the CISG has been accepted by traders as the law that governs international sales. Second, the quality of the case law will determine whether the call for interpretation "to promote uniformity in [the Convention's] application" - a mandate that clearly calls for due regard for interpretations in other countries - is paid the reverence it demands.

In order to reduce the danger of divergent interpretations by courts of different countries,[935] the drafters of the CISG [936] inserted the provisions of Article 7(1) in the Convention's text. This article states that when interpreting the CISG "regard is to be had to its international character and to the need to promote uniformity in its application." Drafters of other uniform law Conventions have taken a similar approach to the concern about conflicting interpretations.[937] It was argued in Chapter 3 that this entails that one should not read the provisions of the CISG through the lenses of domestic law,[938] but in an autonomous manner.[939] Thus, when interpreting the CISG, one should not resort to the meaning generally attached to certain expressions within the ambit of a particular legal system.[940]

However, it has often been stated in legal writing that in view of the directive to promote uniformity in the Convention's application, it is insufficient to consider the CISG an "autonomous body of rules,"[941] and therefore, it is necessary to consider the practice of other jurisdictions.[942] In effect, recourse to decisions rendered by foreign judicial bodies has been advocated [943] as an extra measure aimed at achieving the CISG's ultimate goal of uniform application.[944]

The present writer wants to dispel any impression that may have been created by these comments - i.e., that the practice of consulting foreign jurisprudence is independent from, or additional to, an autonomous approach to the CISG's interpretation. An argument to the effect that an autonomous interpretation of the CISG and the practice of consulting foreign jurisprudence are separate from each other, or even mutually exclusive, lacks validity. It is submitted that any ostensible difference between the two practices is based on a misguided appreciation of the "autonomy" with which the CISG must be interpreted.

It is further submitted that an autonomous approach, in the context of the present discussion on the CISG's interpretation and application, cannot be conceived separately from the practice of referring to foreign case law; in fact, it demands such a practice and relies on it. The CISG is an autonomous body of law, in the sense that it is not derived from a specific, pre-existent legal system. Therefore, the interpretation of the Convetion must be autonomous, i.e., it must not be based on any established domestic approach. This point is vital for the CISG's legitimacy as a truly international (or supra-national) instrument.

On the other hand, the reference to the CISG's foreign jurisprudence by domestic courts has been advocated in Chapter 4 by the present writer as a necessary element in maintaining the uniformity of the CISG's autonomy and internationality. In this sense, the CISG's interpretation will remain autonomous only as long as foreign jurisprudence is considered and followed by different national courts. Far from being distinct, or even irreconcilable, the two approaches are complementary and form two indispensable parts of the same whole. In the context of the CISG's internationality, the two concepts are merely two elements of the same approach and should not be treated as separate practices.

Moving on from the above theoretical digression, it is noted that a number of legal writers [945] have suggested recourse to the aforementioned guidelines to avoid divergent interpretations and applications of the CISG.[946] According to the present writer, uniformity can only be achieved if one also considers foreign case law.[947] The interpreter must consider decisions rendered by judicial bodies of foreign jurisdictions [948] because it is possible that the same, or similar, questions have already been examined by other States' courts.[949]

(iii) Practical, substantive and methodological issues

Practical issues

Requiring interpreters to consider foreign decisions creates practical difficulties for two main reasons. First, there is the issue of access to foreign case law and, second, the fact that case law is often written in a language unknown to the interpreter. [950]

These reasons must be partly responsible for the fact that, while many decisions exist which refer to decisions from judicial bodies of the same country,[951] there are only a small number of decisions in which detailed reference is made to decisions rendered by foreign judicial bodies. Initially there were very few reported cases that cited rulings of courts of foreign jurisdictions. In one of these cases, an Italian court [952] had to decide whether a notice of non-conformity, given to the seller after delivery of non-conforming goods, was timely or not. In deciding this issue, the court referred to a Swiss case,[953] rendered in Italian (which may have been the reason why this case was quoted), and to a German case [954] that had decided an analogous matter.

There has since been further progress illustrated by MCC-Marble v. Ceramica Nuova, a case that, while not citing foreign precedents pointed out the need to consider such precedents. There is also Medical Marketing International, Inc. v. Internazionale Medico Scientifica, S.r.l., a case citing the ruling of a court of a foreign jurisdiction. An Italian court, Tribunale di Pavia (29 December 1999), also cited the ruling of a court of a foreign jurisdiction. The most recent such case also comes from an Italian court, Tribunale di Vigevano (12 July 2000), and it cites and comments on a lot of foreign CISG jurisprudence (American, Austrian, Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Swiss court cases contained in national reporters, ICC arbitral awards, as well as two CISG websites and UNILEX). Even though there are hundreds of cases on the CISG, these appear to be the only ones in which a court has referred to decisions from foreign jurisdictions to validate their argument.

This state of affairs demonstrates the effect of these practical difficulties on the uniform application of the CISG. This cannot, however, be said to be entirely attributable to a lack of supporting structures. The world-wide efforts to create easily accessible channels of information on the CISG and its case law are documented in Chapter 3, where the creation of CLOUT, UNILEX and relevant university databases is discussed.

Although no international tribunal exists with jurisdiction to review the case law generated by the CISG decisions uniformity need not necessarily suffer.[955] The existence of a hierarchically structured international judicial system dealing with the CISG could not on its own guarantee uniformity. The general experience from our own legal systems supports this point. On the other hand, the lack of such an international structure does not necessarily spell the end of uniformity. For example, it has been also been noted that the United States Supreme Court's lack of jurisdiction to correct conflicting interpretations of the many uniform laws of that country's 50 States - e.g., the U.C.C. - has seriously impeded the application of those laws.[956]

It is submitted that the key to achieving uniformity in the CISG's case law is a strongly-shared conviction among national courts of the need to preserve the CISG's uniformity by giving weight to decisions in other States, not the existence of an international CISG Supreme Court. Indeed, a carefully considered decision to differ from decisions in other States probably provides a healthy opportunity for reconsideration of doubtful decisions - an integral service in the CISG's long-term development. Especially so if one bears in mind that CISG can be amended only by agreement between the Contracting States in an another diplomatic conference, which is a rare event in itself. Therefore, what must be advocated in tribunals interpreting and applying the CISG is the idea that all involved in this task are colleagues of a world-wide body of jurists with a common goal. To this end, a lot of effort has been invested in providing world-wide access to decisions applying the CISG.

A problem that remains unresolved, however, is a municipal judge's ability to understand and deal with international case law. The risk with respect to foreign decisions in the field of uniform law is that judges may find it easier to follow the interpretation of a uniform international law provision given by the courts of their own State, than that prevailing in another Contracting State. The present writer is of the opinion that the main problem here is associated not with the access to foreign case law, but with the interpreters' unwillingness, conscious and subconscious, to apply it.

The unwillingness of some judges to consider foreign jurisprudence is often due to mistrust and an uneasy awareness of their lack of familiarity with foreign systems of law. The common preference of judges for the law of their own country might be explained by a sincere recognition of their not having been trained to cope with foreign law. Since the relevant access structures have been established, the conclusion must be drawn that it is the interpreters' state of mind that must change.

In assessing interpretations of uniform laws in other countries, courts could receive further valuable assistance from the principle espoused in some civil law countries that the writings of leading scholars (doctrine) have more weight than court decisions. The extent to which this principle reflects current practice may vary, but in many situations interpreters should not neglect available writings of scholars familiar with other legal systems.[957] Confronting international uniform law may seem strange and daunting to national courts, but it need not be. The work done world-wide on producing guides that assist in finding and classifying the ever-increasing number of doctrinal writings on the CISG should prove extremely helpful in this respect. The happy confluence of the CISG's information needs with the emergence of the Information Age can widen and speed up the access of interested parties to CISG-related material and thus aid in the establishment of a global CISG jurisconsultorium that will promote the Convention's mandate for uniformity.[958] An interpreter of the CISG must, however, first overcome his own inhibitions and then focus sincerely on the international character of the instrument to be interpreted, if uniformity is to be achieved.

Substantive issues

The knowledge of foreign case law, however, does not solve all of the CISG's substantive and interpretive problems. Notwithstanding the present writer's argument in favor of considering foreign jurisprudence, it must be noted that, although the knowledge of foreign case law is necessary, it is not sufficient to solve all the substantive issues that can arise in the CISG's interpretation.[959] The knowledge of foreign case law cannot per se suffice to avoid divergent interpretations of the CISG and, thus, guarantee uniformity.[960] Applying the analogy of a domestic legal system that does not espouse the doctrine of stare decisis supports this point. Knowledge of domestic case law in that situation does not exclude divergent interpretations in the courts of that system.

Furthermore, if the knowledge of foreign case law were actually sufficient to create uniformity in the interpretation and application of the CISG, this would mean, taken to an extreme, that the first position taken on a specific issue by any court would be the one shaping all the subsequent CISG case law. This can hardly be true because, at best, it would deprive the CISG's interpretation of any future development and, at worst, it could foster the perpetuation of precedents on account of temporal, rather than, juridical merit.

Methodological issues

The main methodological problem created by the practice of considering foreign case law concerns the degree of authority to be attached to it. In essence, the question here is whether foreign case law should be treated as having binding force, or merely persuasive value.

There is a difference in academic opinion on this issue. According to Professor Bonell, foreign case law should have the value of precedent "[i]f there is already a body of international case law."[961] Another author even speaks of a "supranational stare decisis"[962] which can be achieved if "common law and civil law judges ... alter their approaches in a number of ways."[963] This last proposal entails that civil law judges start to "search other cases throughout the world and follow precedent in much the same way the common law judge does within her national system."[964] Both of these opinions have been criticised on the following two grounds.[965]

The present writer argues that although the first criticism is strictly true, it fails to take into account the fact that the proper interpretation of the CISG necessarily involves the elements of autonomy and internationality, which the relevant body of uniform law cited to support the criticism had itself failed to take into account. In other words, although uniformity is not sufficient, nevertheless, it remains a necessary element in the proper interpretation of the CISG.

As far as the second criticism is concerned, the present writer has already argued that the lack of a rigid hierarchical international court structure cannot, by itself, be blamed for lack of uniformity in the CISG's interpretation and application. That is not to say that there are no methodological difficulties in considering and applying foreign case law, but to magnify, or even exaggerate, their importance is counter-productive amidst the current of well-documented international efforts to overcome them.

Without placing unnecessary, strict, and minimalist labels on different legal systems, it is necessary that civil law judges start to "approximate their common law counterparts in increasing their reliance on [case law],"[967] as common law judges increasingly take into account legal writing as well as legislative history. Only such a concerted effort can successfully undertake the admittedly Herculean task of unifying international sales law and obtaining uniformity in the interpretation and application of the supra-national animal that is the CISG. The importance of the task should arouse the interpreters, not send them into hiding behind the safety borders of the familiar. For these reasons, the present writer believes that, if a domestic court took its international duties and responsibilities seriously when interpreting the CISG (as these have been expounded throughout this work), we would not need to struggle with the difficulties of formally establishing a strict doctrine of stare decisis.

Precedent, in its orthodox sense, cannot exist without a unifying court structure.

There is no doubt that foreign case law should have, at least, influential or persuasive value. This result is, in essence, what Article 7(1) imposes when it provides that "regard is to be had ... to the need to promote uniformity in its application." Foreign case law should be used, at least, as a source from which to draw either arguments or counter-arguments in interpreting the CISG. Thus, it can be helpful in solving a specific problem.[968] It is hoped that once courts shed their national limitations and immerse themselves into the spirit of the CISG, common sense will be able to guide the degree of compliance to foreign case law and draw the parameters for the exact extent of its use. After all, it was common sense and optimism that drove the CISG's drafters, and these are values that everybody's CISG education should contain. What matters most, in the short term, is that domestic courts are initiated in the engagement of the international discourse that the CISG envisages and do so in the liberal fashion that characterises the interpretation process itself. This should not be seen as undercutting uniformity and predictability of outcomes, but as implementing the interpretation of the CISG on its proper basis. This is a necessary step for the establishment, in the long term, of substantive predictability and uniformity. Of course, it remains to be seen how well the CISG can survive this necessary period of grace.

(e) General principles of international law: UNIDROIT Principles

(i) Introduction to gap-filling issues

The present writer argues in this thesis that Article 7(2) legitimises resorting to the UNIDROIT Principles (and arguably the PECL) as a means of interpreting and supplementing the CISG - so long as there is a gap praeter legem in the CISG, and the relevant provisions of the UNIDROIT Principles are the expression of a general principle underlying the CISG. They cannot be inconsistent with the CISG provision in question.

It is asserted that when the solution to a gap-filling problem cannot be achieved by analogical application of a rule found in a specific CISG provision, gap-filling can be performed by the application of the "general principles" on which the CISG is based. This procedure differs from the analogical application method, in that it does not solve the case in question solely by extending specific provisions dealing with analogous cases, but on the basis of rules which because of their general character may be applied on a much wider scale.

It was argued in Chapter 4 that some of the UNIDROIT Principles (and arguably portions of the PECL, too) can be regarded as part of the "general principles" on which the CISG is based, when their comparative provisions are substantially similar and not inconsistent.[969]

There are two important questions that need to be answered in connection with this proposal. First, can the UNIDROIT Principles be regarded as a genuine expression of "general principles" of international trade law upon which the CISG is based? Second, even if the answer to the first question were positive, is it legitimate to use the UNIDROIT Principles in the proposed way, when, in many instances, it would render the express textual reference by the CISG to the rules of private international law in Article 7(2) redundant and superfluous?

The present writer will explain in the following section why both questions should be answered in the affirmative.

(ii) The UNIDROIT Principles as "general principles"

The UNIDROIT Principles, unlike the CISG, is not a document intended for adoption as a treaty, or as a uniform law; its nature is that of a non-binding "Restatement" of the international commercial contract law. It was argued in this thesis that being a Restatement, the UNIDROIT Principles (and arguably the PECL, too) can aid in the interpretation of the CISG.

Certain provisions in the Principles bear a striking similarity to their CISG counterparts and can be regarded as "fleshing out bones" already present in the skeletal structure of the uniform law. It is doubtful whether the same can happen where the Restatement provisions are not substantially similar to a CISG provision being interpreted, or where they are clearly inconsistent with a CISG provision. Where, as is often the case, the Principles dovetails with or approximates the CISG, UNIDROIT comparatives can be helpful to CISG researchers and interpreters. The general affinity of the CISG to its companion Restatements demands such a comparative approach, especially where it can be shown that their respective provisions share a common intent. In this case, the UNIDROIT Principles should be regarded as a genuine expression of the "general principles" that Article 7(2) mentions as an interpretative aid. Thus, the Principles could offer considerable assistance in the interpretation of the CISG by clarifying the language of the CISG, by filling gaps in the CISG, and by working with the CISG in an expanded role in order to achieve the uniformity of interpretation and application that the drafters of the CISG intended.[970] The proper introduction of the Principles into the gap-filling mechanism of the CISG goes a long way toward eliminating the need to turn to the rules of private international law, and thus, toward uniformity.

(iii) The legitimacy of their use in Article 7(2) CISG

On the second question, concerning the legitimacy of the proposed use of the UNIDROIT Principles, which would in many instances render the textual reference in Article 7(2) to private international law superfluous, the following must be noted.

The present writer has argued, as did many delegates present at the 1980 Vienna Diplomatic Conference, that recourse to rules of private international law should not have been made a part of Article 7(2). Nonetheless, the text is there for all to peruse. The drafters and the diplomatic delegates completed their respective tasks in 1980, with varying degrees of success. Now the courts have a clearly defined, albeit difficult task. To apply the provisions of the Convention according to the specific rules of interpretation contained in Article 7(1). The present writer has argued that resorting to domestic law solutions for filling gaps praeter legem, as per Article 7(2), hinders the uniform application of the Convention by producing diverse results.

It was further argued in this thesis that an autonomous interpretative approach based on the concept of internationality and the promotion of uniformity (as per Article 7(1)) and on general principles of the international legal order to which the CISG belongs, can produce results that comply with the spirit and the aims of the new uniform law, thus promoting the Convention's desired goal of uniformity. In practice, it will be each judge's, or arbitrator's task to determine the applicable general principles and to derive the solution for the specific question to be settled from these principles, on a case by case basis. The latter task could be facilitated by resorting to Restatements, such as the UNIDROIT Principles and the PECL. The condition that needs to be satisfied is to show that the relevant provisions of the UNIDROIT Principles (or the PECL) are the expression of a general principle underlying the CISG. This point seems to have been missed by a section of scholarly opinion.[971]

The balance of academic opinion, however, seems to be that Article 7(2) legitimises resorting to the UNIDROIT Principles as a means of interpreting and supplementing the CISG - so long as there is a gap praeter legem in the CISG and the relevant provisions of the UNIDROIT Principles are the expression of a general principle underlying the CISG and are not inconsistent with the CISG provision in question.[972]

An argument against the utilisation of the UNIDROIT Principles is that they do not support the goal of reducing unpredictability in trade,[973] and that they indeed have the potential to increase the uncertainty surrounding a business transaction because several of their provisions "appear to depart from normal trading practices."[974] It has also been argued that arbitrators should not feel free to use the UNIDROIT Principles in conjunction with the CISG unless the parties to the contract have explicitly agreed to them because the Principles are not law, and they often diverge from the equivalent provisions of the CISG.[975]

The significant success encountered by both the CISG and the UNIDROIT Principles, as evidenced by their warm reception by many different socio-political cultures and legal systems, demonstrates that they each have their own raison d'être. In addition, the valuable assistance that the UNIDROIT Principles can offer to uniformity, by clarifying the language of the CISG and settling matters governed but not expressly settled by the CISG, highlights the fact that the two instruments can work together harmoniously. With respect to international commercial transactions different from sales contracts, there is virtually no risk of a clash between the two instruments, given the restricted scope of the CISG. Even within the ambit of international contracts of sale, there is, at least at this point, no real competition between the UNIDROIT Principles and the CISG. In view of the important function that the UNIDROIT Principles may fulfil in collaboration with the CISG, in the roles analysed in Chapter 4 of this thesis, it is arguable that they not only do not threaten the CISG's role, or success, but, on the contrary, they seem likely to enhance the CISG's value and prestige.

As far as the reference to the rules of private international law in Article 7(2) is concerned, two things must be said. First, it is incorporated into the text of the CISG. Second, the strength of this textual reference is clearly undermined by an examination of its legislative history and an analysis of its effect on the overall scheme of the Convention. There is strong academic support for the view that in interpreting the CISG, in the absence of general principles of the Convention (i.e., as ultima ratio [976]) one not only is allowed to make recourse to the rules of private international law, one is obliged to do so.[977] This conclusion is strictly valid, and it stems from the text of Article 7(2). Fulfilling this obligation, however, not only offers nothing to "the development of international trade on the basis of equality and mutual benefit," but it fosters the creation of divergent interpretations of the CISG as well, thus endangering the CISG's long-term success and survival. Courts, especially in countries without an established tradition in extrapolating general principles from a codified instrument, can fatally injure the CISG's credibility as uniform transnational law by abusing the "last resort" option.

Any court applying the CISG should not miss the importance of the mandate in Article 7(1) that, in interpreting the provisions of the Convention (including Article 7(2) itself), "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." The present writer argued for an expansive and sustained search of general principles - of the same legal order to which the CISG belongs - that can aid in the Convention's interpetation. This argument was supported by doctrine and jurisprudence and was further illustrated through the use of parts of the UNIDROIT Principles. It is submitted that such an interpretative approach not only respects the mandate of the new law (as expressed in article 7(1)), but it also helps in many instances to render the reference to the rules of private international law superfluous; a positive step towards the realisation of substantive legal uniformity. For these reasons, the second question as to whether it is legitimate to use the UNIDROIT Principles in the proposed way, should also be answered in the affirmative.

(f) Final remarks

The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, 1980, creates a uniform law for the international sale of goods. The Convention represents an attempt to create ab initio an international community of members that can communicate and arrange their commercial affairs using the specific text as their common language. However, textual uniformity is a necessary but insufficient step towards achieving substantive legal uniformity, since the formulation and enactment of a uniform legal text carries no guarantee of its subsequent uniform application in practice. This thesis considered different approaches to the interpretation of the CISG and evaluated their appropriateness for uniform international trade law, before advancing an interpretative approach based on the concept of internationality and generally acknowledged principles of commercial law, such as the UNIDROIT Principles.

This thesis also examined certain practical, theoretical and methodological issues concerning the proper construction and application of the CISG as the uniform international sales law. Supported by analysis of the existing doctrine, as well as by case law, this thesis argued that the necessary legal backdrop for the CISG's existence and application could be provided by general principles of international commercial law, such as those exemplified by the UNIDROIT Principles and the PECL. Such a development would, in many instances, aid in rendering the textual reference of Article 7(2) to private international law unnecessary; a positive step towards uniformity.

Article 7 provides that the CISG's provisions should be interpreted, and any gaps praeter legem in the CISG be filled, in accordance with the general principles that bind the individual member States into a community. As a result of either a political reality (see the debates in the legislative history of Article 7), or a legal reality (i.e., the acknowledgement that no provision of any law can purport to expressly settle all questions concerning matters governed by it), or both, however, the rules of private international law have been placed in the gap-filling mechanism of the Convention. It is made clear in the text of Article 7(2) that, in the absence of any relevant general principles, a court applying the CISG is obliged to turn to domestic law. Obviously, such development would hinder the search for the CISG's elusive goal of uniformity.

The present writer argued that an expansive comparative search for general principles upon which the CISG is based can yield results that go a long way towards reducing (if they do not eliminate completely) the need to turn to the conflict of laws solution for gaps praeter legem. The necessary legal backdrop for the CISG's existence and proper application should be provided by general principles of the new legal order to which the CISG also belongs. The UNIDROIT Principles and the CISG both belong to the "New International Economic Order" that the United Nations has envisaged, and working in tandem, they best reflect the objectives of that body to remove "legal barriers in international trade and promote the development of international trade" in the spirit of equality and friendly co-operation among its member States. This affinity between the two distinct instruments legitimises resorting to the UNIDROIT Principles as a means of interpreting and supplementing the CISG - so long as there is a gap praeter legem in the CISG and the relevant provisions of the UNIDROIT Principles are the expression of a general principle underlying the CISG, and are not inconsistent with the CISG provision in question.

On the other hand, the recourse to rules of private international law, in the context of the CISG's gap-filling, represents regression into doctrinal fragmentation and practical uncertainty. The relevant textual reference in Article 7(2) leaves the CISG prone to divergent gap-filling (i.e., in conformity with the relevant domestic law applicable according to the rules of private international law). In resolving gaps praeter legem, the proper interpretation of the Convention requires preference to be given to a comprehensive search for a solution provided by the general principles underlying the CISG, rather than the ready application of a domestic law applicable by virtue of the rules of private international law. Only such an approach pays proper regard to the international character of the CISG and can promote uniformity in the Convention's application.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

U.N. DOCUMENTS

Conventions & Conferences

United Nations Conference on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, Final Act (Apr. 10, 1980), [U.N. Doc. A/Conf. 97/18(1980)]; reprinted in S. Treaty Doc. No. 98-9, 98th Cong., 1st Sess., and 19 I.L.M. 668 (1980); also in U.N. Official Records (1981) 176.

Draft Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (1978), with Commentary prepared by the UNCITRAL Secretariat, [U.N.Doc. A/CONF./97/5, 14 March 1979].

Draft Convention on the International Sale of Goods, Annex I, [U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/116]; reprinted in [1976] 7 Y.B.U.N. Commentary on International Trade Law 89.

1 Diplomatic Conference on the Unification of Law Governing the International Sale of Goods, in U.N. Official Records (1966).

2 Diplomatic Confererence on the Unification of Law Governing the International Sale of Goods, in U.N. Official Records (1966).

Convention Relating to A Uniform Law on the Formation of Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (1964), 834 U.N.T.S. (1972) 107; also in 13 American Journal of Comparative Law (1964) 472.

Convention Relating to A Uniform Law on the International Sale of Goods (1964), 834 U.N.T.S. (1972) 169; also in 13 American Journal of Comparative Law (1964) 453.

General Assembly Resolutions

"Declaration on the Establishment of a New Economic Order", G.A. Res. 3201 (S-VI), U.N. GAOR (6th Special Session Supp. 1), [U.N. Doc. A/9559 (1974)].

"Programme of Action on the Establishment of a New Economic Order", G.A. Res. 3202 (S-VI), U.N. GAOR (6th Special Session Supp. 1), [U.N. Doc. A/9559 (1974)].

Official Records, Reports of Work, Meetings and Debates

"Progressive Development of the Law of International Trade: Report of the Secretary-General", 21 U.N. GAOR Annex 3 (Agenda Item 88), [U.N. Doc. A/6396]; reprinted in [1970] 1 Y.B.U.N. Commentary on International Trade Law 18, [U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER.A/1970].

"Debate in the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly on Agenda Item 88 (Progressive Development of the Law of International Trade): Excerpts from the Summary Records", 21 U.N. GAOR C. 6 (947th-955th mtgs.), [U.N. Doc. A/6594]; reprinted in [1970] 1 Y.B.U.N. Commentary on International Trade Law 54, [U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER.A/1970].

"Summary Record of the 948th Meeting", [1970] 1 Y.B.U.N. Commentary on International Trade Law 47, [U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER.A/1970].

"Progressive Codification of the Law of International Trade: Note by the Secretariat of the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT)", [U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/L.19]; reprinted in [1970] 1 Y.B.U.N. Commentary on International Trade Law 285, [U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER.A/1970].

"Report of the Working Group on the International Sale of Goods on the Work of its First Session", [U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/35 (1970)]; reprinted in Honnold's Documentary History (1989) 19.

"Report of Working Group on International Sale of Goods on the Work of its Second Session", [U.N.Doc. A/CN.9/52 (1971)]; reprinted in [1971] 2 Y.B.U.N. Commentary on International Trade Law 50, [U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER.A/1971]; also in Honnold's Documentary History (1989) 68.

"Analysis of Comments and Proposals Relating to Articles 1-17 of the Uniform Law on the International Sale of Goods: Note by the Secretary-General", [ U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/WG.2/WP.11]; reprinted in [1972] 3 Y.B.U.N. Commentary on International Trade Law 69, [U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER.A/1970].

"Report of the Working Group on the International Sales of Goods on Work of its Sixth Session", [U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/100]; reprinted in [1975] 6 Y.B.U.N. Commentary on International Trade Law 49, [U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER.A/1975].

"Report of the Secretary-General Pending Questions with Respect to Revised Text of a Uniform Law on International Sale of Goods", Annex III, [U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/100]; reprinted in [1975] 6 Y.B.U.N. Commentary on International Trade Law 88, [U.N. Doc A/CN.9/SER.A/ 1975].

"Report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on the Work of Its Tenth Session", Annex I, [U.N. Doc. A/32/17 (1977)]; reprinted in [1977] 8 Y.B.U.N. Commentary on International Trade Law 11, [U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER.A/1977].

"Comments by Governments and International Organizations on the Draft Convention on the International Sale of Goods", [U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/125]; reprinted in [1977] 8 Y.B.U.N. Commentary on International Trade Law 109.

"Report of the Secretary-General: Formation and Validity of Contracts for the International Sale of Goods", Annex II, [U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/128 (1977)]; reprinted in [1977] Y.B.U.N. Commentary on International Trade Law 90, [U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER.A/1977].

"Report of the Working Group on the International Sale of Goods on the Work of Its Ninth Session", [U.N. Doc A/CN.9/142 (1977)]; reprinted in [1978] Y.B.U.N. Commentary on International Trade Law 65, [U.N. Doc. A/CN.1/SER.A/1978].

"Report of the First Committee", [U.N. Doc. A/CONF.97/11 (1980)]; reprinted in United Nations Conference on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, Official Records (1981) 85.

"Summary Records of Meetings of the First Committee, (3rd mtg.)", [U.N. Doc. A/CONF.97/C.1/SR.3 (1980)]; reprinted in United Nations Conference on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, U.N.Official Records (1981) 245.

"Report of the Drafting Committee", [U.N. Doc. A/CONF.97/17]; reprinted in U.N. Conference on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, U.N. Official Records (1981) 154.

"Summary Records of the 10th Plenary Meeting", paras 4-10, [U.N. Doc. A/CONF.97/SR.10]; reprinted in U.N. Official Records (1981) 219.

"Summary Records of Meetings of First Committee, (5th mtg.)" [U.N. Doc.A/CONF.97/C.1/SR.5]; reprinted in United Nations Conference on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, U.N. Official Records (1981) 254.

"Commentary on the Draft Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, Prepared by the Secretariat", [U.N. Doc. A/CONF.97/5]; reprinted in United Nations Conference on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, U.N.Official Records (1981) 14.

"Dissemination of Decisions Concerning UNCITRAL Legal Texts and Uniform Interpretation of Such Texts: Note by the Secretariat", [U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/267 (1985)].

COLLOQUIA/CONFERENCES

Ariens, "Chauvinisme Judiciaire", Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Internationaal Recht (1962) 1.

L.C.Arria, Venezuela National Report to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law (Sydney, Australia; August 1986).

M.J. Bonell, "General Report", A New Approach to International Commercial Contracts: The UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts, XVth International Congress of Comparative Law, Bristol, 26 July-1 August 1998 (Kluwer Law International, 1999) 12.

M.J. Bonell, "Proposal for the Establishment of a Permanent Editorial Board for the Vienna Sales Convention", International Uniform Law in Practice/Le droit uniforme international dans la pratique [Acts and Proceedings of the 3rd Congress on Private Law held by the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (Rome, 7-10 Sept. 1987)], (Oceana: New York, 1988), 241.

A. Boggiano [Argentina], "The Experience of Latin American States", in: International Uniform Law in Practice, (Oceana: New York, 1998).

M.Clarke, U.K. National Report to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law (Sydney, Australia 1986).

U. Drobnig, "Observations", International Uniform Law in Practice/Le droit uniforme international dans la pratique [Acts and Proceedings of the 3rd Congress on Private Law held by the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (Rome, 7-10 Sept. 1987)], Oceana: New York (1988), at 306.

U.Drobnig, "The Use of the UNIDROIT Principles by National and Supranational Courts" (paper presented at the colloquium on "Les contrats commerciaux et les nouveaux Principes UNIDROIT: Une nouvelle lex mercatoria?", organised by the ICC Institute of International Business Law and Practice in Paris, 20-21 October 1994).

F. Enderlein, "Uniform Law and its Application by Judges and Arbitrators", in International Uniform Law in Practice: Acts and Proceedings of the 3rd Congress on Private Law (UNIDROIT, Rome, 7-10 Sept. 1987) (Oceana, Dobbs Ferry, New York, 1988) 329.

F.Enderlein, "The UNIDROIT Principles as a Means for Interpreting International Uniform Laws" (paper presented at the 25th IBA Biennial Conference held in Melbourne, 9-14 October 1994).

G. Eörsi, "The Method of Unifying the Law on the International Sale of Goods", National Report of Hungary for the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law (Sydney, Australia 1986).

A. Farnsworth, "The Concept of 'Good Faith' in American Law" in Centro di studi e ricerche di diritto comparato e straniero (diretto da M.J. Bonell), Saggi, Conferenze e Seminari, (Rome 1993) No. 10.

A.Farnsworth, "Rights and Obligations of the Seller", in Schweizerisches Institut für Rechtsvergleichung (ed.), Wiener Ubereinkommen von 1980 uber den Internationalen Warenkauf (Lausanner Kolloquium 1984) (Zürich: Schulthess, 1985) 83.

J.H.Farrar, New Zealand National Report to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law (Sydney, Australia 1986).

S.Ferreri, "The Influence of Education - in Law Schools and Law Faculties - on the Application of Uniform Law", International Uniform Law in Practice - Acts and Proceedings of the 3rd Congress on Private Law held by UNIDROIT (Rome, 7-10 September 1987), (Oceana Publications, 1988) 289.

A.Flessner & T.Kadner, "CISG? Zur Suche nach einer Abkürzung für das Wiener Übereinkommen über Verträge über den internationalen Warenkauf", in Zeitschrift für Europäisches Privatrecht (1995) 347.

P.Gerver, E.Hondius & G.Steenhof (eds.), Netherlands Reports to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law - Sydney/Melbourne 1986, (Asser Insituut/Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, 1987)

R.Goode, "Good Faith in English Law", Centro di studi e ricerche di diritto comparato e straniero (diretto da M.J. Bonell) Saggi, Conferenze e Seminari (Rome 1992) 2.

G. Gorla [Italy], "Observations", in: International Uniform Law in Practice, [Acts and Proceedings of the 3rd Congress on Private Law held by the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (Rome 7-10 September 1987)], Oceana: New York (1988) 302.

J.Honnold, "Methodology to Achieve Uniformity in Applying International Agreements, Examined in the Setting of the Uniform Law for International Sales Under the 1980 U.N. Convention" (1986), in Report to the Twelfth Congress of the International Academy of Comparative Law, Sydney & Melbourne, Australia (18-26 August 1986). [General Report: Honnold; National Reports: Bonell, Clarke, Cova Arria, Eörsi, Farrar, Horsmans, Kanda, Khoo, Maskow, Popow, Rajski, Samson, Schlechtriem, Sevón, Sutton, van der Velden, Ziegel] (Sydney, Australia 1986).

W.L.H.Khoo, Singapore National Report to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law (Sydney, Australia 1986).

P.Lalive, "L'arbitrage international et les Principes UNIDROIT" [International arbitration and the UNIDROIT Principles - in French] (Paper presented at the Colloquium on The UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts: An International 'Restatement' of Contract Law?", held in Rome on 6-7 October 1995), published in Bonell/Bonelli (eds.), Contratti Commerciali Internazionali e Principi UNIDROIT (Giuffrè, Milan 1997) 71.

S.N. Martinez Cazon, "A Practitioner's View of the Applicability of the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts in Interpreting International Uniform Laws", (paper presented at the 25th IBA Biennial Conference held in Melbourne, 9-14 October 1994) 3.

D. Maskow, "On the Interpretation of the Uniform Rules of the 1980 U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods", National Report of the German Democratic Republic for the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law (Sydney, Australia 1986).

Popov, Bulgaria National Report to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law (Sydney, Australia 1986).

J.Rajski, Poland National Report to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law (Sydney, Australia 1986).

C.Samson, National Report of Canada and Quebec to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law (Sydney, Australia 1986).

L.Sevón, "Method of Unification of Law for the International Sale of Goods", National Report of Finland for the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law - Sydney (August 1986).

L. Sevón [Finland], "Observations", in: International Uniform Law in Practice (Oceana, 1988).

P.Schlechtriem, "Good Faith in German Law and in International Uniform Laws", in Centro di studi e ricerche di diritto comparato e straniero (diretto da M.J. Bonell) Saggi, Conferenze E Seminari (Rome 1997) No. 24.

R.Schlesinger, H.Baade, M.Damaska & P.Herzog, Comparative Law (Foundation Press, Westbury, NY, 1988).

J. Schwarz [Germany], "The Role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the Interpretation of Uniform Law among the Member States of the European Communities", in: International Uniform Law in Practice, (Oceana: New York, 1988).

K.Sutton, Australian National Report to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law (Sydney, Australia 1986).

Hans van Houtte, The Law of International Trade (Sweet & Maxwell, 1995).

F.J.A. van der Velden, Netherlands National Report to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law (Sydney, Australia 1986).

J.S.Ziegel, Report to the Uniform Law Conference of Canada on Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (July 1980).

J.S.Ziegel, Canadian National Report to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law (Sydney, Australia 1986).

BOOKS / CHAPTERS

P.S.Atiyah, The Rise and Fall of Freedom of Contract (1979).

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JOURNAL ARTICLES

A

G.Alpa, "General Principles of Law", 1 Ann. Surv. Int'l. & Comp. L. (1994) 1.

B

A.Babiak, Comment, "Defining 'Fundamental Breach' Under the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods", 6 Temp. Int'l & Comp. L.J. (1992) 113.

Bagge, "International Unification of Commercial Law", in International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (1948) 253.

H.Beale and T.Dugdale, "Contracts between Businessmen; Planning and the Use of Contractual Remedies" 2 Brit. J. of Law & Soc. (1975) 18.

V.Behr, "Commentary to Journal of Law & Commerce - Case I: Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt am Main", 12 Journal of Law & Commerce (1993) 271.

H.J.Berman & C.Kaufmann, "The Law of International Commercial Transactions (Lex Mercatoria)", 19 Harv. Int'l. L.J. (1978) 221.

H.J.Berman, "The Uniform Law on International Sale of Goods: A Constructive Critique", 30 Law & Contemp. Probs. (1965) 354.

E.Bodenheimer, "Doctrine as a Source of the International Unification of Law", 34 Am. J. Comp. L. (Supplement) (1986) 67.

K.Boele-Woelki, "Principles and Private International Law - The UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts and the Principles of European Contract law: How to Apply Them to International Contracts", Uniform Law Review (1996) 652.

M.J.Bonell, "The UNIDROIT Principles in Practice - The Experience of the First Two Years", Uniform Law Review (1997) 34.

M.J.Bonell, "The UNIDRPOIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts and CISG - Alternatives or Complementary Instruments?", Uniform Law Review (1996) 26.

M.J.Bonell, "Formation of Contracts and Precontractual Liability Under the Vienna Convention on International Sale of Goods", Formation of contracts and precontractual liability (ICC Publishing Pub. No. 440/9 (1990).

M.J.Bonell, "L'interpretazione del diritto uniforme alla luce dell'art. 7 della convenzione di Vienna sulla vendita internazionale", in 2 Rivista di diritto civile (1986) 221.

M.J.Bonell, "Some Critical Reflections on the New UNCITRAL Draft Convention on International Sales", 2 Uniform Law Review (1978) 2.

M.J.Bonell & F.Liguori, "The U.N. Convention on the International Sale of Goods: A Critical Analysis of Current International Case Law - 1997 (Part 1)", Revue de droit uniforme/ Uniform Law Review (1997) 385.

M.J.Bonell & F.Liguori, "The U.N. Convention on the International Sale of Goods: A Critical Analysis of Current International Case Law (Part I)", Uniform Law Review (1996) 147.

R.A.Brand, "Exchange Loss Damages and the Uniform Foreign-Money Claims Act: The Emperor Hasn't All His Clothes", 23 L. & Pol'y Int'l Bus. (1992) 1.

R.Brand & H.Flechtner, "Arbitration and Contract Formation in International Trade: First Interpretations of the U.N. Sales Convention", 12 Journal of Law and Commerce (1993) 239.

M.G.Bridge, "Good Faith in Commercial Contracts" in Good Faith in Contract: Concept
and Context
(R. Brownsword and G. Howells eds.) (Dartmouth 1999) 139.

M.G. Bridge, "Does Anglo-Canadian Law Need a Doctrine of Good Faith?" 9 Canadian Business L.J. (1984) 385.

S.Burton, "More on Good Faith Performance of a Contract: A Reply to Professor Summers", 69 Iowa L. Rev. (1984) 497.

S.Burton, "Good Faith Performance of a Contract Within Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code", 67 Iowa L. Rev. (1981) 1.

S.Burton, "Breach of Contract and the Common Law Duty to Perform in Good Faith", 94 Harv. L. Rev. (1980) 369.

C

G.H.Cain, "The Vienna Convention: Posing a New International Law of Sales", 57 Conn. Bar. J. (1983) 327.

J.J.Callaghan, "Recent Developments: CISG: U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods: Examining the Gap-filling role of CISG in Two French Decisions", 14 Journal of Law and Commerce (1995) 183.

Clausson, "Avoidance in Nonpayment Situation and Fundamental Breach Under the 1980 U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods", 6 N.Y.L. Sch. Int'l & Comp. L. (1984) 95.

G.Corney, "Obligations and Remedies Under the 1980 Vienna Sales Convention", 23 Queensland L. Soc. J. (1993) 37.

V.S.Cook, "The UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods: A Mandate to Abandon Legal Ethnocentricity", 16 Journal of Law and Commerce (1997) 257.

V.S.Cook, [Note], "The need for Uniform Interpretation of the 1980 United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International sale of Goods", 50 U. Pitt. L. Rev. (1988) 197.

V.G.Curran, "The Interpretive Challenge to Uniformity", 15 Journal of Law & Commerce (1995) 175.

D

J.M.Darkey, "A U.S. Court's Interpretation of Damage Provisions under the U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods: A Preliminary Step towards an International Jurisprudence of CISG or a Missed Opportunity?", 15 Journal of Law and Commerce (1995) 139.

L.F.Del Duca & P.Del Duca, "Practice Under the Convention on International Sale of Goods (CISG); A Primer for Attorneys and International Traders", 27 Uniform Commercial Code Law Journal (1995) 331 (part I), 29 UCC L.J. (1996) 99 (part II).

E.Diederichsen, "Commentary to Journal of Law & Commerce Case I, Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt am Main", 14 J.L. & Com. (1995) 177.

F.Diedrich, "Maintaining Uniformity in International Uniform Law via Autonomous Interpretation: Software Contracts and the CISG", 8 Pace Int'l L. Rev. (1996) 303.

L.A.DiMatteo, "An International Contract Law Formula: The Informality of International Business Transactions Plus the Internationalization of Contract Law Equals Unexpected Contractual Liability", 23 Syracuse J. Int'l L. & Com. (1997) 67.

L.A.Diatteo, "The CISG and the Presumption of Enforceability: Unintended Contractual Liability in International Business Dealings", 22 Yale J. Int'l L. (1997) 111.

I.I.Dore and J.E.Defranco, "A Comparison of the Non-Substantive Provisions of the UNCINTRAL Convention and the U.C.C.", 23 Harv. Int'l. L.J. (1982) 49.

E

S. Eiselen, "Electronic commerce and the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) 1980", 6 EDI Law Review (1999) 21.

G.Eörsi, "A Propos the 1980 Vienna Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods", 31 Am.J.Comp.L. (1983) 333.

G. Eörsi, "Problems of Unifying the Law on Formation of Contracts for the International Sale of Goods", 27 Am. J. Comp. L. (1979) 311.

G.Eörsi, "Unifying the Law (A Play in One Act, With a Song)", 25 Am. J. Comp. L. (1977) 658.

F

D.Farber and J. Matheson, "Beyond Promissory Estoppel: Contract Law and the Invesible Handshake", 52 U. Chi. L. Rev. 903.

A. Farnsworth, "Duties of Good Faith and Fair Dealing under the UNIDROIT Principles, Relevant Conventions and National Laws", 3 Tul. J. Int. and Comp. L. (1995), 56;

A. Farnsworth, "Precontractual Liability and Preliminary Agreements - Fair Dealing and Failed Negotiations", 87 Colum. L. Rev. (1987) 217.

A.Farnsworth, "Rights and Obligations of the Seller", in Schweizerisches Institut für Rechtsvergleichung (ed.), Wiener Ubereinkommen von 1980 uber den Internationalen Warenkauf (Lausanner Kolloquium 1984) (Zürich: Schulthess, 1985) 83.

A.Farnsworth, "Developing International Trade Law", 9 Cal. Western Int'l L.J. 468 (1979).

150.

E.A.Farnsworth, "UNCITRAL - Why? What? How? When?", 20 Am.J.Comp.L. (1972) 314;

A.Farnsworth, "Good Faith Performance and Commercial Reasonableness Under the Uniform Commercial Code", 30 U. Chi. L. Rev. (1963) 666.

J.D. Feltham, "The U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods", J. Bus. L (1981) 346.

F.Ferrari, "CISG Case Law: A New Challenge for Interpreters?", 17 Journal of Law and Commerce (1999) 246.

F.Ferrari, "The Relationship Between the UCC and the CISG and the Construction of Uniform Law", 29 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. (1996) 1021.

F.Ferrari, "Interprétation uniforme de la Convention de 1980 sur la vente internationale", in Revue internationale de droit comparé (1996) 813.

F.Ferrari, "Specific Topics of the CISG in the Light of Judicial Application and Scholarly Writing", 15 J.L. & Com. (1995) 1.

F.Ferrari, "Uniform Interpretation of the 1980 Uniform Sales Law", 24 Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law (1994) 183.

F.Ferrari, "Comparative Ruminations on the Foreseeability of Damages in Contract Law", 53 Louisiana Law Review (1993) 1257.

F.Ferrari, "Comparative Ruminations on the Foreseeability of Damages in Contract Law", 50 Ohio St. L.J. (1989) 737.

G. Fisher, "UNCITRAL gives International Trade Law CLOUT", 21 Australian Bus. L. Rev. (1993) 362.

H.M. Flechtner, "The U.N. Sales Convention (CISG) and MCC-Marble Ceramic Center, Inc. v. Ceramica Nuova D'Agostino, S.p.A.: The Eleventh Circuit Weighs in on Interpretation, Subjective Intent, Procedural Limits to the Convention's Scope, and the Parol Evidence Rule", 18 Journal of Law and Commerce (1999) 259; also at <http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/biblio/flechtner1.html>.

H.M.Flechtner, "Another CISG Case in the U.S. Courts: Pittfalls for the Practitioner and the Potential for Regionalized Interpretations", 15 Journal of Law and Commerce (1995) 127.

H.M.Flechtner, "More U.S. Decisions on the U.N. Sales Convention: Scope, Parol Evidence, 'Validity' and Reduction of Price Under Article 50", 14 Journal of Law and Commerce (1995) 153.

M.Franklin, "On the Legal Method of the Uniform Commercial Code", 16 Law & Contemporary Problems (1951) 330.

L.M.Freedman and S.Macaulay, "Contract Law and Contract Teaching: Past, Present and Future" [1967] Wisconsin Law Rev 805.

W. Friedman, (Note), 31 Can. Bar Rev. (1953) 723.

G

F.A. Gabor, "Stepchild of the New Lex Mercatoria: Private International Law from the United States Perspective", 8 Northwestern J. Int'l L. & Bus. (1988) 557.

H.Gabriel, "The International Chamber of Commerce INCOTERMS 1990 - A Guide to their Usage", 3 Vindobona Journal (1999) 61.

A.Garro, "Reconciliation of Legal Traditions in the U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods", 23 Int'l. Law. (1989) 443.

C.M.Germain, "The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods: Guide to Research and Literature", Cornell Rev. of the Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (1995) 117.

P.Gibson, "Promissory Estoppel, Article 2 of the UCC and the Restatement (Third) of Contracts" 73 Iowa L.Rev. (1988) 659.

J.A.Goddard, "Reglas de interpretacion de la Convencion sobre Compraventa Internacional de Mercaderias", in Revista de investigaciones juridicas (1990) 9.

B.Goldman, [Note, Cass. Comm. 4 mars 1963, Hocke v. Schnubel], Journal du droit international (1964) 807.

A.Goldstajn, "The New Law Merchant" [1961] J.Bus.L. 16.

R.H.Graveson, "The International Unification of Law", 16 Am. J. Comp. L. (1968) 4.

Horacio A. Grigera Naón, "The UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods", in (Horn/Schmittoff eds.), The Transnational Law of International Commercial Transactions: Studies in Transnational Economic Law (Kluwer 1982) 92.

H

H.E.Hartnell, "Rousing the Sleeping Dog: The Validity Exception to the Convention for the International Sale of Goods", 18 Yale Journal of International Law (1993) 1.

W.D.Hawkland, "Uniform Commercial 'Code' Methodology", Uni. Illinois L. F. (1962) 291.

Heiz, "Validity of Contracts Under the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, April 11, 1980, and Swiss Contract Law", 20 Vand. J. Transnat'l L. (1987) 639.

R.Hill, "A Businessman's view of the UNIDROIT Principles", 13 Journal of International Arbitration (No.2, June 1996) 163.

J.Honnold , "The Sales Convention: From Idea to Practice, in Symposium - Ten Years of the United Nations Sales Convention" 17 Journal of Law and Commerce (1998) 181.

J.Honnold, "Uniform Laws for International Trade", International Trade and Business Law Journal (Australia, 1995) 5.

J.Honnold, "The Sales Convention in Action - Uniform International Words: Uniform Application?", 8 J.L.& Com. (1988) 207.

J.Honnold, "The U.N. Commission on International Trade Law: Mission and Methods", 27 Am.J.Comp.L. (1979) 201.

J.Honnold, "UNCITRAL Documents: Research Sources, Style, Citation", 27 American Journal of Comparative Law (1979) 217.

J

Johnson, "Harmonisation and Standardisation of Legal Aspects of International Trade", 51 Australian L.J. (1977) 608.

K

M. Karollus, "Judicial Interpretation and Application of the CISG in Germany 1988-1994", Cornell Review of the Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (1995) 51.

A.H.Kastely, "Unification and Community: A Rhetorical Analysis of the United Nations Sales Convention", 8 Northwestern J. Int'l L & Bus. (1988) 574.

T.Keily, "Good Faith and the Vienna Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG)", on the Pace website bibliography: <http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/biblio/keily.html>.

Lord Justice Kennedy, "The Unification of Law", 10 J.Soc'y Comp. Legis. (1909) 212.

F.Kessler and E.Fine, "Culpa in Contrahendo, Bargaining in Good Faith and Freedom of Contract: A Comparative Study" 77 Harv. L. Rev. (1964) 401.

R. Koch, "The Concept of Fundamental Breach of Contract under the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG)", Review of the Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) 1998, Kluwer Law International (1999) 177.

M. J. Kolosky, Note, "Beyond Partisan Policy: The Eleventh Circuit Lays Aside the Parol Evidence Rule in Pursuit of International Uniformity in Commercial Regulation", 24 N.C. J. Int'l. L. & Com. Reg. (1998) 199.

A.Komarov, The UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts: A Russian View, Uniform Law Revue (1996) 247.

P.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 (1997) 105.

C. Knapp, "Reliance in the Revised Restatement: The Proliferation of Promissory Estoppel", 81 Colum. L.Rev. (1981) 52.

A.H.Kritzer, "The Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods: Scope, Interpretation and Resources", Cornell Rev. of the Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (1995) 147.

L

A.Leopold, "Estoppel: A Practical Aappraisal of Recent Developments", 7 Aust. Bar Rev. (1991) 47.

J.Lookofsky, "The 1980 United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods", in: Blainpain (gen. ed.), International Encyclopaedia of Laws - Contracts (Kluwer 1993), vol. 1.

M

S.Macaulay, "Elegant Models, Empirical Pictures and the Complexities of Contract", 11 Law and Society Rev. (1977) 507.

S.Macaulay, "Non-Contractual Relations in Business", 28 Am. Soc. Rev. (1963) 55.

S.A.Malloy, Note, "The Inter-American Convention on the Law Applicable to International Contracts: Another Piece of the Puzzle of the Law Applicable to International Contracts", 19 Fordham Int'l L.J. (1995) 662.

Mankiewicz, "Judicial Diversification of Uniform Law", International and Comparative Law Quarterly (1972) 718.

F.A.Mann, "Uniform Statutes in English Law", 99 Law Quarterly Review (1983) 376.

U.Magnus, "Die allegemeinen Grundsatze im UN-Kaufrecht" [General principles under the UN Sales Convention][English translation], 3 International Trade and Business law Annual III (Australia 1997), 33.

D.Maskow, "Hardship and Force Majeure", 40 American Journal of Comparative Law (1992) 657.

R.J.C.Munday, Comment, "The Uniform Interpretation of International Conventions", 27 Int'l. & Comp. L. Q. (1978) 450.

A.G. Murphey, Jr., "Consequential Damages in Contracts for the International Sale of Goods and the Legacy of Hadley", 23 Geo. Wash. J. Int'l. L. & Econ. (1989) 415.

N

B.Nicholas, "The Vienna Convention on International Sales Law", 105 L.Q. Rev. (1989) 201.

S.H.Nickles, "Problems of Sources of Law Relationships under the Uniform Commercial Code - Part I: The Methodological Problem and the Civil Law Approach", 31 Ark. L. Rev. (1977) 1.

P

P.Parkinson, "Equitable Estoppel: Developments after Waltons Stores (Interstate) v. Maher", 3 J. Cont. L. (1990) 50.

E.H.Patterson, "United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods: Unification and the Tension Between Compromise and Domination", 22 Stan. J. Int'l L. (1986) 263.

J.M.Perillo, "UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts: The Black Letter Text and a Review", 63 Fordham Law Review (1994) 281.

Burghard Piltz [Germany], "INCOTERMS and the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods", in: Pace ed., Review of the Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) 1998, Kluwer Law International (1999) 41-51; also in: Oleg Semenov ed., CISG <online> 20 years <conference> (24 April 2000); web: "http://www.cisg.ru/20_jahre/piltz_intro.html"

R.Powell, "Good Faith in Contracts" [1956] CLP 16.

R

E.Rabel, "The Hague Conference on the Unification of Sales Law", 1 Am.J.Comp.L. (1952) 58.

H. Raeschke-Kessler, "Should an Arbitrator in an International Arbitration Procedure Apply the UNIDROIT Principles?", in UNIDROIT Principles for International Commercial Contracts, A New Lex Mercatoria? (Inst. Int'l. Bus. Law ed., 1995) 167.

D.J.Rhodes, "The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods: Encouraging the Use of Uniform International Law", 5 Transnat'l Law. (1992) 387.

M.N.Rosenberg, "The Vienna Convention: Uniformity in Interpretation for Gap-Filling - An Analysis and Application", 20 Australian Bus. L. Rev. (1992) 442.

A.Rosett, "Critical Reflections on the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods", 45 Ohio St. L.J. (1984) 265.

A.Rosett, Comment, "Unification and Certainty: The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods", 97 Harv. L. Rev. (1984) 1984.

P.M.Roth, "The Passing of Risk", 27 American Journal of Comparative Law (1979) 291.

L.M.Ryan, "The Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods: Divergent Interpretations", 4 Tul. J. Int'l & Comp. L. (1995) 99.

S

P.Schlechtriem, "The Borderland Between Tort and Contract - Opening a New Frontier", 21 Cornell Int'l L.J. (1988) 467.

C.M.Schmitthoff, "The Unification of the Law of International Trade", J. Bus. L. (1968) 105.

C.M.Schmitthoff, "International Business Law: A New Law Merchant", 2 Current Law and Social Problems (1961) 129.

C.M.Schmitthoff, "Conflict Avoidance in Practice and Theory in the Preventative Law of Conflicts", 21 Law and Contemporary Problems (1956) 429.

E.C.Schneider, "The Seller's Right to Cure Under the U.C.C. and U.N. CISG", 7 Ariz. J. Int'l & Comp. L. (1989) 69.

B.S.Selden, "Lex Mercatoria in European and U.S. Trade Practice: Time to Take a Closer Look", 2 Golden Gate University School of Law, Annual Survey of International & Comparative Law (1995) 111.

K.Sono, "Restoration of the Rule of Reason in Contract Formation: Has There Been Civil and Common Law Disparity?", 21 Cornell Int'l. L.J. (1988) 478.

M.F.Sturley, "International Uniform Laws in National Courts: The Influence of Domestic Law in Conflicts of Interpretation", 27 Va.J.Int'l. L. (1986) 729.

R.Summers, "The General Duty of Good Faith - Its Recognition and Conceptualisation", 67 Cornell L. Rev. (1982) 810.

R. Summers, "'Good Faith' in General Contract Law and the Sales Provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code", 54 Va. L. Rev. (1968) 195.

R. Sutton, Commentary on "Codification, Law Reform and Judicial Development", Appendix - Tentative Scheme for a Draft Code, in 9 Journal of Contract Law (1996) 204.

J.Sutton, "Measuring Damages Under the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods" 50 Ohio St. L.J. (1989) 737.

T

A.Tunc, "English and Commercial Law", [1961] J.Bus.L. 234.

V

A.Veneziano, "Non Conformity of Goods in International Sales. A Survey of Current Caselaw on CISG", Revue de droit des affaires internationales (1997) 39.

Maria del Pilar Perales Viscasillas, "'Battle of the Forms' Under the 1980 United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods: A Comparison with Section 2-207 UCC and the UNIDROIT Principles", 10 Pace International Law Review (1998) 97-155 (also available on the Pace website: www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/biblio/pperales.html).

M. P. P. Viscasillas, "UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts: Sphere of Application and General Provisions," 13 Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law (1996) 385.

W

P.Winship, "Changing Contract Practices in the Light of the United Nations Sales Convention: A Guide For Practitioners", 29 Int'l Lawyer (1995) 525.

P.Winship, "The U.N. Sales Convention: A Bibliography of English-Language Publications", 28 Int'l. Lawyer (1994) 401.

P.Winship, "Private International Law and the U.N. Sales Convention", 21 Cornell Int'l. L. J. (1988) 487.

P.Winship, "Commentary on Professor Kastely's Rhetorical Analysis", 8 Northwestern J. Int'l. L. & Bus. (1988) 623.

P.Winship, "Congress and the 1980 International Sales Convention", 16 Ga. J. Int'l & Comp. L. (1986) 707.

P.Winship, "International Sales Contracts Under the 1980 Vienna Convention", 17 UCC L.J. (1984) 55.

P.Winship, "A Note on the Commentary of the 1980 Vienna Convention", 18 Int'l. Law. (1984) 37.

C.Witz, "The First Decision of France's Court of Cassation Applying the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods", 16 Journal of Law and Commerce (1997) 345.

Z

B.Zeller, "Good Faith - The Scarlet Pimpernel of the CISG" (Pace Essay, 1 July 2000), available on the Pace website: <http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/biblio/zeller2.html>.

B.Zeller, "The UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) - a leap forward towards unified international sales laws", 12 Pace International Law Review (Spring 2000), 79; <http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/biblio/zeller3.html>.

J.S.Ziegel, Note, 63 Can. Bar Rev. (1985) 629.

J.S.Ziegel, "Canada Prepares to Adopt the International Sales Convention", 18 C.B.L.J. (1991) 1.

DICTIONARIES

Black's Law Dictionary (6th ed., 1990).

The Lexicon Webster Dictionary (The English Language Institute of America, Inc., 1979), II Vols.

The Macquarie Dictionary (Macquarie University, N.S.W., 1982); reprinted in the United Kingdom by The Chaucer Press, Suffolk, 1984.

CASE LAW

In English

Air France v. Saks, 470 U.S. 392 (1985).
Ambromovage v. United Mine Workers, 726 F.2d 972 (3d Cir. 1984).
Arkwright v. Newbold (1881) 17 Ch.D. 301.
Baltic Insurance Corpn v. Jordan Grand Prix Ltd (House of Lords 16 December 1998, available on the web under House of Lords).
Beijing Metals & Minerals Import/Export Corp. v. American Business Center. Inc. (15 June 1993, U.S. Cir. Ct.) CLOUT no. 24.
Best v. United States National Bank, 739 P.2d 554 (Or. 1987).
Blackpool and Fylde Aero Club Ltd. v. Blackpool Borough Council [1990] 1 W.L.R. 1195.
Board of County Comm'rs of Jackson v. United States, 308 U.S. 343 (1939).
British Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co. Ltd v. Underground Electric Railways Co. of London Ltd [1912] AC 673.
Buchanan v. Babco Forwarding & Shipping Ltd. [1976] 2 W.L.R. 107; [1977] 1 All ER 518.
Calzaturificio Claudia S.n.c. v. Olivieri Footwear Ltd. (6 April 1998, U.S. Dist. Ct.).
Chanter v. Hopkins (1838) 4 M & W 399; 150 ER 1484.
Conoco v. Inman Oil Co., 774 F.2d 895 (8th Cir. 1985).
Corocraft Ltd. v. Pan American World Airways Inc. [1969] 1 All ER 82.
E.A.Coronis Associates v. M. Gordon Construction Co. 90 N.J. Super. 69, 216 A. 2nd 246 (1966).
Crabb v. Arun Dist. Council [1976] Ch. 179.
Day v. Trans World Airlines Inc., 528 Federal Reporter, Second Series (U.S.) 31 (1975).
Delchi Carrier, SpA v. Rotorex Corp., 71 F.3d 1024 (2d Cir. 1995).
Downs Investments v. Perwaja Steel SDN BHD (17 November 2000), S.C. of Qld., available at: <http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/001117a2.html>.
Eastern Air Lines, Inc. v. Gulf Oil Corp., 415 F. Supp. 429 (S.D. Fla. 1975).
Faccenda Chicken Ltd. v. Fowler [1987] Ch 177.
Filanto, S.p.A. v. Chilewich Int'l Corp., 789 F. Supp. 1229 (S.D.N.Y. 1992); appeal dismissed, 984 F.2d, 58 (2d Cir. 1993).
Foley v. Interactive Data Corp., 765 P.2d 373 (Cal. 1988).
Fothergill v. Monarch Airlines [1980] 2 All E.R. 696; [1980] 3 W.L.R. 209.
Furness Wilrhy (Australia) Pty Ltd v. Metal Distributors (UK) Ltd (The Amazonia) [1990] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 236.
Hadley v. Baxendale1(1854) 56 Eng. Rep. 145.
Harry Harris v. Quality Constr. Co. 598 S.W. 2nd 872 (Ky. App. 1979).
In re Vic Bernacchi & Sons, Inc., 170 B.R. 647 (Bkrtcy. N.D. Ind. 1994).
Interfoto Picture Library Ltd. v. Stiletto Visual Programmes Ltd. [1989] QB 433.
C. Itoh & Co Ltd v. Cia de Navegacao Lloyd Brasilieiro [1999] 1 Lloyd's Rep 115.
Khoury v. Government Insurance Office of NSW (1984) 165 CLR 622.
Lisi v. Alitalia S.p.a., 370 Federal Reporter, Second Series (U.S.) 508 (1966).
MCC-Marble v. Ceramica Nuova, (29 June 1998, U.S. Cir. Ct.).
Medical Marketing International, Inc. v. Internazionale Medico Scientifica, S.r.l. (17 May 1999, U.S. Dist. Ct.).
Middle East Banking v. State Street Bank Int'l, 821 F.2d 897 (2d Cir. 1987).
Mitsui & Co. Ltd. et Ataka & Co. Ltd. v. American Export Lines Inc., 628 Federal Reporter, Second Series, 802 (1981).
Oil Spill, 954 F.2d, at 1333.
Orbisphere Corp. v. United States, 13 C.I.T. 866, 726 F. Supp. 1344.
Pelly v. Royal Exchange Assurance Co. (1757) Burr.341.
Pepper v. Hart [1993] AC 593.
Renard Constructions v. Minister for Public Works, 26 N.S.W.L.R. 234 (1992).
Richard Short Oil v. Texaco, 799 F. 2d 415 (8th Cir. 1986).
Rio Algom Corp. v. Jimco Ltd., 618 P.2d 497 (Utah 1980).
Rothmans of Pall Mall v. Saudi Arabian Airlines Co [1981] 1 Q.B. 368.
Scruttons Ltd. v. Midland Silicones Ltd. [1962] A.C. 446.
Seager v. Copydex Ltd. (No. 2) [1969] 1 W.L.R. 809.
Silovi Pty. Ltd. v. Barbaro (1988) 13 NSWLR 466.
Smith v. Hughes (1871) LR 6 QB 597.
Stag Line v. Foscolo Mango & Co. [1932] A.C. 328.
Taylor v. Johnson (1983) 151 CLR 422.
The Hollandia [1982] 3 W.L.R. 1111; [1983] A.C. 465.
Thermo Engineers Ltd. and Anhydro A/S v. Ferrymaster Ltd. [1981] 1 All ER 1142.
Tymshare v. Covell, 727 F.2d 1145 (D.C. Cir. 1984).
Waltons Stores (Interstate) Ltd. v. Maher (1988) 164 C.L.R. 387.

Foreign case law and other arbitral awards

Amtsgericht Alsfeld, 12 May 1995, n. 31 C 534/94; in Neue Juristische Wochenschrift Rechtsprechungs-Report (1996) 120.

AG Augsburg, 29 January 1996; in UNILEX.

AG Tessin, 12 February 1996; in Schweizerische Zeitschrift für internationales und europäisches Recht (1996) 135.

Amstgericht Oldenberg in Holstein, 24 Apr. 1990, n. 5 C 73/89; abstract in 14 J.L. & Com. (1995) 227.

Arrondissementsrechtbank Arnhem, 25 February 1993, n. 1992/182; in Nederlands Internationaal Privaatrecht (1993) nr.445.

Arrondissementsrechtbank Middelburg, 25 January 1995, n.300/94; in Nederlands Internationaal Privaatrecht (1996) nr. 127.

Arrondissementsrechtbank Roermond, 6 May 1993, n. 920159; in UNILEX 1996.

Bezirksgericht Arbon, 9 December 1994, n. BG 9341/94; in UNILEX 1996.

BGH, April 3 1996; abstract in Neue Juristische Wochenschrift (1996) 2364.

Corte d'Appello di Genova, 24 March 1995 (Marc Rich & Co. A.G. v. Iritecna); in Diritto Marittimo (1995) 1054.

Cour d'Appel de Grenoble, Ch. com., 23 October 1996 (Scea Gaec Des Beauches Bernard Bruno c. Societé teso Ten Elsen GMBh & CokG); summary published in 1ULR (1997) 180).

Cour d'Appel de Grenoble, 24 January 1996; summary published in the Uniform Law Review (1997) 1.

Gerechtshof Arnhem, 22 August 1995, n. 94/305; in Nederlands Intemationaal Privaatrecht (1995) nr. 514.

Gerichtspräsident von Laufen, 7 May 1993; in UNILEX.

Handelsgericht St. Gallen, 24 August 1995, n. HG48/1994; in UNILEX 1996.

Handelsgerich St. Gallen, 5 December 1995; in Schweizerische Zeitschrift für internatioanles und europäisches Recht (1996) 53.

Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Court of Arbitration, 17 November 1995, n. VB/94124; in UNILEX 1996.

Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Court of Arbitration, 5 December 1995, n. VB/94131, in UNILEX 1996.

ICC Court of Arbitration (Paris), n. 8128/1995; in UNILEX 1996.

ICC Court of Arbitration, n. 8128/1995; abstract published in Journal du Droit International (1996) 1024.

ICC Court of Arbitration, 23 August 1994, n. 7660/JK; in ICC International Court of Arbitration Bulletin (1995) n. 6, 69.

ICC Court of Arbitration, n. 7197/1992; in Journal du droit international (1993) 1028.

ICC Court of Arbitration, n. 7331/1994; in ICC International Court of Arbitration Bulletin (1995) n. 6, 73.

ICC Court of Arbitration, n. 8611; in UNILEX.

International Court of Arbitration, n. 7153/1992; translated in 14 J.L. & Com. (1995) 217.

International Court of Arbitration, n. 7565/1994 (Neth. v. U.S.); in 6 ICC Ct. Arb. Bull. 64; in UNILEX.

International Court of Arbitration, 7 February 1993, n. 6653 (Fr. v. Syria); in UNILEX.

Internationales Schiedsgericht der Bundeskammer der Gewerblichen Wirtschaft, Wien, 15 June 1994, n. SCH-4318 (F.R.G. v Aus.); reprinted in Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft (1994) 591-92, also available in UNILEX.

Internationales Schiedsgericht der Bundeskammer der Gewerblichen Wirtschaft, Wien , 15 June 1994, n. SCH-4366 (Aus. v. F.R.G.); reprinted in Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft (1994) 590-91, also available in UNILEX.

Landgericht Aachen, 20 July 1995, n. 41 O 111/95 (Italy v. F.R.G.); abstract available in UNILEX.

Landgericht Aachen, 14 May 1993, n. 43 O 136/92, in Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft (1993) 760.

Landgericht Aachen, 3 April 1990, n. 41 O 198/89 (Italy v. F.R.G.); in Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft (1990) 491, also available in UNILEX.

Landgericht Berlin, 24 January 1994, n. 2 U 7418/92; in Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft (1994) 683.

Landgericht Hamburg, 9 Sept. 1990, n. 5 O 543/88; abstract in 14 J.L. & Com. (1995) 228.

Landgericht Hamburg, 26 September 1990, n. 5 O 543/88; in IPRax: Praxis des Intemationalen Privat - und Verfahrensrechts (1991) 400.

Landgericht Kassel, 22 June 1995; available in UNILEX.

Landgericht München, 25 January 1996; available in UNILEX.

Landgericht Stuttgart, 31 August 1989, n. 3KfH O 97/89; abstract in 14 J.L. & Com. (1995) 225, reprinted in Praxis des internationalen Privat-und Verfahrensrechts (1990) 317.

National and International Court of Arbitration of Milan, 1 December 1996, n. 1795.

Obergericht des Kantons Luzern, 8 January 1997, CLOUT no.192.

Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf, 11 July 1996, n. 6 U 152/95; in Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft (1996) 958.

Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf, 2 July 1993, n. 17 U 73/93; in Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft (1993). 843.

Oberlandesgerich Frankfurt, April 20 1994; in Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft (1994) 593.

Oberlandesgericht Hamm, 9 June l995, n. 11 U 191/94; in IPRax: Praxis des Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts (1996) 269.

Oberlandesgericht Hamm, 8 February 1995, n. 11 U 206/93; in IPRax: Praxis des Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts (1995) 197.

Oberlandesgericht Koblenz, 17 September 1993, n. 2 U 1230/91; in Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft (1993) 934.

Oberlandesgericht Oldenburg, November 9 1994; in Neue Juristische Wochenschrift Rechtsprechungs-Report (1995) 438.

Oberlandesgericht Rostock 27 July 1995, n. 1 U 247/94; in OLG-Report (1996) 50.

Oberlandesgericht Stuttgart, 21 August 1995, n. 5 U 195/94; in Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft (1995) 943.

Ostre Landsert Kobenhavn (O.L.K.), 22 January 1996; in Ugeskrift for Retsvaesen (1996) 616.

Pretura di Locarno-Campagna (Switzerland), 27 April 1992, n. 6252; in UNILEX 1996, reprinted in Schweizerische Zeitschrift für internationales und europäisches Recht (1993) 665.

Sø-og Handelsrets Domme (S.H.D.), 1 July 1992; in Ugeskrift for Retsvaesen (1992) 920.

Tribunal Civil de la Gane, 20 May 1996; available in UNILEX.

Tribunal de Commerce de Bruxelles, 7ème ch., 5 October 1994, n. RG 1.205/93; in UNILEX 1996.

Tribunal de Commerce de Bruxelles, 11ème ch., 13 November 1992, n. RG 4.825/91; in UNILEX 1996.

Tribunale civile di Cuneo, 31 January 1996, n. 45/96 (Sport D'Hiver di Genevieve Culet c. Ets. Louys et Fils).

Tribunale di Pavia, 29 December 1999 (Tessile 21 S.r.l. v. Ixela S.A.).

Tribunale di Vigevano, 12 July 2000 (Rheinland Versicherungen v. Atlarex S.r.l.).

Tribunal of International Commercial Arbitration at the Russian Federation Chamber of Commerce and Industry, awards:

n. 309/1993 of 3 March 1995 (CLOUT Case 139),
n. 155/1994 of 16 March 1995 (CLOUT Case 140),
n. 200/1994 of 25 April 1995 (CLOUT Case 141), and
n. 123/1992 of 17 October 1995 (CLOUT Case 142).


FOOTNOTES

1. † In 1997 the author was admitted to the degree of Master of Laws from the University of Sydney for his research and thesis on the equitable remedy of constructive trusteeship. In October 2000 he was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Nottingham for his thesis on the interpretative provisions of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (1980). The author also holds degrees in Arts and Law from the University of Sydney and has served as a research assistant to the Hon. Mr. Justice P.E. Powell, in the N.S.W. Court of Appeal and as a part-time teacher in Trusts at the University of Nottingham. Currently, the author is an Associate of the Pace Institute of International Commercial Law. The author is the winner of the 2000 Essay Contest sponsored by the Institute of International Commercial Law of the Pace University School of Law.

2. United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, April 11, 1980, S. Treaty Doc. No. 98-9 (1984), 1489 U.N.T.S. 3, reprinted as United Nations: Conference on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, 19 I.L.M. 668 (1980) [hereinafter CISG or Vienna Sales Convention], also available at http://www.uncitral.org.

3. In the period from 1945 to 1970, harmonisation of private law was primarily effective in the areas of international transportation and dispute resolution (see e.g., the Hague Conventions on service of process and evidence and the New York Convention on foreign arbitral awards).

4. The original eleven States were: Argentina, China, Egypt, France, Hungary, Italy, Lesotho, Syria, United States, Yugoslavia and Zambia.

5. For the updated list of membership, see the Institute of International Commercial Law: Pace University School of Law [hereinafter Pace Law Website], at http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu.cisg.

6. G.A. Res. 2205 (XXI), U.N. GAOR, 21st Sess., Annex II, at 41, 42, U.N. Doc. A/6394/Add.1/ Add.2 (1966).

7. For the official website, visit UNCITRAL, at http://www.uncitral.org.

8. The Secretariat of UNCITRAL is the International Trade Law Branch of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs. It is located in Vienna and can be contacted at: UNCITRAL Secretariat, P.O. Box 500, Vienna International Centre, A-1400 Vienna, Austria; Telephone: (43-1) 26060-4060 or 4061; Telefax: (43-1) 26060-5813; Internet home page: http://www.un.or.at/uncitral; E-mail address: uncitral@unvienna.un.or.at.

9. The motto "ONE WORLD OF COMMERCE: towards ONE COMMERCIAL LAW" occupies a prime position in UNCITRAL's official website, supra note 6.

10. As from 1 June 1998, the members of UNCITRAL, and the years when their memberships expire, are: Algeria (2001), Argentina (2004 - alternating annually with Uruguay, starting in 1998), Australia (2001), Austria (2004), Botswana (2001), Brazil (2001), Bulgaria (2001), Burkina Faso (2004), Cameroon (2001), China (2001), Colombia (2004), Egypt (2001), Fiji (2004), Finland (2001), France (2001), Germany (2001), Honduras (2004), Hungary (2004), India (2004), Iran (Islamic Republic of) (2004), Italy (2004), Japan (2001), Kenya (2004), Lithuania (2004), Mexico (2001), Nigeria (2001), Paraguay (2004), Romania (2004), Russian Federation (2001), Singapore (2001), Spain (2004), Sudan (2004), Thailand (2004), Uganda (2004), United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (2001), United States of America (2004), and Uruguay (2004 - alternating annually with Argentina, starting in 1999).

11. Documents submitted to the Commission and its working groups are published in the six official languages of the United Nations (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish). They bear the symbol A/CN.9/… The more recent documents, which have not yet been reproduced in a UNCITRAL Yearbook, are available on request from the UNCITRAL Secretariat in Vienna. The Yearbook is published with a delay of one or two years and is a compilation of all substantive documents related to the work of the Commission and its working groups. It also reproduces the Annual Report of the Commission, which is published as Supplement No. 17 of the Official Records of the General Assembly. The Yearbook is published in English, French, Russian and Spanish and is available in the libraries that function as the United Nations Depository Libraries. Such libraries exist in national capitals and in a number of other major or university cities.

12. This Convention establishes uniform rules governing the period of time within which legal proceedings arising from an international sale contract must be commenced. It has been amended by a Protocol adopted in 1980 when the United Nations Sales Convention was adopted. Both the original Convention and the Convention as amended entered into force on 1 August 1988.

13. This Convention, which is the subject matter of the present writer's thesis, establishes a comprehensive code of legal rules governing the formation of contracts for the international sale of goods, the obligations of the buyer and seller, remedies for breach of contract and other aspects of the contract. The Convention entered into force on 1 January 1988.

14. The purpose of the Legal Guide, adopted in 1992, is to assist parties negotiating international countertrade transactions. It identifies legal issues involved in such transactions and discusses possible contractual solutions.

15. This Convention establishes a uniform legal regime governing the rights and obligations of shippers, carriers and consignees under a contract of carriage of goods by sea. It was prepared at the request of developing countries and its adoption by States has been endorsed by such intergovernmental organizations as UNCTAD, Asian-African Legal Consultative Committee and the Organisation of American States. The Convention entered into force on 1 November 1992.

16. This Convention sets forth uniform legal rules governing the liability of a terminal operator for loss of and damage to goods involved in international transport while they are in a transport terminal, and for delay by the terminal operator in delivering the goods. The draft Convention was adopted by a diplomatic conference and opened for signature, ratification and accession on 19 April 1991. The Convention will enter into force upon the deposit of 5 instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

17. Adopted in 1976, the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules provide a comprehensive set of procedural rules upon which parties may agree for the conduct of arbitral proceedings arising out of their commercial relationship. The Rules are widely used in ad hoc arbitrations, as well as in administered arbitrations.

18. When parties to a commercial dispute wish to settle their disputes amicably through conciliation, they may agree upon this set of procedural rules to govern the conciliation proceedings.

19. The UNCITRAL Model Law is designed to assist States in reforming and modernising their laws on arbitral procedure so as to take into account the particular features and needs of international commercial arbitration. It was adopted by UNCITRAL in 1985 and has been enacted into law by a large number of jurisdictions from both developed and developing countries.

20. The Notes are designed to assist arbitration practitioners by providing an annotated list of matters on which the arbitral tribunal may wish to formulate decisions during the course of arbitral proceedings. The text, which is in no way binding, may be used whether or not the arbitration is administered by an arbitral institution.

21. Although the Convention was prepared by the United Nations prior to the existence of UNCITRAL, promotion of the Convention is an integral part of the Commission's programme of work. As its name indicates, it provides for the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards rendered in foreign countries.

22. The UNCITRAL Model Law, adopted by the Commission in 1994, is designed to assist States in reforming and modernising their laws on procurement procedures. The Model Law contains procedures aimed at achieving the objectives of competition, transparency, fairness and objectivity in the procurement process, and thereby increasing economy and efficiency in procurement. In order to assist executive branches of Governments, parliaments and legislatures using the Model Law, the Commission has produced a Guide to Enactment of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Procurement of Goods, Construction and Services.

23. This Model Law is available for use by States who wish to enact procurement legislation with a scope limited to procurement of goods and construction.

24. The Legal Guide was published in February 1988 and is available in all six United Nations official languages. It discusses the many legal issues that arise in connection with the construction of industrial works, covering the pre-contractual, construction and post-construction phases, and suggests possible ways in which the parties may deal with these issues in their contracts. It was prepared with the special problems of buyers from developing countries in mind.

25. This Convention provides a comprehensive code of legal rules governing new international instruments for optional use by parties to international commercial transactions. It is designed to overcome the major disparities and uncertainties that currently exist in relation to instruments used for international payments. The Convention applies if the parties use a particular form of a negotiable instrument indicating that the instrument is subject to the UNCITRAL Convention. The Convention was adopted and opened for signature by the General Assembly at its 43rd session in December 1988. A minimum of 10 ratifications or accessions are necessary for the Convention to come into force.

26. The Legal Guide, which was published in 1987, identifies the legal issues arising from the transfer of funds by electronic means and discusses possible approaches for dealing with those issues.

27. The Model Law, adopted in 1992, deals with operations beginning with an instruction by an originator to a bank to place at the disposal of a beneficiary a specified amount of money. It covers such matters as the obligations of a sender of the instruction and of a receiving bank, time of payment of a receiving bank and liability of a bank to its sender or to the originator when the transfer is delayed or other error occurs.

28. The Convention was adopted by the General Assembly on 11 December 1995. It is designed to facilitate the use of independent guarantees and stand-by letters of credit, in particular where only one or the other of those instruments may be traditionally in use. The Convention also solidifies recognition of common basic principles and characteristics shared by the independent guarantee and the stand-by letter of credit. The Convention has been adhered to by the requisite 5 States and will therefore enter into force on 1 January 2000.

29. The Model Law, adopted in 1996, is intended to facilitate the use of modern means of communications and storage of information, such as electronic data interchange (EDI), electronic mail and telecopy, with or without the use of such support as the Internet. It is based on the establishment of a functional equivalent for paper-based concepts such as "writing", "signature" and "original". By providing standards by which the legal value of electronic messages can be assessed, the Model Law should play a significant role in enhancing the use of paperless communication. In addition to general norms, the Model Law also contains rules for electronic commerce in specific areas, such as carriage of goods. With a view to assisting executive branches of Governments, legislative bodies and courts in enacting and interpreting the Model Law, the Commission has produced a Guide to Enactment of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce.

30. The purpose of the Model Law, adopted in 1997, is to promote modern and fair legislation for cases where the insolvent debtor has assets in more than one State. The text deals with conditions under which the person administering a foreign insolvency proceeding has access to the courts of the State that has enacted the Model Law, determines conditions for recognition of a foreign insolvency proceeding and for granting relief to the representative of such foreign proceeding, permits courts and insolvency administrators from different countries to co-operate more effectively, and contains provisions on co-ordination of insolvency proceedings that take place concurrently in different States. A Guide to Enactment (A/CN.9/442) was published with a view to assisting Governments in preparing legislation based on the Model Law.

31. The system is explained in document A/CN.9/SER.C/GUIDE/1, available from the Secretariat. Currently, CLOUT covers the Convention on the Limitation Period in the International Sale of Goods (New York, 1974), as amended by the Protocol of 1980, the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (Vienna, 1980), the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (1985) and the Hamburg Rules.

32. See, especially, Chapters 3, 4 and 5 of this thesis, infra.

33. See, e.g., Lawrence M. Freedman & Stewart Macaulay, Contract Law and Contract Teaching: Past, Present and Future, 1967 Wis. L. Rev. 805, 820; Stewart Macaulay, Non-Contractual Relations in Business, 28 Am. Soc. Rev. 55 (1963); Hugh Beale & Tony Dugdale, Contracts between Businessmen; Planning and the Use of Contractual Remedies, 2 Brit. J. of L. & Soc. 18, 45 (1975); Steward Macaulay, Elegant Models, Empirical Pictures and the Complexities of Contract, 11 L. & Soc. Rev. 507 (1977). Some of this kowledge was gained during the 60's and 70's.

34. See Clive M. Schmitthoff, Conflict Avoidance in Practice and Theory in the Preventative Law of Conflicts, 21 Law & Contemp. Probs. 429, 454 (1956).

35. See Konrad Zweigert & Hein Kotz, 1 An Introduction to Comparative Law 30 (trans. Tony Weir trans., 1977).

36. Schmitthoff, supra note 33, at 432. However, it is arguable that no code can ever truly act as a total conflict avoidance device without a law making it a crime to interpret it in a different way.

37. See Rudolf B. Schlesinger et al, Comparative Law 31 (Found. Press 5th ed. 1987).

38. On the effect of the enactment of the first codes in Europe, see René David & John E.C. Brierley, Major Legal Systems in the World Today (3d ed. 1985), where the authors state that "codes were treated, not as new expositions of the 'common law of Europe', but as mere generalisations … of 'particular customs' raised to a national level ... [T]hey were regarded as instruments of a 'nationalisation of law'." Id. at 66.

39. Lord Justice Kennedy, The Unification of Law, 10 J. Soc'y of Comp. Legis. 21, 214-15 (1909).

40. See Franco Ferrari, Uniform Interpretation of the 1980 Uniform Sales Law, 24 Ga. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 183, 184 (1994) [hereinafter Uniform Interpretation]. See also Mary Ann Glendon et al., Comparative Legal Traditions in a Nutshell 23 (1982), where the authors state that "as Europe emerged from the relative economic stagnation of the Middle Ages ... there appeared the need for a body of law to govern business transactions." Id.

41. Uniform Interpretation, supra note 39, at 184, n.3, citing Francesco Galgano, Il Diritto Privato Fra Codice e Costituzione 47 (2d ed. 1980).

42. See René David, The International Unification of Private Law, in 2 International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law ch.5, at 328 (1971) [hereinafter Unification of Private Law]. Cf. Algot Bagge, International Unification of Commercial Law, in International Institute for the Unification of Private Law 253, 253-55 (1948). Bagge states:

"There must be some strong common practical interest in unification. A desire, in itself very commendable, to get the whole international community under the reign of one system of private law, thus contributing to peaceful intercourse between individuals and thereby also between nations, will, I am afraid, not be enough. But even where a common practical interest is evident the obstacles may be too great ... Id.

"A condition for a successful international unification of such law is that the countries in question have a common culture and common conceptions and interests. For an excellent historical survey of various schools of thought regarding the relationship between international trade and world harmony, see Fred Parkinson, The Philosophy of International Relations 91-110 (1977)."

43. Mari Matteucci, UNIDROIT: The First Fifty Years, in New Directions in International Trade Law xvii (UNIDROIT 1977), (arguing that the unification of private law would promote peaceful relations among nations and would also facilitate international commerce). See also Gert Steenhoff, Dutch Attitude Concerning the Unification of Private International Law, in Unification and Comparative Law in Theory and Practice 223 (1984) (an edition honouring J. Sauveplanne, comprised of essays discussing the value of international unification of private law; where the author examines efforts towards unification that emphasise world unity).

44. Ronald Harry Graveson, One Law: On Jurisprudence and the Unification of Law 205 (1977). See also D. H. N. Johnson, Harmonisation and Standardisation of Legal Aspects of International Trade, 51 Australian L. J. 608 (1977) (commercial advantages of unification require international co-operation); Unification of Private Law, supra note 41, at 26 (unification of law "is political in nature, and must therefore be approached in a spirit of refinement and conciliation");

45. See generally Matteucci, supra note 42, at xvii; Bagge, supra note 41, at 253.

46. The Bustamante Code was accepted on February 28, 1928, and ratified by 15 Latin American nations. See Unification of Private Law, supra note 41, at 149-50. The Council for Mutual Economic Aid was established in 1949 by Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Rumania and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; its General Conditions for Delivery of Goods Between Organisations of Member Countries were adopted in 1958. See id. at 194-95.

47. See, e.g., Progressive Development of the Law of International Trade: Report of the Secretary-General, 21 U.N. GAOR Annex 3, Agenda Item 88, U.N. Doc. A/6396, reprinted in [1970] 1 Y.B. U.N. Comm'n on Int'l Trade L. 18, at 41, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER.A/1970 [hereinafter Progressive Development]. "[I]t should be kept in mind that the unification process is desirable per se only when there is an economic need and when unifying measures have a beneficial effect on the development of international trade." Id.

48. See Summary Record of the 948th Meeting, [1970] 1 Y.B. U.N. Comm'n on Int'l Trade L. 47, para. 1, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER.A/1970.

49. See, e.g., Debate in the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly on Agenda Item 88 (Progressive Development of the Law of International Trade): Excerpts from the Summary Records, 21 U.N. GAOR C. 6, 947th-955th mtgs., U.N. Doc. A/6594, reprinted in [1970] 1 Y.B. U.N. Comm'n on Int'l Trade L. 54, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER.A/1970 [hereinafter Debate in the Sixth Committee]. Quoting Mr. Piradov (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics):

"… conditions were now favourable for the development of world trade, which in turn could help to promote peaceful coexistence"; id. at 49, Mr. Resich (Poland):, "The progressive development of the law of international trade was essential for the establishment of peaceful and normal relations between nations"); id. at 53, Mr. Sinha (India): "… peace must rest on a sound economic foundation and international co-operation based on equality"; id. at 54, Mr. Secarin (Romania): "… trade was one of the most important and dynamic elements of co-operation among States"; Id. at 56, Mr. Yanko (Bulgaria): "… international trade, based on the equality and mutual benefit of the parties, was a prime factor in co-operation between States". See also Progressive Codification of the Law of International Trade: Note by the Secretariat of the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/L.19, reprinted in [1970] 1 Y.B. U.N. Comm'n on Int'l Trade L. 285, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/ER.A/1970: "International trade is one of the most important factors in economic development and as such, a means of promoting understanding and peace among peoples.".

50. See Debate in the Sixth Committee, supra note 48.

51. See, Progressive Development, supra note 46, at 42-43. See also Declaration on the Establishment of a New Economic Order, G.A. Res. 3201 (S-VI), U.N. GAOR, 6th Special Sess., Supp. 1, at 3, U.N. Doc. A/9559 (1974); Programme of Action on the Establishment of a New Economic Order, G.A. Res. 3202 (S-VI), U.N. GAOR, 6th Special Sess., Supp. 1, at 5, U.N. Doc. A/9559 (1974).

52. See Ronald Harry Graveson, The International Unification of Law, 16 Am. J. Comp. L. 4 (1968), where the author states "the international process of assimilating the diverse legal systems of various countries goes back into ancient history."

53. Filip de Ly, International Business Law and Lex Mercatoria 15 (1992), notes that "the medieval law merchant is also referred to as lex mercatoria, ius mercatorum, ius mercatorium, ius mercati, ius fori, ius forense, ius negotiatorum, ius negotiale, stilus mercatorum or ius nundinarum."

54. The need for uniform laws has been widely acknowledged. See e.g., Unification of Private Law, supra note 41; John O. Honnold, Uniform Law for International Sales Under the United Nations Convention 1-8 (2nd ed. 1991) [hereinafter Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991]. However, there has also been some criticism against this trend; see Graveson, supra note 51, at 5-6, stating "it may be necessary to correct the assumption that uniform law is good in itself and that the process of unification is one to be encouraged in principle."

55. See Clive M. Schmitthoff, International Business Law: A New Law Merchant, in 2 Current Law and Social Problems 129 (1961).

56. Clive M. Schmitthoff, The Unification of the Law of International Trade, 1968 J. Bus. L. 105.

57. On the history of the law merchant, see Theodore F.T.Plucknett, A Concise History of the Common Law 657 et seq. (5th ed., 1956); Wyndham Anstis Bewes, The Romance of the Law Merchant 12-13 (1986).

58. M.Huvelin, Essai historique sur les marches et les foires (1985), quoting Bewes, supra note 56, at 138.

59. René A.Wormser, The Law 500 (1949).

60. Clive M. Schmitthoff's Select Essays on International Trade Law 24 (Chia-Jui Cheng ed., 1988)[hereinafter Schmitthoff's Select Essays].

61. See Harold J. Berman & Colin Kaufmann, The Law of International Commercial Transactions (Lex Mercatoria), 19 Harv. Int'l. L.J. 221, 225 (1978).

62. Rudolph B. Schlesinger, Comparative Law 185 (Found. Press 2d ed. 1960).

63. See Bewes, supra note 56, at 30-31, where the author reports that in 1245 a single notary in Marseilles drafted more than a thousand commercial documents.

64. See Schmitthoff's Select Essays, supra note 59, at 25, citing A.Marx, Die Franzosiche Handelsgesetzgebung 1 (1911).

65. See Schlesinger, supra note 61, at 323.

66. See Schmitthoff's Select Essays, supra note 59, at 25.

67. For support on this point, Schmitthoff's Select Essays, Id., refers to Brunner-Heymann, Grundzuge der deutschen Rechtsgerichte 276 (7th ed.).

68. See Schmitthoff's Select Essays, supra note 59, at 26.

69. On this point, see André Tunc, English and Continental Commercial Law, 1961 J.Bus.L. 234, 237.

70. On this point, see Schlesinger, supra note 61, at 188.

71. Per Lord Mansfield in Pelly v. Royal Exchange Assurance Co. (1757) Burr. 341, at 347.

72. In the sense that Lord Mansfiel'd statement advocates the proper recognition of the principles of internationality and uniformity (of application) as intrinsic elements of international trade law.

73. Schmitthoff's Select Essays, supra note 59, at 28.

74. Id. at 22.

75. See Aleksander Goldstajn, The New Law Merchant, 1961 J. Bus. L. 12, 16.

76. H.Trammer, The Sources of the Law of International Trade 42 (1964).

77. Aleksander Goldstajn, The New Law Merchant Revisited, in Festschrift für C.M.Schmitthoff 174 (Fabricius F. editor, Frankfurt a.M.: Athenaum, 1973).

78. Uniform Interpretation, supra note 39, at 185, noting the theory of the "new law merchant" has been developed by Professor Schmitthoff.

79. See id. citing René David, I Grandi Distemi Giuridici Contemporanei 9 (1980).

80. Ernst Rabel's involvement has been widely acknowledged. See Michael Joachim Bonell, Introduction to the Convention, in Commentary on the International Sales Law: The 1980 Vienna Convention 3 (Cesare Massimo Bianca & Michael Joachim Bonell eds., 1987) [hereinafter Commentary on International Sales Law].

81. UNIDROIT was set up in Rome in 1926 under the aegis of the League of Nations.

82. For commentary on this draft, see Uniform Interpretation, supra note 39, at 190, referring to Ernst Rabel, Der Entwurf eines Einheitlichen Kaufgesetzes, in Rabels Zeitschrift für Auslandisches und Internationales Privatrecht 3 (1935).

83. For details on the 1951 Conference, see Ernst Rabel, The Hague Conference on the Unification of Sales Law, 1 Am. J. Comp. L. 58 (1952).

84. For details on these drafts, see Commentary on International Sales Law, supra note 79, at 4.

85. Convention Relating to a Uniform Law on the International Sale of Goods, July 1, 1964, 834 U.N.T.S. 107 [hereinafter ULIS], reprinted in 13 Am. J. Comp. L.453 (1964).

86. Convention Relating to a Uniform Law on the Formation of Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, July 1, 1964, 834 U.N.T.S. 169 (1972) [hereinafter ULIF], reprinted in 13 Am. J. Comp. L 472 (1964).

87. The two Conventions were enacted only in eight states. See Isaak I. Dore & James E. DeFranco, A Comparison of the Non-Substantive Provisions of the UNCITRAL Convention on the International Sale of Goods and the Uniform Commercial Code, 23 Harv. Int'l. L.J. 49, 50 (1982).

88. See e.g., Uniform Interpretation, supra note 39, at 191-2.

89. For general comments on UNCITRAL's history, structure, mission and methods, see E. Allen Farnsworth, UNCITRAL - Why? What? How? When?, 20 Am. J. Comp. L.314 (1972); John Honnold, The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law: Mission and Methods, 27 Am. J. Comp. L. 201-11 (1979) [hereinafter UN Commission: Mission and Methods].

90. Id. at 89.

91. See John Honnold, Documentary History of the Uniform Law for International Sales 1 (1989) [hereinafter Documentary History].

92. Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, May 23, 1969, 1155 U.N.T.S. Art. 32, at 331 (entered into force January 27, 1988).

93. John Honnold, Uniform Laws for International Trade, 1995 Int'l Trade & Bus. L. J. 5.

94. United Nations Conference on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, Official Records, UN Document No. A/CONF. 97/19 (E.81.IV.3) (1980)[hereinafter U.N. Official Records]. Many UNCITRAL documents are cited in this work. For a guide to UNCITRAL's citation methodology, see John Honnold, UNCITRAL Documents: Research Sources, Style, Citation, 27 Am. J. Comp. L. 217-21 (1979).

95. The most convenient reference tool for access to the U.N. documentation on the work of UNCITRAL is the series of UNCITRAL Yearbooks. The Yearbooks include:

- the reports by UNCITRAL on its annual sessions; these annual reports by UNCITRAL provide an overview of current work in process and summaries of debates on important issues, and set forth the legislative texts approved by the Commission,
- action by the General Assembly and other U.N. organs on the Commission's reports,
- the final texts of international conventions emanating from UNCITRAL,
- the reports of Working Groups and of the Secretary-General (this material is often difficult to obtain in its documentary form); these reports include intensive studies and drafts of legislative texts that provided the basis for the Commission's action,
- bibliographies on the various topics in the Commission's program.

96. The best source of consolidated data on these stages of the legislative history is Documentary History, supra note 90.

97. See id. at 1. "One [of these conventions] dealing with formation of contracts for international sale (ULF), the other with obligations of parties to such contracts (ULIS) ." Id.

98. See id.

99. Id. at 3.

100. Id.

101. Id.

102. Also, "[a]s the drafts moved through the legislative process their article-numbers kept changing. Thus the Commission's initial work was addressed to the articles (and article-numbers) of the 1964 Hague Sales Conventions. As articles were added, deleted, and reorganised, renumbering became necessary. At each legislative session action necessarily was based on the article and article-numbering of the draft brought to the session." Documentary History, supra note 90, at 4.

Honnold's Documentary History presents Yearbook texts in a more orderly sequence with margin notes which key the CISG Articles that emerged to their differently numbered antecedents. In addition, each Yearbook text is introduced by a guide to its contents.

103. Documentary History, supra note 90, at 5-6.

104. See id. at 1.

105. For a discussion on the role played by the Secretariat during the most pivotal periods in UNCITRAL's development of the CISG, see Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 53. See also E. Allen Farnsworth, Developing International Trade Law, 9 Cal. W. Int'l. L.J. 468 (1979).

106. The Secretariat Commentary which accompanied the 1978 Draft was prepared pursuant to United Nations General Assembly Resolution 33/93. See the Text of Draft Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods approved by UNCITRAL together with the Commentary prepared by the Secretariat, U.N. Doc. A/CONF./97/5, 14 March 1979.

107. See Jacob S. Ziegel & Claude Samson, Report to the Uniform Law Conference of Canada on Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods 5 (July 1980) available at http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/wais/db/articles/english2.html.

108. Hence, the continued relevancy of much of the Secretariat Commentary on the 1978 Draft that is quoted extensively in this work.

109. CISG is the popular acronym of the Vienna Sales Convention used throughout this work.

110. See, e.g., Documentary History, supra note 90, at 5-6.

111.For the updated list of Contracting States and specific identification of each of the countries that have subscribed to the CISG, effective dates and declarations or reservations, if any, applicable to each, see Pace Law website, supra note 4. The following Internet databases are also devoted exclusively to the CISG: The CISG online website, at http://www.jura.uni-freiburg.de/irp1/cisg, (produced by the Institut für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht (Director: P. Schlechtriem, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg) [special attention to German case law on the CISG]; the CISG - France website, at http://witz.jura.uni-sb.de/CISG/inhatt.htm, (Claude Witz ed.) [special attention to French case law on the CISG]; CISG-Spain and Latin America website, at http://www.uc3m.es/cisg, (Directors: Rafael Illescas Ortiz and Pilar Perales Viscasillas); website of the Centre for Comparative and Foreign Law Studies - Rome, at http://soi.cnr.it/~crdcs/crdcs/case_law.htm, (Director: Michael Joachim Bonell) [special attention to Italian case law on the CISG]; CISG-Brasil website, at http://www.uff.br/cisgbrasil/, (Patricia Fonseca ed.); CISG-Finland, at http://www.utu.fi/oik/tdk/xcisg/cisg.htm, (Tuula Ämmälä ed.); CISG-Israel website, at http://www.biu.ac.il/law/cisg/HomeEng.htm, (Arie Reich ed.); CISG - Arab States website, at http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisgarabic/index.html, (Hossam El Saghir ed.); CISG-Japan, at http://www.law.kyushu-u.ac.jp/~sono/cisg/english.htm, (Hiroo Sono ed.); CISG-Canada website, at http://is.dal.ca/~cisg/index.htm, (Peter Piliounis ed.). Examples of other especially good Internet databases containing information on the CISG or related to the CISG: The UNCITRAL website, supra note 6, (maintained by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law) [CLOUT abstracts of CISG cases are among the materials provided]; the website of the United Nations Treaty Section, at http://untreaty.un.org/English/access.asp, (relevant information on texts and status of treaties). For CISG treaty data, see http://untreaty.un.org/English/bible/englishinternetbible/partI/chapterX/treaty17.asp]. Courts and arbitrators will often refer to the Unidroit Principles of International Commercial Contracts as a companion to the UN Sales Convention. Unidroit has a website with a portion of it dedicated to the Principles. This material may be accessed at: http://www.unidroit.org.

112. See CISG, supra note 1, art. 1(1)(a).

113. See id. art. 1(1)(b). A few States have availed themselves of the authorisation in Article 95 CISG to declare that they would apply the Convention only in the former and not in the latter of these two situations. As the CISG becomes more widely adopted, the practical significance of such a declaration will diminish.

114. Id. art. 3(1).

115. Id. art. 3(2).

116. E.g. goods bought for personal, family or household use. See id. art. 2(a).

117. E.g. sale by auction, on execution or otherwise by law See id. art. 2(b), (c).

118. E.g. stocks, shares, investment securities, negotiable instruments, money, ships, vessels, hovercraft, aircraft or electricity. See CISG, supra note 1, art. 2(d), (e), (f).

119. See id. art. 4(a).

120. See id. art. 4(b). Note that in Article 4 CISG, the proviso "… except as otherwise expressly provided in this Convention" precedes and applies to both 4(a) and 4(b).

121. See id. art. 5.

122. The exclusion of CISG would most often result from the choice by the parties of the law of a non-Contracting State or of the domestic law of a Contracting State to be the law applicable to the contract. Derogation from the Convention would occur whenever a provision in the contract provided a different rule from that found in CISG.

123. E. Allen Farnsworth, Review of Standard Forms or Terms Under the Vienna Convention, 21 Cornell Int'l L.J. 439 (1988).

124. See id. at 439.

125. CISG, supra note 1, art. 7(2). The meaning and operation of Article 7 CISG are analysed in Chapters 3 and 4 of this thesis, infra.

126. See Michael Joachim Bonell, General provisions: Article 7, in Commentary on International Sales Law, supra note 79, at 65, 85 [hereinafter General Provisions]. See also Gyula Eörsi, General Provisions, in International Sales: The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods [hereinafter Int'l Sales], ch.2, at 8-9 (Nina M. Galston & Hans Smit eds., 1984), stating "… the Convention is necessarily interpreted by the parties also; after all, the Convention constitutes the law of the parties insofar as they do not make use of Article 6 on freedom of contract." For similar statements, see Peter Schlechtriem, The U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods 39 (Manzsche Verlags und Universitatsbuchhandlung ed., 1986) [hereinafter Uniform Sales Law 1986]; Fritz Enderlein & Dietrich Maskow, International Sales Law 55 (1992); Dietrich Maskow, The Convention on the International Sale of Goods from the Perspective of the Socialist Countries, in La Vendita Internazionale, La Convenzione di Vienna dell' 11 Aprile 1980 41, 45-7 (1981). Cf. the opinion offered in, Arthur Rosett, Critical Reflections on the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, 45 Ohio St. L.J. 265, 290 (1984) [hereinafter Critical Reflections].

127. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 93-4.

128. See CISG, supra note 1, art. 8.

129. See id. art. 9(1).

130. See id. art. 9(2).

131. See id. art. 11.

132. See id. art. 29(2). In order to accommodate those States whose legislation requires contracts of sale to be concluded in or evidenced by writing, Article 96 CISG entitles those States to declare that neither Article 11, nor the exception to Article 29 applies where any party to the contract has his place of business in that State.

133. See id. art. 18.

134. See CISG, supra note 1, art. 14(1).

135. See id. art. 14(2).

136. See id. art. 16.

137. See id. art. 16(2)(a).

138. See id. art. 16(2)(b).

139. See id. art. 18(1)(2)(3).

140. "Additional or different terms relating, among other things, to the price, payment, quality and quantity of the goods, place and time of delivery, extent of one party's liability to the other or the settlement of disputes are considered to alter the terms of the offer materially." CISG, supra note 1, art. 19(3).

141. See id. art. 19(2).

142. See id. art. 19(1).

143. See id. art. 30.

144. See id. art. 31-33.

145. See id. art. 35(1).

146. See id. art. 41.

147. See CISG, supra note 1, art. 42.

148. See id. art. 38(1).

149. Id. art. 39(1).

150. Id. art. 39(2).

151. See id. art. 50-59.

152. See id. art. 60.

153. See CISG, supra note 1, art. 45-52; art. 74-77.

154. See id. art. 61-65; 74-77.

155. See id. art. 50.

156. See id. art. 25.

157. Id. art. 46(2).

158. See id. art. 49(1)(a) for a declaration of avoidance by the buyer; see also id. art. 64(1)(a) for the seller.

159. See CISG, supra note 1, art. 49(1)(a) for declarations by the buyer; see also id. art. 64(1)(a) for declarations by the seller.

160. See id. art. 46(3).

161. See id. art. 77.

162. See id. art. 79.

163. See id. art. 67.

164. See CISG, supra note 1, art. 68.

165. See id. art. 69(1)(2).

166. See id. art. 69(3).

167. See Ziegel & Samson, supra note 106, at 32.

168. John Honnold, Uniform Law and Uniform Trade Terms - Two Approaches to a Common Goal, in Transnational Law of International Commercial Transactions 170-71 (Horn & Schmitthoff eds., 1982) [hereinafter Transnational Law]. Honnold also identifies and discusses the need to tailor contracts to individual needs in the face of an array of alternative approaches each of which requires detailed attention to technical issues presented and a logical solution: reliance upon the Convention along with trade terms such as Incoterms: "The plans and understandings that underlie a contract need to be gathered from the language and setting of that very contract. … In routine transactions, drafting specific contract terms on [delivery and risk of loss] would delay the making and consummation of the contract. Detailed terms may be included in the parties' sale and purchase forms, but the terms in the two forms often fail to coincide and generate the intractable problems of the 'battle of the forms'. The use of Incoterms can speed agreement and avoid the hazard of divergent contract provisions. … Incoterms and the Convention play very different roles - roles that support each other. Incoterms, properly invoked, can be very useful to define precisely some of the central steps that the parties should take. The Convention … gives general but useful answers to questions that the parties have not answered by contract provisions or by incorporating Incoterms. [Answers to still other questions are to be found in the gap-filling law.] In addition, the Convention provides a way to avoid or resolve disputes in a wide range of situations, not mentioned in Incoterms, when a party fails to perform his duties under the contract." Id.

Cf. P.M.Roth, The Passing of Risk, 27 Am. J. Comp. L. 291-310 (1979) (discussing the issue of Risk under the 1978 Draft Convention which, with modifications at the 1980 Vienna Diplomatic Conference, became the CISG).

169. International Chamber of Commerce, Incoterms 2000 (ICC Publication no. 560 (1999)). In most countries, INCOTERMS are not part of the domestic law, but there are some exceptions such as Spain and Iraq. In some other countries, such as France and Germany, they are recognised as a custom of trade. The purpose of the INCOTERMS is to: "… provide a set of international rules for the interpretation of the most commonly used trade terms in foreign trade. Thus the uncertainties of different interpretations of such terms in different countries can be avoided or at least reduced to a considerable degree ... Frequently parties to a contract are unaware of the different trading practices in their respective countries. This can give rise to misunderstandings, disputes and litigation with all the waste of time and money that this entails … Amendments and additions were … made … 1990 in order to bring the rules in line with current international trade practices." International Chamber of Commerce, Incoterms 1990 6 (ICC Publication no. 460 (1990)).

170. Henry Gabriel, The International Chamber of Commerce INCOTERMS 1990 - A Guide to their Usage, 3 Vindobona J. 61, 61-2 (1999). See also Hans van Houtte, The Law of International Trade 150 et seq. (1995).

171. Burghard Piltz, INCOTERMS and the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, in Review of the Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) 1998 41-51 (Pace Int'l Law Rev. eds., 1999), also available at http://www.20jahre.cisg-library.org/piltz_intro.html.

172. See id. at 41.

173. See id. at 41, citing Basedow, Rabels Zeitschrift 1979, at 125; Renck, Der Einfluß der INCOTERMS 1990 auf das UN-Kaufrecht 15 et seq. (1995).

174. See http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/incoterm.html.

175. See, e.g., Piltz, supra note 170.

176. CISG, supra note 1, art. 71.

177. See id. art. 72.

178. See id. art. 79(1), 79(5).

179. See id. art. 79(2).

180. See id. art. 79(5).

181. See id. art. 85-87.

182. See CISG, supra note 1, art. 88(1).

183. See id. art. 88(2).

184. See id. art. 88(3).

185. See id. art. 89, 91.

186. See id. art. 95-96.

187. See id. art. 93.

188. See CISG, supra note 1, art. 92.

189. Professor Honnold has stressed the importance of discussion to the work of UNCITRAL, leading to consensus without the need for formal votes. See UN Commission: Mission and Methods, supra note 88, at 210-11. For one participant's wry view of this process, see Gyula Eörsi, Unifying the Law (A Play in One Act, With a Song), 25 Am. J. Comp. L. 658 (1977).

190. Compare Critical Reflections, supra note 125 (concluding that the CISG will not be successful in harmonising the law of international trade) with Jan Hellner, The UN Convention on International Sales of Goods - An Outsider's View, in Ius Inter Nationes: Festschrift fur S. Riesenfeld 71 (Erik Jayme et al. eds., 1983) (concluding that even with its shortcomings, the CISG will provide a basis for unification of the law of international commerce).

191. For an excellent illustration of the response to dynamics, technical dynamics in the following example, see Siegfried Eiselen, Electronic commerce and the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) 1980, 6 EDI L. Rev. 21, 21-46 (1999). The author makes the valid point that:

"In terms of article 13 of the CISG telegrams and telexes are included under the term 'writing'. In both of these forms of communications one deals with applications where the recipient receives a print-out of the message. It is therefore available in a physical format and not purely electronic format. As electronic communications such as e-mail and EDI were unknown at the time, it must be established whether they can be included in … article 13. It is submitted that article 13 contains a gap, i.e. fails to address a situation which is clearly covered by the Convention and that gap filling interpretation is necessary in this case. Although telex is still widely in use today, telegram has become a totally outdated concept in modern business life where fax, e-mail and EDI provides much more effective means of communication. When interpreting this article, the principle of freedom of formalities and freedom of contract suggests that an inclusive interpretation is in order. This means that article must be read to include all electronic forms of cummunication as well. Thus a fax, an e-mail or an EDI message should be regarded as writing where writing is required. …[citations omitted]." Id.

192. Amy H. Kastely, Unification and Community: A Rhetorical Analysis of the United Nations Sales Convention, 8 Nw. J. Int'l L. & Bus. 572, 577 (1988).

193. See id.

194. See Critical Relections, supra note 125, at 282-86. See also Arthur Rosett, Note: Unification and Certainty: The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, 97 Harv. L. Rev. 1984 (1984). This criticism, however, dismisses the possibility of genuine discourse within the international community too easily. See Kastely, supra note 191, at 577, n. 9.

195. Kastely, supra note 191, at 577.

196. The Macquarie Dictionary 776 (Macquarie University, N.S.W., 1982; reprinted in the United Kingdom by The Chaucer Press, Suffolk, 1984) offers the following definitions of "rhetoric": "1. Art or science of all specially literary uses of language in prose or verse, including the figures of speech. 2. Exaggeration or display in writing or speech. 3. (In classical oratory) art of influencing the thought of one's hearers." Cf. the definition given by 2 The Lexicon Webster Dictionary (Encyclopedic ed., The English language Institute of America, Inc., 1979), "The art or branch of knowledge which treats the rules or principles underlying all effective composition whether in prose or verse; the art which teaches oratory; persuasive oratory; eloquence, esp. artificial eloquence; bombast." Id., at 823.

197. See Hellner, supra note 189, at 76, stating " [the CISG] should be able to function as a legal lingua franca for international sales among those who cannot agree … [to] allow the law of one of the parties … to be the law of the contract." Id. For a more detailed discussion on the new lingua franca, see the section on CISG's language, Chapter 2, infra.

198. See Kastely, supra note 191, at 578, n. 10.

199. See id. at 585. See also, the present writer's critical treatment and reformulation of the term "rhetorical community," earlier in Chapter 2, supra.

200. See id. at 585.

201. Id. at 585-86.

202. For a more detailed discussion of this history, see Chapter 1, "Uniform International Sales Law: From Lex Mercatoria to CISG", supra.

203. The Preamble was drafted at the 1980 Conference and it was adopted without significant debate. See the Report of the Drafting Committee, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.97/17, reprinted in U.N. Conference on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, Official Records 154 (1981) [hereinafter U.N.Official Records]; Summary Records of the 10th Plenary Meeting, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.97/SR.10, paras. 4-10, reprinted in U.N. Official Records, supra note 93, at 219-20.

204. Kastely, supra note 191, at 588 et. seq.

205. See Peter Winship, Commentary on Professor Kastely's Rhetorical Analysis, 8 Nw. J. Int'l L. & Bus. 623, 625 (1988) [hereinafter Commentary on Kastely].

206. See Commentary on Kastely, supra note 204, at 624.

207. See Commentary on the International Sales Law, supra note 79, at 23-5. The present writer has used Professor Bonell's analysis on this point extensively.

208. See Kastely, supra note 191, at 586.

209. Commentary on Kastely, supra note 204, at 625.

210. Support for the first view, i.e., that the Preamble may not be used for the interpretation and gap-filling of the substantive legal provisions, can be found in: Uniform Sales Law 1986, supra note 125, at 38 n.111; see also Bonnell, supra note 79, at 25, stating "[T]he scope for interpretation in the light of the Preamble may not be very wide and it will be of interest to see how far the case law may accord its provisions the status of something more than general declarations of political principle." See also Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 541, where Prof. Honnold argues that the short preparation and consideration of its provisions deprive the Preamble of its "weight"' as an aid to the interpretation of CISG's provisions (including Art. 7) which were discussed at length in UNCITRAL and at the Diplomatic Conference.

For the exactly opposite view, see Joseph M. Lookofsky, The 1980 United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, in 1 International Encyclopaedia of Laws - Contracts 18, para. 4 (Blainpain, ed., 1993). See also Enderlein & Maskow, supra note 125, at 19-20, who state, "It would … be inappropriate to dismiss the preamble from the start as insignificant from a legal point of view. The principles it contains can be referred to in interpreting terms or rules of the Convention, such as the terms of 'good faith' (Article 7(1)) or the rather frequent and vague term 'reasonable'. It could also be used to fill gaps because those principles can be counted among, or have an influence on, the basic rules underlying the Convention Article 7(2)). The spirit of the preamble should also be taken account of when agreed texts of sales contracts are to be interpreted." Id. For a similar view, see Horacio A. Grigera Naón, The UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, in The Transnational Law of International Commercial Transactions: Studies in Transnational Economic Law 92 (Horn & Schmittoff eds., 1982). Most of the above citations can be found in a thorough Report on the legal importance of the CISG Preamble, Report on different opinions as to legal importance of Preamble in Annotated Text of the CISG (Albert H. Kritzer, ed.) at http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/text/reportpre.html

211. See ULIS, supra note 84; See also ULIF, supra note 85.

212. But see CISG, supra note 1, art. 94 (authorising a Contracting State to declare that it will not be bound by Part II (Formation of Contract) or Part III (Sale of Goods)).

213. According to Professor Winship, this question is not a trivial one. Winship notes that "in the United States ... the format of the Sales Convention has important implications on how the Convention would become law in the United States. A combined text permitted the Convention to become law by action of the Senate alone, without the need for implementing legislation enacted by both houses of the Congress. This would not have been possible if the format of the 1964 conventions had been used." Commentary on Kastely, supra note 204, at 626. See also Peter Winship, Congress and the 1980 International Sales Convention, 16 Ga. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 707, 721-24 (1986).

214. See Working Group on International Sale of Goods, Report on the Work of the Second Session, U.N. GAOR, 24th Sess., Supp. No. 18, U.N. Doc. A/7618, para. 45 (1968), reprinted in [1971] 2 Y.B. U.N. Comm'n on Int'l Trade L. 50, 55, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER.A/197, also reprinted in Documentary History, supra note 90, at 61 [hereinafter Second Session Report]. Also rejected was a Canadian proposal to exclude certain principles, such as the standard of good faith, from the domain of the party autonomy: Cf. A/Conf. 97/C.1/SR.3, at 8 , reprinted in U.N. Official Records, supra note 202, at 247.

215. See U.N. Official Records, supra note 202, at 248.

216. Uniform Sales Law 1986, supra note 125, at 35. The view in favour of implied exclusion has received support among other commentators as well. See Peter Winship, The Scope of the Vienna Convention on International Sales Contracts, in Int'l Sales, supra note 125, Ch. 1, para. 1.02[5], where he argues that, despite this inconclusive legislative history, "express exclusion should not be required." Id. See also John Honnold, Uniform Law for International Sales Under the 1980 United Nations Convention §76 (1982), stating "… normal rules of construction of the contract [would] apply…") [hereinafter Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1982].

217. Kastely, supra note 191, at 577.

218. See Commentary on Kastley, supra note 204, at 627-8.

219. Note, however, the earlier discussion on the potential impact of the principle of party autonomy on the proper function of the interpretation provisions in Article 7 of the CISG. According to Article 6, the parties may exclude the application of CISG or, subject to Article 12, derogate from or vary the effect of any of its provisions. Does this mean that the parties to a contract of sale governed by CISG may exclude the application of the interpretative provisions of the Convention, which are embedded in Article 7 CISG? If Article 7 is addressed to the parties (as well as the court), then the parties may vary its effect. See Chapter 1, Section 6 (c), Part I (ii) and (iii), supra.

220. Winship notes that Phillipe Kahn has argued that there is a distinct community of international traders ("la société internationale des commercants") that sociological study can identify. See Commentary on Kastley, supra note 204, at 629, n.21, discussing P.Kahn, La Vente Commerciale Internationale (1961). Winship continues that, "if there is such a pre-existing community then, of course, one could study how that community reacts to the Sales Convention. Rhetorical analysis, however, is apparently not concerned with this sociological dimension." Id.

221. See id. at 629.

222. U.C.C. § 2-204 :

"(a) A contract for sale may be made in any manner sufficient to manifest agreement, including offer and acceptance and conduct by both parties recognizing the existence of the contract.

"(b) If the parties so intend, an agreement is sufficient to make a contract for sale even if the moment of the making of the agreement is not determined, one or more terms are left open or to be agreed upon, or writings or records of the parties contain varying terms as defined in Section 2-207(a).

"(c) If a contract for sale is made and one or more terms in the agreement are left open, the contract does not fail for indefiniteness if there is a reasonably certain basis for an appropriate remedy."

223. Commentary on Kastley, supra note 204, at 630.

224. Id.

225. For the legislative history of the provision, see Bonell, supra note 79, comment 1.3 et seq.

226. As to the possibility of using the principle of "good faith and fair dealing" on the basis of CISG Art. 7(2) as a rule for the contractual relations between the parties, see E. Allen Farnsworth, Duties of Good Faith and Fair Dealing under the UNIDROIT Principles, Relevant Conventions and National Laws, 3 Tul. J. Int'l & Comp. L. (1995), 56. See also Bonell, supra note 79, comment 2.4.1, at 85, stating "[y]et, notwithstanding the language used in Article 7(1), the relevance of the principle of good faith is not limited to the interpretation of the Convention ... if during the negotiating process or in the course of the performance of the contract a question arises for which the Convention does not contain any specific provision and the solution is found in applying, in accordance with Article 7(2), the principle of good faith."; Joseph Lookofsky, Understanding the CISG in the USA 19, §2-10 (1995), stating "[a]nd since other (very) general CISG principles of loyalty and reliance-protection have also been deduced, the deduction of a general Convention principle requiring the parties to act in good-faith seems no great leap, even if it does seem to fly in the face of the traveaux préparatoires."

227. The Pace Law website Bibliography Search Form offers an excellent updated list of publications on "good faith," available at http:// www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/search-biblio.html.

228. See generally Peter Schlechtriem, Good Faith in German Law and in International Uniform Laws, in Saggi, Conferenze e Seminari No. 24 (Centro di studi e ricerche di diritto comparato e straniero & Michael Joachim Bonell eds., 1997)[hereinafter Good faith in German Law], available at http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg.

229. Contrast this to the American position: United States Restatement (Second) on Contracts, para. 205.

230. See generally Michael G. Bridge, Does Anglo-Canadian Law Need a Doctrine of Good Faith? 9 Canadian Bus. L.J. 385-26 (1984)[hereinafter Anglo-Canadian Good Faith].

231. UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts, art. 1.7. (UNIDROIT ed., 1994).

232. Principles of European Contract Law, Parts I and II (Combined and Revised) art. 1:201 (Ole Lando & Hugh Beale eds., 2000) [hereinafter PECL].

233. 2 A.C. 128 (Eng. H.L. 1992).

234. Seager v. Copydex Ltd. (No. 2), 1 W.L.R. 809 (1969).

235. Blackpool and Fylde Aero Club Ltd. v. Blackpool Borough Council, 1 W.L.R. 1195 (1990).

236. See Cecil Herbert Fifoot, History and Sources of the Common Law 217(Stevens & Sons, 1949). See generally Alfred William Brian Simpson, A History of the Common Law of Contract (1975); John Hamilton Baker, An Introduction to English Legal History chs. IX, X, XVI (2nd ed., 1979); Straud Francis C.Milsom, Historical Foundations of the Common Law chs. 10-12 (2nd ed., 1981).

237. On the topic of good faith in English law, see the small but beguiling essay of Roy Goode, Good Faith in English Law, in Saggi, Conferenze e Seminari 2 (Centro di studi e ricerche di diritto comparato e straniero & Michael Joachim Bonell eds., 1992). On the existence of a good faith notion in the old lex mercatoria, see id. at 1. [Note - the pagination is the present writer's own, as the essay is located in the Pace University website where no official pagination exists].

238. See id.

239. J.W. Carter & D.J. Harland, Contract Law in Australia 7 (2nd ed. 1991).

240. Id. at 10.

241. Patrick Selim Atiyah, The Rise and Fall of Freedom of Contract 716 (1979).

242. Grant Gilmore, The Death of Contract 101 (1974).

243. Id.

244. For a recent illustration of this doctrine, see Furness Wilrhy (Australia) Pty Ltd v. Metal Distributors (UK) Ltd (The Amazonia), 1 Lloyd's Rep. 236, 243 (Eng. C.A. 1990).

245. Smith v. Hughes 6 QB 597, at 607 (1871). For a re-affirmation of acceptance of this principle in Australia, see Taylor v. Johnson (1983) 151 C.L.R. 422 (Austrailia).

246. See Raphael Powell, Good Faith in Contracts, IX Current Legal Probs. 16 (1956). See also Interfoto Picture Library Ltd. v. Stiletto Visual Programmes Ltd., 1989 QB 433, 439 (Eng. C.A.).

247. Arkwright v. Newbold, 17 Ch.D. 301 (Eng. C.A. 1881), where James L.J., at 317-8, insisted on "some active misstatement of fact, or, at all events, such a partial and fragmentary statement of fact as that the withholding of that which is not stated makes that which is stated absolutely false". However, in some special classes of contracts positive disclosure is required, particularly in contracts uberrimae fidei, such as insurance contracts; see Khoury v. Government Insurance Office of NSW, (1984) 165 C.L.R. 622 (Austrailia).

248. Common law courts applied a strict rule of precise restitution and rescission was not permitted for innocent misrepresenation except where the misrepresentation was so fundamental that the party misled could establish a complete difference in substance between what was supposed to be and what was in fact supplied; see Brownlie v. Campbell, 5 A.C. 925, at 937 (Eng. H.L. 1880) per Lord Selborne LC.

249. Cf. H.K. Lücke, Good Faith and Contractual Performance, in Essays on Contract 155 (P.D. Finn ed., 1987).

250. Contracts of employment frequently contain an implied obligation of good faith or fidelity; see Faccenda Chicken Ltd. v. Fowler, 1987 Ch 177 (C.A.).

251. For an excellent treatment of the history and principles of Equity, see R.P.Meagher et al, Equity Doctrines and Remedies (3d ed., 1992).

252. See generally Anglo-Canadian Good Faith, supra note 230.

253. See Michael Bridge, Good Faith in Commercial Contracts, in Good Faith in Contract: Concept and Context 139, 140 (Roger Brownsword et al eds., 1999).

254. Common law gave no remedy for pre-contract innocent misrepresenations as distinct from fraudulent ones. There was an exception where the misrepresentation was as to a matter so fundamental that the party misled could establish a complete difference in substance between what was supposed to be and what was in fact supplied; see Brownlie v. Campbell, 5 A.C. 925 (Eng. H.L. 1880).

255. See, e.g., British Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co Ltd v. Underground Electric Railways Co of London Ltd., [1912] A.C. 673 (Eng. H.L.).

256. Chanter v. Hopkins, 150 E.R. 1484 (Eng. 1838).

257. See generally Bridge, supra note 252.

258. See generally Council Directive 93/13/EEC, 1993 O.J. (L 95), available at http://www.fs.dk/uk/acts/eu/kont-uk.htm.

259. For a concise and thorough discussion of the American position on good faith, see E. Allen Farnsworth, The Concept of 'Good Faith' in American Law, in Saggi, Conferenze e Seminari No. 10 (Centro di studie recerne di diritto comparato estraniero & Michael Joachim Bonell eds., 1993), available at http://www.cnr.it/crdcs/farnswrt.htm.

260. An interesting fact is that the principal author of the Code, Professor Karl Llewellyn, had studied and taught in Leipzig (Germany) and was familiar with the German concept of Treu und Glauben when he introduced "good faith" into the American Code; see William Twining, Karl Llewellyn and the Realist Movement 312 (1985).

261. For a discussion on bad faith performance, see the English position stated earlier in this chapter, supra.

262. Note however, that in American law, as in English law, there are other concepts that often serve as a substitute for good faith in precontractual relations.

263. Professor Farnsworth comes to this conclusion through a demonstration of issues pertaining to the question of good faith in a hypothetical contract. See Farnsworth, supra note 258, at 3-5.

264. E. Allen Farnsworth, Good Faith Performance and Commercial Reasonableness Under the Uniform Commercial Code, 30 U. Chi. L. Rev. 666, 679 (1963) [hereinafter Good faith and Commercial Reasonableness under UCC].

265. See generally Tymshare v. Covell, 727 F.2d 1145 (D.C. Cir. 1984)(Scalia, J.)

266. Robert S. Summers, 'Good Faith' in General Contract Law and the Sales Provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code, 54 Va. L. Rev. 195, 200 (1968).

267. Id., at 232-33.

268. See, e.g., Best v. United States National Bank, 739 P.2d 554 (Or. 1987).

269. Restatement (Second) of Contracts § 205, cmt d. The comment notes that "a complete catalogue of types of bad faith is impossible ..." and goes on to give a list very similar to that provided by Professor Summers. See id.

270. Steven J. Burton, Breach of Contract and the Common Law Duty to Perform in Good Faith [hereinafter Common Law Duty to Perform], 94 Harv. L. Rev. 369 (1980). See also Steven J. Burton, Good Faith Performance of a Contract Within Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code [hereinafter Good Faith Performance], 67 Iowa L. Rev. 1 (1981).

271. Common Law Duty to Perform, supra note 269, at 372-3.

272. See e.g., Richard Short Oil v. Texaco, 799 F.2d 415 (8th Cir. 1986).

273. Robert S. Summers, The General Duty of Good Faith - Its Recognition and Conceptualization, 67 Cornell L. Rev. 810, 831-34 (1982).

274. Steven J. Burton, More on Good Faith Performance of a Contract: A Reply to Professor Summers, 69 Iowa L. Rev. 497, 499 (1984).

275. See e.g., Foley v. Interactive Data Corp., 765 P.2d 373, 389-90 (Cal. 1988), citing both Summers and Burton.

276. See Farnsworth, supra note 258, at 5.

277. See Good faith and Commercial Reasonableness under UCC, supra note 263, at 679.

278. Conoco v. Inman Oil Co., 774 F.2d 895, 908 (8th Cir. 1985), citing Photovest Corp. v. Fotomat Corp., 606 F.2d 704, 728 (7th Cir. 1979).

279. Rio Algom Corp. v. Jimco Ltd., 618 P.2d 497, 505 (Utah 1980).

280. See the special definition of good faith in U.C.C. §2-103, applicable to merchants in sales transactions.

281. Eastern Air Lines, Inc. v. Gulf Oil Corp., 415 F. Supp. 429, 436 (S.D. Fla. 1975).

282. The present thesis does not pretend to cover the concept of good faith and its jurisprudential journey in common law exhaustively; such treatment would require a separate thesis.

283. See Good faith in German Law, supra note 227.

284. Id. at 5. (Note - This reference is based on the present writer's own pagination, since the essay was retrieved from Pace Law website without an official pagination).

285. See e.g., Franz Wieacker, Zur rechtstheoretischen Prazisierung des § 242, 17, 20-21 (1956).

286. The following analysis is outlined more thoroughly by Professor Schlechtriem, in Good faith in German Law, supra note 227.

287. See id. at 6.

288. See id. at 8-9.

289. What might be permissible or conforming to good faith and fair dealing in, say, a developing country might be regarded as intolerable in a developed country and vice versa. Id. at 10.

290. See id. at 10-11.

291. This may require the help of neutral experts; e.g., the International Chamber of Commerce can assist in determining established trade usages.

292. See, e.g., Goode, supra note 236; Farnsworth, supra note 258; Good faith in German Law, supra note 227.

293. Troy Keily, Good Faith and the Vienna Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), available on the Pace website bibliography, http://cisg.law.pace.edu./cisg/biblio/keily.html. Various commentators have outlined four possible approaches to the role and scope of good faith within the CISG: (i) that the good faith provision in article 7(1) should be used only in interpreting the Convention, (ii) that the conduct of contracting parties is governed by a positive obligation of good faith provided in article 7(1), that good faith is a general principle of the CISG, and (iv) that good faith is a general principle of lex mercatoria and UNIDROIT. See id.

294. See U.C.C. § 1-203.

295. See Peter Winship, International Sales Contracts Under the 1980 Vienna Convention, 17 UCC L.J. 55, 67 n. 40 (1984). Cf. Bruno Zeller, Good Faith - The Scarlet Pimpernel of the CISG (Pace essay, 1 July 2000), available on the Pace website: http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/biblio/zeller2.html.

296. See, e.g., Critical Reflections, supra note 125, at 1991.

297. For a discussion of good faith as a general principle of CISG, see Chapter 4, infra.

298. See CISG, supra note 1, art. 7(2). Note that for the purposes of this thesis, any reference to "gaps" is a reference to gaps praeter legem., i.e., matters "governed by the CISG which are not expressly settled in it;" in other words, issues to which CISG applies but which it does not expressly resolve. Id. Matters that are excluded from the scope of CISG (such as the matters discussed in CISG Arts. 2, 3, 4 and 5) are gaps intra legem and do not concern Art. 7 CISG, or this thesis. See Chapter 1, Section 6(c) Part I (iii), supra.

299. For a similar classification, see Commentary on Kastley, supra note 204, at 633-4.

300. This example is borrowed from Eörsi, supra note 125, at § 2.03.

301. See Kastely, supra note 191, at 597-600.

302. This provision was added at the 1980 Convention, although much debated before then.

303. See Kastely, supra note 191, at 603-07.

304. See Uniform Sales Law 1986, supra note 125, at 39, stating "the function of such a general [good faith] clause can probably be fulfilled by the rule that the parties must conduct themselves according to the standard of the 'reasonable person', which is expressly described in a number of provisions and, therefore, according to Article 7(2), must be regarded as a general principle of the Convention." See id. See also General Provisions, supra note 125, at 85, § 2.4.1.

305. The hypothetical example is borrowed from Winship, Commentary on Kastley, supra note 204, at 634.

306. Cf. CISG, supra note 1, art. 12.

307. Eörsi, supra note 125, at § 2.0.3. This analysis is cited with apparent approval by Professor Schlechtriem. See Uniform Sales Law 1986, supra note 125, at 40, n. 115a.

308. For a similar view, see Commentary on Kastely, supra note 204, at 635.

309. Id.

310. A stated purpose of the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts is: "They may be used to interpret or supplement international uniform law instruments" (Preamble to the Principles); see UNIDROIT Principles, supra note 230, at 15. The role of the UNIDROIT Principles in interpreting or supplementing CISG will be discussed in more detail in later chapters.

311. Such a provision was proposed and rejected at the 1980 Vienna Diplomatic Conference; see U.N. Official Records, supra note 93, at 86.

For a succinct comparative analysis of the concept of good faith, as this is found in the CISG and in the UNIDROIT Principles, and for an affirmative answer to the question of whether the Principles can aid in the interpretation of the CISG, see Ulrich Magnus, Editorial Remarks, in Guide to Article 7, available on the Pace website: http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/principles/uni7.html.

In "UNIDROIT PRINCIPLES, GOOD FAITH AND CISG", Chapter 2, Section 6 of this thesis, infra, the present writer has relied extensively on this insightful article by Professor Magnus.

312. See Magnus, supra note 310, at paras. 2, 4.

313. Id. at para. 3. For support, Magnus also cites the following works: Bonell, supra note 79, at 84-5, 2.4.1; Rolf Herber, Article 7, in Kommentar zum Einheitlichen UN-Kaufrecht 91-100, §7 (Ernst Caemmerer & Peter Schlechtriem eds., 2d ed. 1995); Ulrich Magnus, Article 7, in Kommentar zum Bürgerlichen Gesetzbuch (CISG) §10 (13th ed., Staudinger ed., 1994).

314. Magnus, supra note 310, at para. 6, states that both the CISG and the UNIDROIT Principles "expressly stress this idea." See also Michael Joachim Bonell, An International Restatement of Contract Law 81 (1994) [hereinafter Bonell, Int'l Restatement].

315. See Magnus, supra note 310. In Ch. 2, Section 6, the present writer has endorsed Magnus's classification and juxtaposition of "good faith" instances in CISG and UNIDROIT.

316. See id. at para 12; Cf. Art. 16(2)(b) of the CISG and UNIDROIT Principles, supra note 230, art. 2.4(2)(b). "The binding effect of particular conduct and reliance on it emanates from the good faith principle that no one should take advantage of acts or situations that are irreconcilable with his prior conduct (prohibition of venire contra factum proprium).", Magnus, supra note 310, at para. 13.

317. UNIDROIT Principles, supra note 230, Art. 2.15(2). See also Art. 2.15(3), which provides that entering or continuing negotiations when "intending not to reach an agreement with the other party", constitutes bad faith.

318. See Magnus, supra note 310, at paras. 13-14.

319. Id. at paras 15-16. Note that under both the CISG and the UNIDROIT Principles, a contract and its alteration need no form in order to be valid, id.; cf. Art. 11 CISG; Art. 1.9(1) UNIDROIT Principles. Only if a written contract contains an oral modification clause must any modification also be in writing or in the form the parties agreed upon; cf. CISG, supra note 1, art. 29(2) ), UNIDROIT Principles, supra note 230, art. 2.18(1)(2).

320. Magnus, supra note 310, at para. 16. See CISG, supra note 1, art. 29(2); see also UNIDROIT Principles, supra note 230, art. 2.18(1)(2).

321. See Magnus, supra note 310, at para. 17.

322. See UNIDROIT Principles, supra note 230, art. 3.1-3.20.

323. See Magnus, supra note 310, at para 17. See Art. 3.5(1)(a): if "it was contrary to reasonable commercial standards of fair dealing to leave the mistaken party in error"; similarly see UNIDROIT Principles, supra note 230, arts. 3.8, 3.10(2).

324. See CISG, supra note 1, art. 4(a). Note, however, the proviso "…except as otherwise expressly provided in this Convention…".

325. See Magnus, supra note 310, at para. 19, where he refers to CISG Arts. 35(2)(2) (fitness of goods) and 42(2)(b) (third party claims).

326. See UNIDROIT Principles, supra note 230, art. 5.2.

327. See Magnus, supra note 310, at para. 21.

328. Id. at para 21. See also Ulrich Magnus, Die allegemeinen Grundsatze im UN-Kaufrecht [General principles under the UN Sales Convention], 3 Int'l Trade & Bus. L. Ann. III 33, 46 (1997).

329. See Magnus, supra note 310, at para 22. For the case of non-performance caused by a creditor, see CISG, supra note 1, art. 80; UNIDROIT Principles, supra note 230, art. 7.1.2. For the rule on mitigation of damage, see CISG, supra note 1, art. 77; UNIDROIT Principles, supra note 230, art. 7.4.8.

330. See Magnus, supra note 310, at para 25. See also id. at paras. 5-7, where the author states that "[p]artly an international standard of good faith may already exist and may clearly be revealed and defined … Partly that standard may not exist but remains to be developed by business circles, arbitrators and courts …"

331. See Rolf Herber, Article 7, in Commentary on the UN Convention on the International Sale of Goods 9, 60-61(Peter Schlechtriem ed., 1998). ULIS Article 2 prescribes no application of private international law, and ULIS Article 17 provides for gap-filling by applying general principles of the Convention.

For a detailed account of the legislative history of the CISG Article 7 and its relation to its predecessor in ULIS, see Chapters 3 and 4 in this work, infra.

332. Herber, supra note 330, at 66.

333. See Pace Law website, Matchup of CISG Art. 7 with ULIS/ULF, available at http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/text/matchup/matchup-u-07.html#comments which contains editorial remarks on the Art. 7 CISG match-up and includes the quote of the German court, 29 April 1982, reprinted in Praxis des Internationalen Privat - und Verfahrensrechts 232 et seq. (1983)). See also Peter Schlechtriem, The Seller's Obligations under the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, in Int'l Sales, supra note 125, ch. 6, at 6.

334. This comment on Article 7 CISG can be found on the Pace website, at http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/text/matchup/matchup-u-07.html#ulis.

335. See CISG, supra note 1, art. 4(a).

336. See the Pace website, under the heading Illustrative ULIS case precedents that can aid in the interpretation of CISG Article 7, at http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/text/matchup/matchup-u-07.html#ulis. Indications of the Interpretation by Dutch Courts of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods 1980, in Netherlands Reports to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law - Sydney/Melbourne 1986, 21,44, n.42 (P.H.M. Gerver et al. eds., 1987)(quoting Tesa v. Amram (Neth.) (Amsterdam Court of Appeals, 5 January 1976) (Trans. Frans J. A. Van der Velden).

337. See Illustrative ULIS Case Precedents, at http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/text/matchup/matchup-u-07.html#ulis See also Herber, supra note 330.

338. OLG Düsseldorf, 20 January 1983. See also Peter Schlechtriem & Ulrich Magnus, Article 17 [ULIS], in International Rechtsprechung zu EKG und EAG [International case law on ULIS and ULF] n.7 (1987). See also Herber, supra note 330, at 66, n.54.

339. OLG Karlsruhe, IPRax 1987, 237, 239. See also Herber, supra note 330, at 67, fn.58.

340. E.g., the principle that "the place of performance for repayment of the purchase price following a declaration of avoidance is the seller's place of business", BGHZ 78, 257, 260; the principle that "compensation is to be made at the place where the party liable should have performed the obligation in respect of which compensation is claimed", OLG Köln, RIW 1988, 555, 557; BGHZ 78, 257, 260. See also Herber, supra note 330, at 67, fn.63-64. Also available on the Pace Law website at http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/text/matchup/matchup-u-07.html#ulis

341. See CISG, supra note 1, CISG, Art. 7(2).

342. See Commentary on Kastely, supra note 204, at 635.

343. This expression belongs to Professor Winship, id. at 636.

344. For a detailed analysis of CISG Article 7(2) and the dangers inherent in its structure, see Chapters 4 & 5 of this work, infra.

345. The legislative history of CISG Article 7(1), is traced in Chapter 3 of this work, infra.

346. See 1 Diplomatic Conference on the Unification of Law Governing the International Sale of Goods, in U.N. Official Records 363 (1966).

347. Id.

348. Id.

349. See 2 Diplomatic Confererence on the Unification of Law Governing the International Sale of Goods, in U.N. Official Records 118 (1966). How the Sales Convention deals with purported contracts where the price is not specified continues to be problematic. Compare CISG, supra note 1, art. 14(1) with CISG, supra note 1, art. 55 (the latter text being the only place where the Convention explicitly refers to "validity" in the substantive provisions). For a discussion of this problem, see E. Allen Farnsworth, Formation of Contract, in Int'l Sales, supra note 125, at § 3.04[1].

350. See Report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on the Work of Its Tenth Session, GAOR 32nd Sess., Supp. No. 17, Annex I, para. 75-77, U.N. Doc. A/32/17 (1977), reprinted in [1977] 8 Y.B. UNCITRAL 11, 30, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER.A/1977.

351. See Report of the Working Group on the International Sale of Goods on the Work of Its Ninth Session, paras. 48-69, U.N. Doc A/CN.9/142 (1977), reprinted in [1978] 9 Y.B. UNCITRAL, 61, at 65-66, U.N. Doc. A/CN.1/SER.A/1978 [hereinafter Ninth Session Report]. See also Report of the Secretary-General: Formation and Validity of Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, Annex II, paras. 18-27, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/128 (1977), reprinted in [1977] 7 Y.B. UNCITRAL 90, 92-93, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER.A/1977.

352. See Report of the First Committee, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.97/11 (1980), reprinted in U.N. Official Records, supra note 93, at 85 [hereinafter Report of the First Committee]. The Summary Records of the Third Meeting of Committee I, report the debates on Article 4 CISG; see Summary Records of Meetings of the First Committee, (3rd mtg.), paras. 11-34, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.97/C.1/SR.3 (1980), reprinted in U.N. Official Records, supra note 93, 245-46 (1981).

353. See Commentary on Kastley, supra note 204, at 637.

354. Id.

355. See Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1982 , supra note 215, §65, at 97.

356. See generally Christoph R. Heiz, Validity of Contracts Under the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, April 11, 1980, and Swiss Contract Law, 20 Vand. J. Transnat'l L. 639 (1987).

357. See Commentary on Kastley, supra note 204, at 638.

358. See Uniform Sales Law 1986, supra note 125, at 33, fn. 83b.

359. See Commentary on Kastely, supra note 204, at 638.

360. See Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1982, supra note 215, §67, at 98.

361. See Commentary on Kastely, supra note 204, at 638-9.

362. See discussion of this point in Chapter 1 of this work, supra.

363. See generally, Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1982, supra note 215, §87, at 114.

364. See Final Act of the United Nations Conference on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.97/18 (1980), reprinted in U.N. Official Records, supra note 93, at 176.

365. See Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1982, supra note 215, §10, at 54-55.

366. This mistake in the Argentinean copy of the CISG is noted by Kastely, supra note 191, at 592, n. 71.

367. See generally H.C. Gutteridge, Comparative Law 121-22 (2nd ed. 1949) (discussing the difficulties with multi-lingual laws and treaties).

368. See generally Rudolf B. Schlesinger et al., Formation of Contract, A Study of the Common Core of Legal Systems Vols. I & II 71-116 (offer), 119-172 (acceptance) (1968).

369. See id. at 1-62 (discussing the importance of legal heritage).

370. See Gyula Eörsi, Problems of Unifying the Law on Formation of Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, 27 Am. J. Comp. L. 311, 315-23 (1979).

371. See E. Allen Farnsworth, Problems of the Unification of Sales from the Standpoint of the Common Law Countries: Problems of Unification of International Sales Law, in 7 Digest of Commercial Laws of the World 3 (Dobbs Ferry: New York, 1980) [hereinafter Digest of Commercial laws].

372. See CISG, supra note 1, art.14, stating "[a] proposal for concluding a contract addressed to one or more specific persons constitutes an offer ..."; CISG, supra note 18, stating "[a] statement made by or other conduct of the offeree indicating assent to an offer is an acceptance."; CISG, supra note 1, art. 25, stating "[a] breach of contract committed by one of the parties is fundamental ...".

373. This style is more reflective of civil code drafting style than common law statutory practice. See Farnsworth, supra note 370. This style contrasts with the detailed definitional system in the American Uniform Commercial Code.

374. Kastely, supra note 191, at 593.

375. Id. at 594.

376. Hellner, supra note 189, at 85.

377. CISG, supra note 1, art. 8(1) (emphasis added by the present writer), stating "[f]or the purposes of this Convention statements made by and other conduct of a party are to be interpreted according to his intent where the other party knew or could not have been unaware what that intent was." This rule applies only if the party's subjective intention cannot be established. Id.

378. CISG, supra note 1, art. 25 (emphasis added). See generally Olof Clausson, Avoidance in Nonpayment Situation and Fundamental Breach Under the 1980 U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, 6 N.Y.L. Sch. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 95 (1984) (discussing the definition of fundamental breach).

379. For a discussion of the general principles on which CISG is based upon, see Chapter 4 of this work, supra.

380. See Unification of Private Law, supra note 41, at 4.

381. See Michael Joachim Bonell, Some Critical Reflections on the New UNCITRAL Draft Convention on International Sales, 2 Uniform L. Rev. 2, 5-9 (1978); Farnsworth, supra note 370, at 9-10. The effort to ensure uniform interpretation of the Sales Convention and to inspire international discourse on issues raised by it is on going. See, e.g., John Honnold, Methodology to Achieve Uniformity in Applying International Agreements, Examined in the Setting of the Uniform Law for International Sales Under the 1980 U.N. Convention (1986), in Report to the Twelfth Congress of the International Academy of Comparative Law, Sydney/Melbourne, Australia (1986).

382. See Progressive Development, supra note 46, at 39-40.

383. See, e.g., Second Session Report, supra note 213, at 62; Summary Records of Meetings of First Committee, (5th mtg.), U.N. Doc.A/CONF.97/C.1/SR.5, reprinted in U.N. Official Records, supra note 93, at 254-55. Other suggestions have been made for UNCITRAL to issue commentaries or advisory opinions interpreting the Sales Convention. See Analysis of Comments and Proposals Relating to Articles 1-17 of the Uniform Law on the International Sale of Goods: Note by the Secretary-General, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/WG.2/WP.11, reprinted in [1972] 3 Y.B. UNCITRAL 69, at 77, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER.A/1970[hereinafter Analysis of Articles 1-17]; Dissemination of Decisions Concerning UNCITRAL Legal Texts and Uniform Interpretation of Such Texts: Note by the Secretariat, at 4-7, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/267 (1985) reprinted in [1985] 16 Y.B. UNCITRAL 387, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER.A/1985. Such materials would provide additional occasions for discussion and debate about CISG. What was not provided was some formal mechanism for amendment under the CISG. See Critical Reflections, supra note 125, at 294; Winship, supra note 215, at 1.1, 1.49.

384. Kastely, supra note 191, at 601.

385. Kastley, supra note 191, at 601.

386. See Commentary on the Draft Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, Prepared by the Secretariat, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.97/5, reprinted in U.N. Official Records, supra note 93, at 14 (1981). See also, Peter Winship, A Note on the Commentary of the 1980 Vienna Convention, 18 Int'l. Law. 37 (1984).

387. See L.Réczei, The Rules of the Convention Relating to its Field of Application and to its Interpretation, in Problems of Unification of International Sales Law, 7 Digest of Commercial Laws, supra note 370, at 91.

388. See Second Session Report, supra note 213, at 62: "It was also suggested that the provision would contribute to uniformity by encouraging use of foreign materials, in the form of studies and court decisions, in construing the Law." Progress on this issue started slowly with the ability at one point to identify only a few reported cases that cited rulings of courts of foreign jurisdictions. See, e.g., Sport D'Hiver di Genevieve Culet v. Ets. Louys et Fils (Tribunale Civile di Cuneo) (It.), No. 45/96 UNILEX (31 Jan. 1996).; Scea Gaec Des Beauches Bernard Bruno c. Societe Teso Ten Else GmBh & CokG, (Cour d'appel de Grenoble) (Fr.), No. 94/3859 (Ch. Comm. 23 October 1996) available at http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/ 961023f1.html; and Obergericht des Kantons Luzern (Switz.), No. 11 95 123/357 UNILEX (8 Jan. 1997).

There has since been further progress illustrated by MCC-Marble Ceramic Center v. Ceramica Nuova D'Agostino, 144 F.3d 1384, 1390 fn14 (11th Cir. 1998), a case that, while not citing foreign precedents (as there was none on the issue considered) pointed out the need to consider such precedents. See also Medical Marketing International, Inc. v. Internazionale Medico Scientifica, S.r.l., No. CIV. A. 99-0380 (E.D. La. 1999), a case citing the ruling of a court of a foreign jurisdiction, and, Tribunale di Pavia 29 December 1999, which too cites the ruling of a court of a foreign jurisdiction. The most recent such case that has come to the writer's attention, Tribunale di Vigevano 12 Iuglio 2000, is an Italian case that cites and comments on forty rulings of courts of foreign jurisdictions.

389. See CISG, supra note 1, art. 46, stating "[t]he buyer may require performance by the seller of his obligations unless the buyer has resorted to a remedy which is inconsistent with this requirement." See also id. art. 62, stating, "[t]he seller may require the buyer to pay the price, take delivery or perform his other obligations, unless the seller has resorted to a remedy which is inconsistent with this requirement."

390. See, e.g., Report of the Working Group on the International Sale of Goods on Work of its Sixth Session, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/100, reprinted in [1975] 6 Y.B. U.N. Comm'n on Int'l Trade L. 49, at 56, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER.A/1975; Report of the Secretary-General Pending Questions with Respect to Revised Text of a Uniform Law on International Sale of Goods, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/100/Annex III, reprinted in [1975] 6 Y.B. U.N. Comm'n on Int'l Trade L. 88, at 100-01, U.N. Doc A/CN.9/SER.A/ 1975.

391. See CISG, supra note 1, art. 37.

392. See id. art. 77.

393. See id. art. 85.

394. See Chapter 1 of this work, supra.

395. Professor Honnold has stressed the importance of discussion to the work of UNCITRAL, leading to consensus without the need for formal votes. See UN Commission: Mission and Methods, supra note 88, at 210-11. For one participant's wry view of this process, see generally Eörsi, Unifying the Law, supra note 188.

396. The present writer has adopted this structural classification, which appears in Professor Bonell's thorough treatment of Article 7. See generally General Provisions, supra note 125.

397. Id. at 72.

398. For instance, it may control the operation of Article 7(2) since the interpretation of a given provision is vital in determining whether that provision may be applied by analogy, or whether a true gap exists in CISG's provisions.

399. See Chapter 2, supra.

400. See, e.g., Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 135; General Provisions, supra note 125, at 72.

401. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 72.

402. See Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 136-137.

403. Id. at 137.

404. See Documentary History, supra note 90.

405. ULIS, supra note 84, art. 2.

406. "Questions concerning matters governed by this law which are not expressly settled in it are to be settled in conformity with the general principles on which the present law is based." Id. art.17. For treatment of the gap-filling provision of the CISG Article 7(2), see Chapter 4 of this work, infra.

407. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 66. This approach adopted by UNCITRAL in ULIS, with respect to its interpretation, has been called "revolutionary." See Unification of Private Law, supra note 41, at 138.

408. See Report of the Secretary General, Analysis of Replies and Comments by Governments on the Hague Conventions of 1964, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/31, reprinted in [1970] 1 Y.B. UNCITRAL 159, 170, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER.A/1970 [hereinafter Comments by Governments on the Hague Conventions] ; Analysis of Articles 1-17, supra note 382, 49.

409. See Report of the Working Group on the International Sale of Goods on its First Session, 23 U.N. GAOR Supp. No. 16 para. 7, U.N. Doc. A/7216 (1968), reprinted in 1 Y.B. UNCITRAL 167, 182, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER.A/1970[hereinafter First Session Report].

410. See id.

411. See id. 181-83.

412. See Report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on the Work of its Third Session, U. N. GAOR, 25th Sess., Supp. No. 17, U.N. Doc. A/8017/1070, reprinted in [1970] 1 Y.B. UNCITRAL 129, 136, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER.A/1970 [hereinafter Third Session Report].

413. See Second Session Report, supra note 213, at 62, Ά127.

414. See id. at Ά129, at 62.

415. See id. at 72.

416. See Draft Convention on the International Sale of Goods, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/116/Annex I (1976) reprinted in [1976] 7 Y.B. UNCITRAL 89, at 90, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER.A/1976.

417. See Ninth Session Report, supra note 350, at 67.

418. See Text of Draft Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods Approved by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, in Report of the Commission on the Work of its Eleventh Session, U.N. GAOR, 32nd Sess., Supp. No. 17, Ch. II, para. 28, U.N. Doc. A/33/17, reprinted in [1978] 9 Y.B. UNCITRAL 5, 35, U. N. Doc. A/CN.1/SER.A/1978; see also Report of the Secretary-General: Analytical Compilation of Comments by Governments and International Organizations on the Draft Convention on the Formation of Contracts for the International Sale of Goods as Adopted by the Working Group, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/146 and Add. 1-4, reprinted in 9 Y.B. UNCITRAL 127, 132-33, U.N. Doc. A/CN.1/SER.A/1978 [hereinafter Secretary-General Commentary on the Draft Convention 1977].

419. See Secretary-General Commentary on the Draft Convention 1977, supra note 417, at 114.

420. For a discussion on the CISG Article 7(2), dealing with possible gaps praeter legem in CISG, see Chapter 4 of this work, infra.

421. See the amendment of Norway, U.N. Doc. A/Conf.97/C.1/L.28, reprinted in Report of the First Committee, supra note 351, at 87.

422. See the amendment of Italy, U.N. Doc.A/Conf.97/C.1/L.59, reprinted in Report of the First Committee, supra note 351, at 87.

423. See R.J.C. Munday, The Uniform Interpretation of International Conventions, 27 Int'l. & Comp. L. Q. 450 (1978), stating "[t]he principal objective of an international convention is to achieve uniformity of legal rules within the various States party to it. However, even when outward uniformity is achieved following the adoption of a single authoritative text, uniform application of the agreed rules is by no means guaranteed, as in practice different countries almost inevitably come to put different interpretations upon the same enacted words." Id.

424. See Uniform Interpretation, supra note 39, at 198, referencing Bernard Audit, La Vente Internationale de Marchandises: Convention des Nations Unies du 11Avril 1980 [The International Sales of Goods, UN Convention of 11 April 1980] 47 (1990).

425. See Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 142, stating "the settlement of disputes would be complicated and litigants would be encouraged to engage in forum shopping if the courts of different countries persist in divergent interpretations of the Convention." Id. Contra, Fritz Enderlein, Uniform Law and its Application by Judges and Arbitrators, in International Uniform Law in Practice: Acts and Proceedings of the 3rd Congress on Private Law. UNIDROIT, Rome, 7-10, September 1987, 340-341 (1988) [hereinafter Int'l Uniform Law in Practice], who thinks that the lack of uniformity in the interpretation of uniform laws has no influence on the choice of forum, so the danger of forum shopping is not real in these circumstances.

426. Enderlein and Maskow make the point that interpreters are not only the judges or arbitrators but the contracting parties as well. See Enderlein & Maskow, supra note 125, at 55. This point is controversial and there are practical and theoretical objections to it. If Enderlein's point, that CISG Article 7 is addressed to the parties, is correct, then that provision might in practice be excluded by them under Article 6 CISG. In practice, this would hinder uniformity in interpretation. The theoretical objection is that the statement seems to obliterate the distinction between interpretation by the court and performance of the contract by the parties.

427. See General Provisions, supra note 125, at 72-73.

428. See Jerzy Jakubowski, The Autonomy of International Trade Law and its Influence on the Interpretation and Application of its Rules, in Law and International Trade, Recht und Internationaler Handel 209 (Clive M. Schmitthoff ed., 1973).

429. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 73. See also, Bruno Zeller,The UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) - A Leap Forward Towards Unified International Sales Laws, 12 Pace Int'l L. Rev. 79, 105-106 (2000), also available at http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/biblio/zeller3.html.

430. See U.C.C. §1-102 (3). Cf. U.C.C. §1-103, which points to the opposite direction on this matter.

431. See, e.g., Lisi v.Alitalia S.p.a., 370 F.2d 508 (2d Cir. 1966); Day v.Trans World Airlines Inc., 528 F.2d 31 (2d Cir. 1975). Both cases dealt with the Warsaw Convention on International Carriage by Air (1929). Also see Mitsui & Co. Ltd. et Ataka & Co. Ltd. v. American Export Lines Inc., 636 F.2d 807 (2d Cir. 1981) dealing with the Brussels Convention on Bills of Lading (1924).

432. See Baltic Insurance Group v. Jordan Grand Prix Ltd., 2 A.C. 127 (H.L. 1998), also available at http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/id199899/idjudgmt/jd981216/baltic.htm, where Lord Steyn, speaking of the Brussels Convention (1968), stated "[T]he primary search must be for an objective and independent interpretation capable of accommodating the needs of a diversity of legal systems." See also, Corocraft Ltd. v. Pan American World Airways Inc., 1 Q.B. 616 (Eng. C.A. 1969); Fothergill v. Monarch Airlines 1981 A.C. 251 (Eng. H.L.) both of which dealt with the Warsaw Convention on International Carriage by Air (1929); and The Hollandia, 1 A.C. 565 (Eng. H.L. 1982), which dealt with the 1924 Brussels Convention on Bills of Lading. Other examples include the cases of Buchanan v. Babco Forwarding and Shipping, 1977 Q.B. 208 (Eng. C.A.), and Thermo Engineers Ltd. and Anhydro A/S v. Ferrymaster Ltd., 1 W.L.R. 1470 (Eng. 1981), dealing with the Geneva Convention on International Carriage by Road (1956).

433. See CISG, supra note 1, Preamble.

434. Id.

435. See Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 136, where the author also states, "[t]o read the words of the Convention with regard for their 'international character' requires that they be projected against an international background."

436. See General Provisions, supra note 125, at 74.

437. Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 136.

438. See General Provisions, supra note 125, at 74. For a similar statement, see also Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 136. This seems to be the best and most widely accepted view. However, for somewhat different conclusions, see Van der Velden, supra note 335, at 33-34, (stating that where a source of uniform law is a specific provision of national law, recourse to its domestic interpretation is a logical aid to interpretation of the uniform law). See also F.A.Mann, Uniform Statutes in English Law, 99 L. Q. Rev. 376, 383 (1983) (stating that if a Convention adopts a phrase which appears to have been taken from a legal system where it is used in a specific sense, the international legislators are likely to have had that sense in mind and to intend its introduction into the Convention).

439. See Leif Sevón, Method of Unification of Law for the International Sale of Goods, in National Report of Finland to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law - Sydney 16 (1986).

440. See Enderlein, supra note 424, at 337.

441. The educational role of universities is discussed in more depth later in this chapter, in section 6, infra, which deals with the available remedies against divergent interpretations of CISG.

442. The purpose behind uniformity is not just to create a pleasing vision of symmetry. Chapter 1 of this work deals with the need for, and the benefits of, uniformity in international commercial law. See also V. Susanne Cook, The Need for Uniform Interpretation of the 1980 United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, 50 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 197, 261 (1988) [hereinafter Cook, The Need for Uniform Interpretation].

443. For a similar conclusion, see General Provisions, supra note 125, at 74-75.

444. For a similar conclusion, see Uniform Interpretation, supra note 39, at 203.

445. 1962 A.C. 446, at 471 (Eng. H.L.).

446. John Honnold, The Sales Convention in Action - Uniform International Words: Uniform Application?, 8 J.L.& Com. 207, 208 (1988).

447. Michael F. Sturley, International Uniform Laws in National Courts: The Influence of Domestic Law in Conflicts of Interpretation, 27 Va. J. Int'l. L. 729, 731 (1986).

448. Alejandro M. Garro, Reconciliation of Legal Traditions in the U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, 23 Int'l Law. 443, 450 (1989).

449. See Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 146. See also General Provisions, supra note 125, at 83-84.

450. See Chapter 2 of this work, supra.

451. See Gyula Eörsi, A Propos the 1980 Vienna Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, 31 Am. J. Comp. L. 333, 349 (1983), who is of the opinion that the provision as it now stands represents "a strange compromise, in fact burying the principle of good faith." Id.

452. See E. Allen Farnsworth, The Convention on the International Sale of Goods from the Perspective of the Common Law Countries, in La Vendita Internazionale, La Convenzione di Vienna dell' 11 Aprile 1980, 5, 18 (Dott. A.Giuffrè ed., 1981), who speaks of "seemingly harmless words." See also Winship, supra note 294, at 67.

453. For a criticism of the vagueness of the concept of good faith, see, e.g., Critical Reflections, supra note 125, at 289.

454. For similar conclusions, see, e.g., Dore & De Franco, supra note 86, at 63; Eörsi, supra note 369, at 314.

455. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 84. See also Eörsi, supra note 125, at ch. 2, 8-9, stating "[i]t might be argued that [in cases in which interpretation of the Convention leads to application of the good faith clause] it was not the Convention which was interpreted but the contract. ... [H]owever, interpretation of the two cannot be separated since the Convention is necessarily interpreted by the parties also; after all, the Convention constitutes the law of the parties insofar as they do not make use of Article 6 on freedom of contract." Id. For similar statements, see Uniform Sales Law 1986, supra note 125, at 39; Maskow, supra note 125, at 54-57. Cf. Critical Reflections, supra note 125, at 1991.

456. See Enderlein & Maskow, supra note 125, at 55.

457. For further references, see generally Ralph A. Newman, The General Principles of Equity, in Equity in the World's Legal Systems: A Comparative Study 589-652. (Ralph A. Newman ed., 1973).

458. See U.C.C. § 1-203, where it is stated that "every contract or duty within this Act imposes an obligation of good faith in its performance or enforcement." However, there are some cases in which United States courts have imposed on the parties a "duty to bargain in good faith." See E. Allen Farnsworth, Contracts §3.26, at 187-192 (1982).

459. For a comparative discussion of good faith in the bargaining and formation process, see, e.g., E. Allen Farnsworth, Precontractual Liability and Preliminary Agreements: Fair Dealing and Failed Negotiations, 87 Colum. L. Rev. 217 (1987).

460. See, e.g., §§ 157 and 242 of the Federal Republic of Germany Civil Code; Articles 1337-1338 and 1375 of the Italian Civil Code; Articles 6.1.1.2.1., 6.5.3.1.1. and 6.5.3.1.2. of the Dutch Civil Code. These references are provided by Bonnell in General Provisions, supra note 125, at 86, which also makes an observation on the considerable disparity in the volume of the case law developed by German Courts in application of §242 of the Civil Code, concerning issues such as "culpa in contrahendo", abuse of rights, hardship and unconscionable contract terms, as compared to the case law dealing with similar provisions in the judicial practice of other countries.

461. See General Provisions, supra note 125, at 84.

462. See Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1982, supra note 215, §95, at 125.

463. However, unlike English law, there is little scope for avoidance after a market change because of CISG Article 25.

464. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 84. Bonell is of the opinion that even contractual agreements or usages might be disregarded if their application in accordance with CISG Articles 6 and 9 would in the specific case appear to be contrary to good faith. Id. at 85.

465. For a list of further applications of the good faith principle in particular provisions of CISG, see 1 Official Records of the U.N. Conference on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods 18 (Vienna 1981), where the Secretariat's Commentary makes reference among others, to Articles 19(2) [which became final Arts. 27(2)], 35 and 44 [which became final Arts. 37 and 48], 38 [which became final Art. 40], 45(2) [which became final Art. 49(2)], 60(2) [which became final Art. 64(2)], and 67[which became final Art. 82], 74 [which became final Art. 85] and 77 [which became final Art. 88].

466. See Dore & De Franco, supra note 86, at 61, where the authors state that the good faith provision does not constitute a mere instrument of interpretation, but rather, it "appears to be a pervasive norm analogous to the good faith obligation of the U.C.C." Id.

467. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 85. According to Bonell, "this will be the case, if during the negotiating process or in the course of performance of the contract a question arises for which the Convention does not contain any specific provision and the solution is found in applying, in accordance with Article 7(2), the principle of good faith." Id.

468. See Uniform Interpretation, supra note 39, at 215.

469. Maskow, supra note 125, at 55.

470. As will also be said in connection with the specification of the principles underlying the CISG in general (see the discussion on CISG Article 7(2), Chapter 4, infra), such national standards may be taken into account only to the extent that they prove to be commonly accepted at a comparative level; see General Provisions, supra note 125, at 86.

471. See General Provisions, supra note 125, at 86; Schlesinger et al., supra note 367, at 1160 et seq. (Report on Austrian, German and Swiss law).

472. See Schlesinger, supra note 367, at 1120 (Report on English, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand law).

473. See, e.g., U.C.C. § 2-207 (2).

474. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 86-87, stating that such a rule, at the most, "may be invoked by the sender of the written communication if he proves that a similar application of the principle of good faith is generally accepted not only in his own country but also in the country where the recipient has his place of business." Id. This scenario has materialised and the rule applied in contracts between Austrian and German parties. As per CISG Article 9, usages and practices trump the language of the Convention and higher and lower courts have so held in this context.

475. See CISG, supra note 1, art. 2.

476. See Swedish Unfair Contract Terms Act §1 (1971); Act on Standard Forms of Contract §2, §10 (F.R. G. 1976); United Kingdom Unfair Contract Terms Act §3, 5-7 (U.K. 1977).

477. See U.C.C. § 2-103 (b).

478. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 87.

479. Eörsi seems to want to make the same implication. See Gyula Eörsi, The Method of Unifying the Law on the International Sale of Goods, in National Report of Hungary for the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law - Sydney 35 (1986).

480. See Enderlein, supra note 424, at 342, where he notes that much depends on the goods to be sold or purchased, offer and demand, etc.

481. For example, Brazil and India export plant machinery and other manufactured products, not conforming to the traditional archetype of a developing country that exports raw materials and imports finished consumer goods. See S.K. Date-Bah, Problems of the Unification of International Sales Law from the Standpoint of Developing Countries: Problems of Unification of International Sales Law, in Digest of Commercial Laws, supra note 370, at 39. Other developing countries, such as Ghana, invest in import-substitution industries and are encouraged by government policy to export some of their products. Id.

482. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 87.

483. See Dietrich Maskow, On the Interpretation of the Uniform Rules of the 1980 U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, in National Report of the German Democratic Republic for the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law - Sydney 18 (1986). Enderlein also agrees with Maskow on this point. See Enderlein, supra note 424, at 342.

484. See sections titled Conclusions, in UNIDROIT Principles, Good Faith and CISG, supra Ch. 2 (concluding that good faith in Article 7 CISG is circumscribed to the interpretation of the law and should not be allowed to impose additional duties of a positive nature to contracting parties); and Arguments against the imposition on the parties of a positive duty of good faith imposing further obligations of a positive character on the parties, in The Observance of Good Faith in International Trade, supra Ch. 3.

485. John Honnold, Uniform Words and Uniform Application. The 1980 Sales Convention and International Juridical Practice, in Einheitliches Kaufrecht und Nationales Obligationrecht 115, 119 (Peter Schlechtriem ed., 1987) [hereinafter Uniform Words and Uniform Application].

486. Uniform Interpretation, supra note 39, at, 204, where the author uses the following numerical example to illustrate this point: Supposing that there are three equally plausible autonomous interpretations of the same provision, the chance that two interpreters construing the same provision independently will arrive at a uniform result amounts only to 33%, while the probability of diverging interpretations is 67%. Id.

487. See Unification of Private Law, supra note 41, at 107-122.

488. See General Provisions, supra note 125, at 90, who is of the opinion that such comparison "becomes obligatory, if the text actually applied is only a translation into a national language which is not one of the official languages of the United Nations." Id.

489. The tendency of national tribunals to apply law in accordance with ingrained national patterns was discussed at the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law (Sydney, Australia 1986). See also text contained in fn. 387, supra.

490. For the necessity of having regard to other countries' decisions, see Albert H. Kritzer, Guide to Practical Applications of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods 108-109 (1989). The domestic legislative instruments in most common law countries are traditionally interpreted narrowly so as to limit their interference with the law developed by the courts. See generally Cook, The Need for Uniform Interpretation, supra note 441, at 199.

491. See, e.g., Tribunale di Vigevano (It.), No. 405, 12 July 2000. The CISG caselaw is discussed in Chapter 5 (1), infra. For other examples of court decisions in the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Federal Republic of Germany, Belgium, Austria and Italy, which for the interpretation of existing uniform laws relied - although to a different extent - on foreign case law and scholarship, see General Provisions, supra note 125, at 91, citing Otto Charles Giles, Uniform Commercial Law. An Essay on International Conventions in National Courts 35 et seq. (A.W.Sijthoff ed., 1970). See also Bonell, supra note 380, at 11.

492. See Report of UNCITRAL on the Work of its Twenty-First Session 98 (1988).

493. See Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 145.

494. The U.N. identification for this is: A/CN.9/SER.C/ABSTRACTS/1-13. This and other UNCITRAL material may be obtained from the official website, supra note 6.

For the importance of CLOUT, UNILEX and of all similar efforts concerning the development of CISG that are mentioned in this section of the thesis, see J.Honnold , The Sales Convention: From Idea to Practice, in Symposium - Ten Years of the United Nations Sales Convention, 17 J. L. & Com. 181-86 (1998) available at http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/biblio/honnold4.html.

495. For information on procuring the UNILEX service, contact: Transnational Publishers, Inc., One Bridge Street, Irvington-on-Hudson, NY 10533; fax (914) 591-2688.

496. For a comment on UNILEX as a tool to promote the CISG's uniform application, see Fabio Liguori, 'UNILEX': A Means to Promote Uniformity in the Application of CISG, in Zeitschrift für Europäisches Privatrecht 600 (1996).

497. Michael Joachim Bonell & Fabio Liguori, The U.N. Convention on the International Sale of Goods: A Critical Analysis of Current International Case Law (Part I), 1996 Uniform L. Rev. 147, fn.1.

498. See Pace Law website, supra note 4.

499. For a description on how this, as well as other Internet sites dealing with the CISG, are to be used, see Claire M.Germain, The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods: Guide to Research and Literature, in Review of the Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods 117 (Cornell Int'l L. J. eds., 1995) [hereinafter Cornell Review]; Albert H. Kritzer, The Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods: Scope, Interpretation and Resources, in Cornell Review, at 147.

500. Recall the list of comprehensive Internet databases devoted exclusively to the CISG, supra note 110. For an updated listing, see http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/network.html.

501. Examples of other good Internet databases containing information on the CISG or related to the CISG are maintained by international organisations: The UNCITRAL website [maintained by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (CLOUT abstracts of CISG cases are among the materials provided)], available at http://www.un.or.at/uncitral; the website of the United Nations Treaty Section (relevant information on texts and status of treaties), available at http://untreaty.un.org/English/access.asp. See also the UNIDROIT website (regarding Principles of International Commercial Contracts, a companion to the UN Sales Convention), available at http://www.unidroit.org.

502. E.g., the Journal of Law and Commerce has translated cases and provided commentaries; see e.g., Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt am Main (F.R.G.), No. SU 164/90 (17 Sept. 1991), translated in 12 J.L. & Com. 261 (1993); Volker Behr, Interpretive Decisions Applying CISG: Commentary to Journal of Law & Commerce - Case I; Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt am Main, 12 J. L. & Com. 271 (1993); Landgericht, Baden-Baden (F.R.G.), No. 40 113/90, Aug. 14, 1991, translated in 12 J.L. & Com. 277 (1993); Metropolitan Court Budapest (Hung.), No. U. 27 1363 BP. P.O.B. 16., Doc. No. 3.G.50.289/1991/32, translated in 13 J.L. & Com. 49 (1993); James J.Callaghan, Recent Developments: CISG: U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods: Examining the Gap-filling role of CISG in Two French Decisions, 14 J. L. & Com. 183 (1995).

See also Michael R.Will, International Sales Law under CISG: The First 555 or so Decisions (8th ed., 1999). The Pace website bibliography contains over 4,300 citations and is ever-expanding; see http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/biblio/biblio.html.

503. J. Honnold , The Sales Convention: From Idea to Practice, in Symposium - Ten Years of the United Nations Sales Convention, 17 J. L. & Com. 181, 183 (1998).

504. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 92.

505. See Chapter 5, infra, for discussion on the available evidence concerning the practice of citing and consulting foreign decisions on CISG among national courts.

506. See Uniform Words and Uniform Application, supra note 484, at 121, citing M. Clarke, U.K. National Report to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law (1986). Until recently, this tradition has been followed even in applying international transport Conventions - the Hague Rules and the Warsaw Convention.

507. See id. at 121, citing K. Sutton, Australian National Report to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law (1986).

508. See id. at 121, citing J. S. Ziegel, Canadian National Report to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law (1986).

509. See id. at 121, citing J. H. Farrar, New Zealand National Report to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law (1986).

510. See id. at 121, citing W. L. H. Khoo, Singapore National Report to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law (1986).

511. See Uniform Words and Uniform Application, supra note 484, at 4.

512. [1980] 2 All E.R. 696.

513. 470 U.S. 392, 404 (1985). Professor Kritzer has commented to the writer that the U.S. domestic experience with uniform law and foreign precedent - with fifty sales law jurisdictions, yet a common market and the U.C.C. - proves that a jurisconsultorium (see fn. 438, infra) can work. Although forty-nine States in America share a uniform sales law, attorneys and judges from any State know that court rulings from their sister States do not have the binding force of stare decisis in their jurisdiction. However, as this is a law all States share, case law from other States is referred to by practitioners and the judge will normally refer to that case in the court's ruling by distinguishing that case, agreeing with it, or disagreeing with it (usually explaining why it disagrees with it).

The U.S. case law on CISG is discussed at length in Chapter 5, infra.

514. See Uniform Words and Uniform Application, supra note 484, at 124, citing Jacob S. Ziegel, Canadian National Report to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law 4(b), at 3 (1986). See also Jacob S. Ziegel, Notes of Cases, 63 Canadian B. Rev.629, 634 (1985).

515. See Uniform Words and Uniform Application, supra note 484, at 122, citing C. Samson, National Report of Canada and Quebec to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law (Sydney, Australia 1986), at note 35 et seq. Canadian cases have relied on civil law interpretation of the international Hague rules on carriage of goods by sea.

516. W. Friedman, Stare Decisis at Common Law and under the Civil Code of Quebec, 31 Canadian B. Rev. 723, 746 (1953). See also Jacob S. Ziegel, Notes of Cases, Jurisprudence, 63 Canadian B. Rev. 629, 634 (1985).

517. Gino Gorla, Observations, in Int'l Uniform Law in Practice, supra note 424, at 304.

518. Fothergill v.Monarch Airlines, 1981 A.C. 251 (Eng. H.L.); 2 All E.R. 696, 715 (1980).

519. Antonio Boggiano, The Experience of Latin American States, in Int'l Uniform Law in Practice, supra note 424, at 47.

520. See Uniform Words and Uniform Application, supra note 484, at 123, citing L. C. Arria, Venezuela National Report to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law (1986).

521. See id. at 124, citing F. J. A. Van der Velden, Netherlands National Report to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law, supra note 335, at 22.

522. See id. at 124, citing F. J. A. Van der Velden, Netherlands National Report, supra note 335, at 24, fn. 53.

523. See Uniform Words and Uniform Application, supra note 484, at 122, citing J. Rajski, Poland National Report to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law (1986).

524. See id.

525. See Uniform Words and Uniform Application , supra note 484, at 122, citing Popov, Bulgaria National Report to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law (1986).

526. Bogianno, supra note 518.

527. Jürgen Schwarze, The Role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the Interpretation of Uniform Law among the Member States of the European Communities (EC), in Int'l Uniform Law in Practice, supra note 424, at 221.

528. Id.

529. See General Provisions, supra note 125, at 92-93.

530. Unification of Private Law, supra note 41, at 103.

531. See General Provisions, supra note 125, at 92-93. See also Van der Velden, Netherlands National Report, supra note 335.

532. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 93. For a similar view and further references, Bonell cites Jan Kropholler, Internationales Einheitsrecht, Allgemeine Lehren 204 et seq. (1975).

533. See Unification of Private Law, supra note 41, at para. 294; Giles, supra note 490, at 29.

534. See Rene H. Mankiewicz, The Judicial Diversification of Uniform Private Law Conventions, 1972 Int'l & Com. L. Q. 718.

535. See the statements of Lord Denning in Buchanan v. Babco Forwarding & Shipping Ltd., 1977 Q.B. 208 (Eng. C.A.), of Lord McMillan in Stag Line v. Foscolo Mango & Co., 1932 A.C. 328 (Eng. H.L.), of Lord Diplock in The Hollandia, 1 A.C. 565, at 572 (Eng. H.L. 1983), and of Roskill L.J. in Rothmans of Pall Mall v. Saudi Arabian Airlines Co, 1981 Q.B. 368 (Eng. C.A.).

536. The system for reporting and distribution of decisions is described in the UNCITRAL document, Case Law on UNCITRAL Texts (CLOUT), U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER.C/GUIDE/1 (19 May 1993). The UNCITRAL Secretariat can be reached at Vienna International Centre, PO Box 500, A-1400 Vienna, Austria: Fax (43 1) 237 485; Telex 135612 uno a; Tel 21131-4061. The sixth meeting of National Correspondents was held at UN Headquarters, NY, on 16 June 1994. See also Geoff Fisher, UNCITRAL gives International Trade Law CLOUT, 21 Australian Bus. L. Rev. 362-63 (1993).

537. For example, see the judgment of Lord Diplock in Fothergill 1981 A.C. 251 (Eng. H.L.); 3 W.L.R. 209, 225 (H.L. 1980).

538. Ariens, Chauvinisme Judiciaire, 1962 Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Internationaal Recht 1.

539. See Martin Wolff, Private International Law 17-18 (2nd ed. 1950), stating "[a] conscientious judge will be glad if the rules of Private International Law allow him to apply the law of his own country … Even if he knows the foreign language he is never sure that his interpretation of, say, a foreign code is correct and that all the essential statutes, decisions, and text-books are at his disposal. He is acting as a judge, but he knows no more and often less about the foreign law than first-year students in the country in question." Id.

540. For example, in the interpretation of Article 31 of the Geneva Convention on Bills of Exchange, 7 Jun 1930, 143 L.N.T.S. 257, in cross-border cases, French courts chose to follow the French interpretation (Hocke v. Schnubel, (Cass. Comm), 4 March 1963). See note by B.Goldman, 1964 Journal du droit international 807, while German courts have followed a different path, applying choice of law rules, as if different interpretations of a uniform act were equal to different substantive norms (BGH 29 Oct. 1962: E. von Caemmerer, 2 Internationale Rechtssprechung zum Genfer einheitliche Wechsel- und Scheckrecht (Tübingen 1967)).

541. For academic support on this point, see generally Silvia Ferreri, The Influence of Education - in Law Schools and Law Faculties - on the Application of Uniform Law, in International Uniform Law in Practice, supra note 424, at 289-93. A great educational example is the Annual Willem C. Vis International Arbitration Moot, set up by Pace Law School and supported by many leading international organisations, with the goal "to foster the study of international commercial law and arbitration for resolution of international business disputes through its application to a concrete problem … and to train law leaders of tomorrow in methods of alternative dispute resolution." See Willem C. Vis Competition, at http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/vis.html.

542. [1980] 3 W.L.R. 209.

543. [1980] 3 W.L.R. 209, at 225, where it is said that the Cour de Cassation has binding authority over lower courts. This is not strictly true, as a decision of the Cour de Cassation has strong persuasive power but is not binding upon lower courts which may decide to ignore it altogether. For the operation of Article 5 of the French Code Civil, see the discussion of "Civil law jurisdictions and international precedent," supra; see also 1 Solus & Perrot, Droit judicaire prive 615 (Paris, 1961).

544. This expression is used by Honnold, The Sales Convention in Action, supra note 445, at 208.

545. See, e.g., Peter Winship, The U.N. Sales Convention: A Bibliography of English-Language Publications, 28 Int'l. Law. 401 (1994). The Pace University website is an excellent and updated source. See Pace Law Website, supra note 4.

546. See Edgar Bodenheimer, Doctrine as a Source of the International Unification of Law, 34 Am. J. Comp. L. 67 (1986 Supplement), where the author examines from a comparative point of view and in detail the question of "whether doctrinal writings may be considered primary authorities of law on par with legislation and (in some legal systems) court decisions, or whether they must be relegated to the status of secondary sources." Id. at 71.

547. See Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 144.

548. Id.

549. See generally Fothergill v Monarch Airlines Ltd., 1981 A.C. 251 (Eng. H.L.)

550. Per Lord Diplock, [1980] 3 W.L.R. 209, at 225.

551. See Mann, supra note 437, at 384.

552. See Uniform Words and Application, supra note 484, at 126.

553. See Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 136 et. seq.; General Provisions, supra note 125, at 90. Among civil law commentators, it is widely accepted that the legislative history of the uniform law must be taken into account when interpreting the uniform law. See, e.g., Audit, supra note 423, at 48; Fritz Enderlein et al., Internationales Kaufrecht [International sales law - in German] 61 (1991).

554. See Unification of Private Law, supra note 41, at 105; Uniform Law for int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 141-142; General Provisions, supra note 125, at 90.

555. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 90.

556. See Uniform Words and Uniform Application, supra note 484, at 133.

557. See Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 138. However, the English position is not as rigid as it used to be, see Fothergill v. Monarch Airlines, 1981 A.C. 251 (Eng. H.L.).

558. See generally Pepper v. Hart, 1993 A.C. 593 (Eng. H.L.).

559. 2 All ER 696 (1980).

560. For the proposal to establish an international court, see Graveson, supra note 51, at 12. See also General Provisions, supra note 125, at 88.

561. See General Provisions, supra note 125, at 88.

562. See Article 177 of the Treaty Establishing the European Community, Nov. 10, 1997, O.J. (C 340) 3 (1997).

563. E.g., such as the Brussels Convention on Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (1968), 1978 O.J. (L304) 36, reprinted in 8 I.L.M. 229; see the 1971 Protocol by the European Court, on the Interpretation of the 1968 Convention, 1990 O.J. (C189) 1.

564. The expression belongs to Bonell, in General Provisions, supra note 125, at 89.

565. See id. at 89.

566. See, e.g., the work done by the International Labour Office, the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation and the Central Office for International Road Transport, in carrying out advisory functions with respect to the application of the uniform laws elaborated under their auspices.

567. See U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/267 (21 February 1985).

568. See General Provisions, supra note 125, at 90, which poses the questions arising out of such a scheme without, though, providing any answers to these questions.

569. CISG, supra note 1, art. 7(2).

570. See CISG, supra note 1, art. 4, stating "[t]his Convention governs only the formation of the contract of sale and the rights and obligations of the seller and the buyer 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 of any of its provisions or of any usage; (b) the effect which the contract may have on the property in the goods sold." Id.

For further exclusions to the applicability of CISG, see CISG, supra note 1, art. 2 (sale of certain goods), art. 3 (supply and manufacture contracts and labour contracts) and art. 5 (liability for death or personal injury). In addition, the Convention does not govern rights based on fraud or agency law, see Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 114-116.

571. The nature and definition of "gaps" are discussed in section 3 of the current Chapter, infra. Note that for the purposes of this thesis, any reference to "gaps" is a reference to gaps praeter legem, i.e., matters "governed by the CISG which are not expressly settled in it"; in other words, issues to which CISG applies but which it does not expressly resolve. Matters that are excluded from the scope of CISG (such as the matters discussed in CISG Arts. 2, 3, 4 and 5) are gaps intra legem and do not concern Art. 7 CISG, or this thesis; see Chapter 1, Section 6(c) Part I (iii), supra.

572. Eörsi , supra note 125, at 2-11.

573. The line between implied terms and interpretation is a difficult one to draw - indeed it is not clearly drawn in some jurisdictions - which supports the present writer's view of the connection between CISG Article 7(1) and 7(2). See C Itoh & Co. Ltd. v. Companhia de Navegacao Lloyd Brasilieiro, 1 Lloyd's Rep. 201 (Eng. Comm. Ct. 1998, Clarke J), affirmed by the English Court of Appeal at 1 Lloyd's Rep 115 (Eng. C.A. 1999) (use of the officious bystander test when interpreting a contract).

574. Eörsi , supra note 125, at 2-9.

575. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 75.

576. See Chapter 3 in this thesis, supra, which deals with Article 7(1). Note that Professor Honnold prepared a Documentary History that reproduces the relevant documents and provides references to the repeated renumbering of the articles making it easier to trace the legislative history and development of CISG's; see Documentary History, supra note 90.

577. ULIS, supra note 84, art. 2.

578. Id. art. 17.

579. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 66.

580. Id.

581. Id.

582. See Comments by Governments on the Hague Conventions, supra note 408, Ά95, at 170; see also Analysis of Comments on Articles 1-17, supra note 408, 49.

583. For a more detailed discussion of the proposals put forward at the first session of the Working Group regarding Article 17 of ULIS, see Chapter 3 of the current work, supra, which deals with CISG Article 7(1).

584. See First Session Report, supra note 408, at 181-83.

585. See Third Session Report, supra note 411, at 136.

586. See Second Session Report, supra note 213, at 62.

587. See Implementation of the Commission's decisions relating to General Conditions of Sale and Standard Contracts: Report of the Secretary-General, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/54 (1971), reprinted in 2 Y.B. UNCITRAL 66, at 72, U.N. Doc. A/CN.9/SER/A/1971.

588. See Secretary General Commentary on the Draft Convention 1977, supra note 417, at 14 et seq. This process is discussed in the previous chapter of this work since it deals with what eventually came to be known as Article 7(1) of the Vienna Convention.

589. See the amendment of Bulgaria, A/Conf.97/C.1/L.16. 87, reprinted in Report of the First Committee, supra, note 351, at 89.

590. See the amendment of Czechoslavakia: A/Conf.98/C.1/L.15. 87, reprinted in Report of the First Committee, supra, note 351, at 89.

591. See the amendment of Italy: A/Conf.97/C.1/L.59, reprinted in Report of the First Committee, supra, note 351, at 89.

592. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 70.

593. See Summary Records of Meetings of First Committee, (5th mtg.), U.N. Doc.A/CONF.97/C.1/SR.5, reprinted in U.N. Official Records, supra note 93, at 255-56.

594. See id. at 257.

595. CISG, supra note 1, art. 7(1).

596. CISG, supra note 1, art. 7(2).

597. Id.

598. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 75.

599. See id. at 78; Eörsi, supra note 125, at 2-6; Schlectriem, supra note 125, at 57; Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 60.

600. For a similar opinion, see Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 157. See also Mark N.Rosenberg, The Vienna Convention: Uniformity in Interpretation for Gap-Filling - An Analysis and Application, 20 Australian Bus. L. Rev. 442, 450 (1992).

601. See General Provisions, supra note 125, at 9; Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 150.

602. The definition of a gap for the purposes of this thesis was discussed at the outset, see Chapter 1, Section 6(c) Part I (iii), supra. This thesis deals with the proper application of the gap-filling procedure outlined in Art. 7(2) CISG vis-à-vis gaps praeter legem, as it is only with this type of gap that Art. 7(2) CISG is concerned. Id.

603. CISG, supra note 1, art. 2, stating that CISG does not apply to consumer sales, to auctions or to sales of shares, vessels and electricity.

604. CISG, supra note 1, art. 3, excluding the application of the Convention in cases of "supply and manufacture" contracts and labour contracts.

605. CISG, supra note 1, art. 4, setting out the scope of the Convention and, except as otherwise expressly provided in the Convention, excluding from it the issue of validity of the contract and the effect of the contract on the property in the goods.

606. CISG, supra note 1, art. 5, excluding from the scope of the Convention the issue of the liability of the seller for death or personal injury caused by the goods to any person.

607. The terms "intra legem" and "praeter legem" are used by Uniform Interpretation, supra note 39, at 217. For the distinction between gaps "intra legem" and gaps "praeter legem", see Uniform Interpretation, id. at n. 186, referring to H. Deschenaux, Der Einleitungstitel, in 2 Schweizerisches Privatrecht 95 (Max Gutzwiller et al eds., 1967).

608. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 75.

609. Id.

610. See William D. Hawkland, Uniform Commercial "Code" Methodology, 1962 U. Ill. L. Rev. 291, 292. See also, Uniform Interpretation, supra note 39, at 218, fn.189, stating that the "true code approach" corresponds to what Kritzer calls the "internal analogy approach", in Kritzer, supra note 489, at 117.

611. Hawkland, supra note 609, at 292. This approach had been discussed during the 1951 Hague Conference (January 1-10). For a discussion of the 1951 Conference, see Rabel, supra note 82, at 58. Rabel said about this gap-filling approach: "… within its concerns ... the text must be self-sufficient. Where a case is not expressly covered the text is not to be supplemented by the national laws - which would at once destroy unity - but be construed according to principles consonant with its spirit." Id.

612. For this expression, see Steve H. Nickles, Problems of Sources of Law Relationships Under the Uniform Commercial Code - Part I: The Methodological Problem and The Civil Law Approach, 31 Ark. L. Rev. 1 (1977).

613. See, e.g., U.C.C. § 1-103, which states that "that unless displaced by the particular provisions of the Act, the principles of law and equity ... shall supplement its provisions." Id. This approach seems to be favoured in common law, see Dore & De Franco, supra note 86, at 63.

Talking about the U.C.C., however, note the tension that is created within the U.C.C. due to the wording of § 1-102(1), which states that "this Act shall be liberally construed and applied to promote its underlying purposes and policies." Id. at §1-201(1). For an approach more closely associated with civil law, see Mitchell Franklin, On the Legal Method of the Uniform Commercial Code, 16 L. & Cont. Probs. 330, 333 (1951).

614. For further references to the three approaches, see generally Kritzer, supra note 489.

615. See ULIS, supra note 84, arts. 2, 17. See, e.g., Eduard Wahl, Article 17, in Kommentar Zum Einheitlichen Kaufrecht 126 (Hans Dölle ed., 1976), where the commentator, after having listed the three different approaches to filling gaps praeter legem, states that "ULIS has adopted the first method. The text of Article 17, its legislative history as well as the provision contemplated in Article 2 show that the application of the rules of international private law had to be limited." Id.

616. This view is widely accepted and not disputed. See, e.g., Harold J. Berman, The Uniform Law on International Sale of Goods: A Constructive Critique, 30 L. & Cont. Probs. 354, 359 (1965).

617. Peter Winship, Private International Law and the U.N. Sales Convention, 21 Cornell Int'l L. J. 487, 492 (1988).

618. See, e.g., Dore & Defranco, supra note 86, at 63.

619. For a similar appraisal of the Vienna Convention's gap-filling measures, see Kritzer, supra note 489, at 117.

620. Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 149. Uniform Interpretation, supra note 39, at 220, citing Article 7 of the Austrian Civil Code, Article 1(2) of the Egypt Civil Code, Article 6(2) of the Spanish Civil Code (all examples of the same approach adopted in civil law codes).

621. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 77, citing K. Zweigert & H. Kotz, Einfuhrung in die Rechtsvergleichung auf dem Gebiete des Privatrechts 103 (2d ed. 1982).

622. See id. The source of general principles in civil law is legislation, whereas in common law the source is case law. See Otto Kahn-Freund, Common law and Civil Law - Imaginary and Real Obstacles to Assimilation, in New Perspectives for a Common Law of Europe 154 (Mauro Cappelletti ed., 1978) [hereinafter New Perspectives]. See also L. Neville Brown, General Principles of law and the English Legal System, in New Perspectives, at 174.

623. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 77-78. Note, however, that this statement does not quite address the type of statutory provision typified by Sale of Goods Act 1979, s. 62(2), which allows general rules of common law and equity - outside the statute but within the same legal order - to apply to contracts for the sale of goods as far as they are not inconsistent with the provisions of that Act. See British Sale of Goods Act, 1979 [hereinafter SOGA]. A similar provision can be found in the Uniform Commercial Code, the comprehensive statute which aims at codifying existing American law on commercial transactions: § 1-103 expressly provides that "unless displaced by the particular provisions of this Act, the principles of [common] law and equity, including the law merchant … shall supplement its provisions." U.C.C. §1-103.

624. See General Provisions, supra note 125, at 78, where the author states that it could not have been otherwise, as the Convention "represents a veritable codification of the law of international sales contracts, intended to replace ... the existing domestic laws, whether they are embodied in statutes or developed by case law." Id.

625. See Enderlein & Maskow, supra note 125, at 58, where the authors state that Article 7(2) indicates that gaps must be "closed ... from within the Convention. This is in line with the aspiration to unify the law which ... is established in the Convention itself." Id.

626. For a clear distinction between analogical application and the recourse to general principles in the context of a uniform law, see Kropholler, supra note 531, at 292 et seq.

627. This distinction is important in the present writer's thesis on the methodology of CISG's interpretation, in that it will reduce the need to resort to rules of private international law for gap-filling and thus maintain the integrity of CISG's uniform and international application and interpretation.

628. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 80.

629. Enderlein & Maskow, supra note 125, at 58.

630. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 78.

631. See id.

632. See id., at 79. For a criticism of this criterion, see Rosenberg, supra note 599, at 451, stating that "there are inherent problems with an 'inherently unjust' test." Id.

633. Uniform Interpretation, supra note 39, at 222.

634. See Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 156. Rosenberg, supra note 599, at 451, prefers Honnold's test. For an example of a case so analogous that the drafters "would not have deliberately chosen discordant results." See Siegfried Eiselen, Electronic commerce and the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) 1980, 6 EDI L. Rev. 21-46 (1999) (fax, e-mail and EDI communications also encompassed by the definition of "writing" in CISG Article 13).

635. See CISG, supra note 1, art. 7(2).

636. For a clear distinction between the two approaches, see Kropholler, supra note 531, at 292.

637. See Rosenberg, supra note 599, at 451, fn. 54, listing some principles with references to CISG Articles.

638. For academic support on this point, see Schlechtriem, supra note 125, at 38, stating "[t]he authoritative principles can be inferred from the individual rules themselves and their systematic context;" Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 155, stating "[g]eneral principles [must] be moored to premises that underlie specific provisions of the Convention;" General Provisions, supra note 125, at 80.

639. CISG, supra note 1, art. 7(1). The good faith principle has been recognised as one of the general principles expressly laid down by the Convention. See, e.g., Audit, supra note 423, at 51, where the author states that good faith is one of the general principles, even though it must be considered a mere instrument of interpretation; Enderlein & Maskow, supra note 125, at 59, where the authors list the good faith principle among those principles "which do not necessarily have to be reflected in individual rules;" Rolf Herber & Beate Czerwenka, Internationales Kaufrecht. Kommentar zu dem Übereinkommen der Vereinten Nationen vom 11 April 1980 überVertrage über den Internationalen Warenkauf [International Sales Law, Commentary on the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods] 49 (1991), where it is stated that the good faith principle is the only general principle expressly provided for by the Convention.

640. See, e.g., Wahl, supra note 614, at 135.

641. CISG, supra note 1, art. 6. See, e.g., Uniform Law For Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 47, who in his introduction of the Convention states that "[t]he dominant theme of the Convention is the role of the contract construed in the light of commercial practice and usage - a theme of deeper significance than may be evident at first glance." Id.

642. For this definition, see Kritzer, supra note 489, at 114.

643. For this thesis, see Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 48, stating that "the Convention's rules play a supporting role, supplying answers to problems that the parties have failed to solve by contract." Id. For a similar conclusion, see K. Sono, The Vienna Sales Convention: History and Perspective, in International Sale of Goods; Dubrovnik Lectures 14 (P. Sarcevic & P. Volken eds., 1986) [hereinafter Dubrovnik], affirming that "the rules contained in the Convention are only supplementary for those cases where parties did not provide otherwise in their contracts". Id.

644. See E. Allen Farnsworth, Rights and Obligations of the Seller, in Wiener Ubereinkommen von 1980 über den Internationalen Warenkauf (Lausanner Kolloquium 1984) 83, 84 (Schweizerisches Institut für Rechtsvergleichung ed., 1985), where the author draws the same conclusion: "in case of a conflict between the contract and the Convention, it is the contract - not the Convention - that controls." Id. Note that this result is "contrary to the Uniform Commercial Code where principles of 'good faith, diligence, reasonableness and care' prevail over party autonomy." U.C.C. §1-102(3). See also Kritzer, supra note 489, at 115.

645. See CISG, supra note 1, art. 9. See also Herber, supra note 330, at 99.

646. See CISG, supra note 1, art. 78. See also Audit, supra note 423, at 51. The present writer believes that the elevation of the interest provision into the category of general principles is questionable. Article 78 contains a rule establishing liability to interest, but lacks the requisite certainty or wide recognition/application of a general principle. For instance, under CISG it is not clear whether a party is entitled to recover interest on an unliquidated amount; which was the case in the Delchi case examined in detail in Chapter 5 of this thesis, infra. Given the internationally controversial nature of interest, the final language of Article 78 CISG was a drafting compromise among the Contracting States. See Joanne M. Darkey, A U.S. Court's Interpretation of Damage Provisions under the U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods: A Preliminary Step towards an International Jurisprudence of CISG or a Missed Opportunity?, 15 J.L. & Com. 139, 148, n.46 (1995, where the author mentions that some States prohibit or limit the rate of interest at the state's discretion. It is the present writer's opinion that full compensation is the principle that underlies generally the provisions of CISG on the buyer's remedies (CISG Articles 45, 46) and the seller's remedies (CISG Articles 61, 62). The principle of full compensation underlies the provisions dealing with the measure of damages for breach (CISG Article 74, including loss of profit; CISG Article 75, dealing with a contract/cover differential; CISG Article 76, dealing a contract/ market differential; and CISG Article 78 declaring interest to be paid on any payment that is in arrears), as well as the provisions dealing with the effect of avoidance (CISG Article 81(2), requiring restitution for goods already delivered or payments made; CISG Article 84(1), requiring the seller to refund price already paid plus interest; CISG Article 84(2), requiring the buyer to account for benefits derived from the goods) and the provisions relating to the preservation of goods (CISG Articles 85 and 86, entitling the seller and the buyer respectively to reimbursement for costs incurred; and CISG Article 88(3), endorsing both parties' right to reimbursement for preserving and selling the goods).

647. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 80.

648. See id. See also CISG, supra note 1, arts. 1, 29(1).

649. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 81.

650. Id. at 82.

651. Enderlein & Maskow, supra note 125, at 60. See also Uniform Interpretation, supra note 39, at 224.

652. Although one should not be dogmatic in such classifications as sometimes it is not sufficiently clear whether something is a general principle underpinning certain rules or merely a rule. For a discussion on some of the following principles, see Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 129-32, 219, 417-25.

653. It is common understanding that the concept of "reasonableness" constitutes a general principle. See, e.g., Audit, supra note 423, at 51; Herber, supra note 330, at 94.

654. Uniform Sales Law 1986, supra note 125, at 39.

655. CISG, supra note 1, arts. 18(2), 33(3), 39(1), 43(1), 47, 49, 63, 64, 65, 73(2).

656. CISG, supra note 1, arts. 34, 37, 48, 87, 88(2) and (3).

657. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 81.

658. "[N]obody can doubt that the concept of reasonableness is a general principle of the convention." Maskow, supra note 125, at 57. See CISG, supra note 1, arts. 8(2) and (3), 25, 35(2)(b), 60, 72(2), 75, 77, 79(1), 85, 86, 88(2).

659. See Peter Schlechtriem, Einheitliches UN-Kaufrecht. Das Übereinkommen der Vereinten Nationen über internationale Warenkaufverträge - Darstellung und Texte [Uniform UN-Sales Law. The CISG -description and texts] 25 (1981).

660. See Uniform Interpretation, supra note 39, at 225.

661. CISG, supra note 1, arts. 77, 85-88. For this principle, see, e.g., Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 15; Audit, supra note 423, at 52. However, it could be argued that this is merely a rule - often propounded by the courts in Common Law countries and also found in many of the Codes of European countries - that is a manifestation of the general principles of "reasonableness" and "avoiding waste." See CISG, supra note 1, art. 61; text to fn. 660, infra.

662. Kritzer, supra note 489, at 115. See also CISG, supra note 1, arts. 32(3), 48(2), 60(a), 65.

663. Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 155.

664. See CISG, supra note 1, arts. 16(2)(b), 29(2).

665. For similar affirmations, see, e.g., Eörsi, supra note 125, at 2-12; Herber, supra note 330, at 99; Maskow, supra note 125, at 57. See also Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 152-4.

666. General Provisions, supra note 125, at 81. See CISG, supra note 1, arts. 19(2), 25, 26, 34, 37, 48, 49, 59, 51(1), 64, 71 and 72.

667. Some authors consider the foreseeability rule outlined in CISG as being based on common law; see, e.g., Herber & Czerwenka, supra note 638, at 333, stating "[t]he limitation to foreseable damages comes from Anglo-American law"; Gert Reinhart, UN-Kaufrecht, Kommentar zum Übereinkommen der Vereinten Nationen vom 11.April 1980 über Verträge über den internationalen Warenkauf [UN-Sales Law, Commentary on the CISG] 170 (1991) (stating the same). This view has been opposed by several authors favouring the view that the foreseeability rule is based upon French law, in particular upon Pothier's teaching. See, e.g., Reinhard Zimmermann, The Law of Obligations. Roman Foundations of the Civilian Tradition 830 (1990). For a more detailed discussion of the origin of the rule and its reception in different countries, see Franco Ferrari, Comparative Ruminations on the Forseeability of Damages in Contract Law, 53 La. L. Rev. 1257 (1993).

668. See, e.g., Maskow, supra note 125, at 57.

669. See, e.g., Enderlein & Maskow, supra note 125, at 60, are of the view that specific performance is also a general principle, something which is not included in lists of general principles produced by other commentators.

670. See PECL, supra note 231, art. 1:101(1)(2).

671. This metaphor, along with the "skeletal" theory belong to Professor A.Kritzer. See also text corresponding to fn. 695, infra.

672. See Observations on the use of the PECL as an aid to CISG research, on the Pace Law website, at http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/text/peclcomp.html. Similar observations and classification can be made on the use of the UNIDROIT Principles as an aid to CISG comparative research. When either the PECL or the UNIDROIT Principles are used in this thesis to aid CISG research as "general principles", they illustrate a concept that can apply to either.

673. See the illustration examining the PECL analogs to CISG Article 8. Id.

674. See Austrian Arbitral Proceeding SCH-4318 and Arbitral Proceeding SCH-4366 (both dated 15 June 1994); see also ICC Arbitral Award No. 8128 of 1995 and the ruling of the French Court of Appeal of Grenoble 23 October 1996. For further remarks on this subject, see generally Michael Joachim Bonell, The UNIDROIT Principles in Practice - The Experience of the First Two Years, 1997 Uniform L. Rev. 34 [hereinafter UNIDROIT Principles in Practice]. Other excellent materials on the Principles by Professor Bonell include, Michael Joachim Bonell, The UNIDROIT Principles of International Contracts and CISG: Alternative or Complementary Instrument? 1996 Uniform L. Rev. 26-39 [UNIDROIT Principles, Alternative or Complementary]; Michael Joachim Bonell, The UNIDROIT Principles of European Contract Law: Similar Rules for Same Purposes?, 1996 Uniform L. Rev. 229-246.

675. This phenomenon is certainly also due to the fact that the Principles have been translated into many languages, thus overcoming language barriers. For the actual figures on this point, see Bonell's analysis of the UNIDROIT Secretariat's questionnaire, in UNIDROIT Principles in Practice, supra note 673, at 34.

676. For a more detailed presentation and commentery on these figures, see id. at 34-35.

677. The rationale of criticising the text's direction for resort to the rules of private international law (Art. 7(2) CISG) was explained earlier, see Chapter 4(1), supra. For the present writer's complete proposal on the proper approach to CISG's interpretation, see Chapter 5, Section 3, infra. When either the PECL or the UNIDROIT Principles are used in this thesis to aid CISG research as "general principles", they illustrate a concept that can apply to either.

678. See the references in Dietrich Maskow, Hardship and Force Majeure, 40 Am. J. Com. L. 657, 665 (1992).

679. Unpublished, 24 January 1996. Cf. the summary published in the (1997) Uniform L. Rev. 1.

680. Of course, in order for the UNIDROIT Principles to be of assistance in the proper interpretation of CISG, the relevant UNIDROIT provision must be linked (explicitly or implicitly) to a general principle underlying CISG and must not be inconsistant with the CISG provision in question.

681. For extensive references, see P. Lalive, L'arbitrage international et les Principes UNIDROIT [International arbitration and the UNIDROIT Principles], in Contratti Commerciali Internazionali e Principi UNIDROIT 71-89 (Bonell ed. 1997). See also Katharina Boele-Woelki, Principles and Private International Law - The UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts and the Principles of European Contract Law: How to Apply Them to International Contracts, 1996 Uniform L. Rev. 652, 661, who points out that "[t]his significant award may be regarded as the official entrée of the Principles into international arbitration." Id.

682. Award No. 1795 of 1 December 1996.

683. Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at § 4-10. The drafters relied upon the Convention Relating to A Uniform Law on the Formation of Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (1964) , 834 U.N.T.S. (1972) 107, and the Convention Relating to A Uniform Law on the International Sale of Goods (1964), 834 U.N.T.S. (1972) 169. Id. at § 4.

684. See generally UNIDROIT Principles, supra note 230.

685. It is arguable that where certain provisions in CISG and in the UNIDROIT Principles share a common intent, the legislators of the latter instrument were able to include post-1980 doctrine and jurisprudence on the CISG and to provide guidance based on that new material. There is no obvious reason that could prevent such guidance from also helping in the interpretation of the relevant CISG provisions.

686. See Maria del Pilar Perales Viscasillas, UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts: Sphere of Application and General Provisions, 13 Ariz. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 385 (1996), stating "[t]he Principles have been deeply influenced by the Convention. ..." See also Ulrich Magnus, General Principles of UN-Sales Law, 3 Int'l Trade & Bus. L. Ann., 52-55 (1997). Magnus points out that the harmony between the Convention and the UNIDROIT Principles comes as no surprise, because the Convention could be considered the 'godfather' of the UNIDROIT Principles." Id.

687. UNIDROIT Principles in Practice, supra note 673, at 30.

688. For references to the concept of a supranational committee of experts or council of "wise men" to help us interpret the CISG, see Michael Joachim Bonell, Proposal for the Establishment of a Permanent Editorial Board for the Vienna Sales Convention, in International Uniform Law in Practice, supra note 424, at 241-44; Ulrich Drobnig, Observations, in International Uniform Law in Practice, supra note 424, at 306. For related comments, see Francis A. Gabor, Stepchild of the New Lex Mercatoria: Private International Law from the United States Perspective, 8 Nw. J. Int'l L. & Bus. 557 (1988).

689. See Joseph M. Perillo, UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts: The Black Letter Text and a Review, 63 Fordham L. Rev. 281, 282 (1994).

690. See id. at 282-3.

691. See CISG, supra note 1, art. 4(a). See generally, Helen Elizabeth Hartnell, Rousing the Sleeping Dog: The Validity Exception to the Convention for the International Sale of Goods, 18 Yale J. Int'l L. 1 (1993), where the author discusses the range of interpretations available to adjudicators and proposes a "middle of the road" approach.

692. See UNIDROIT Principles, supra note 230, arts. 3.1 and 3.2.

693. See UNIDROIT Prinicples, supra note 230, art. 2.22 and CISG, supra note 1,art. 19. See Alejandro M. Garro, The Gap Filling Role of the UNIDROIT Principles in International Sale Law: Some Comments on the Interplay between the Principles and the CISG, 69 Tul. L. Rev. 1149, 1169 (1995) (considering the application of the Principles to the Convention on the point acceptable ).

694. See Maria del Pilar Perales Viscasillas, 'Battle of the Forms' Under the 1980 United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods: A Comparison with Section 2-207 UCC and the UNIDROIT Principles, 10 Pace Int'l L. Rev. 97-155 (1998), also available at http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/biblio/pperales.html. Perales argues that there are good reasons for supporting the solution adopted in the CISG text: "… the Convention sought to encourage, by means of a legal disposition, the reading of the forms and the discussion of the contract clauses: purposes that the Vienna legislators clearly wanted to protect." Id.

695. Perillo, supra note 688, at 283.

696. The present writer has adopted and applied the "skeletal" theory of Prof. Kritzer; see Chapter 4, Section 5(b), text accompanying fn. 671, supra. Specific provisions of the UNIDROIT Principles or the PECL are used to illustrate the application of the concept that can apply to either in their relationship with CISG.

697. Bonell, UNIDROIT Principles in Practice, supra note 673, at 34, where he cites UNIDROIT, Report on the 73rd Session of the Governing Council 18, 22 (Rome, 9-13 May 1994).

698. More than 3,000 copies of the volume containing the integral version of the UNIDROIT Principles had been sold worldwide within a short time of publication, see UNIDROIT Principles in Practice, supra note 673, at 34-45, where Bonell discusses the success of a formal inquiry in the form of a questionnaire that was launched in 1996 with a view to gathering more detailed information as to the different ways in which the UNIDROIT Principles have been used in practice so far.

699. See id. text corresponding to footnotes 3-9, where he mentions, inter alia, the seminars held in October 1994, in Paris, at the International Chamber of Commerce and in November 1994, in Milan, at the National and International Court of Arbitration. cf. Institute of International Business Law and Practice (ed.), "UNIDROIT Principles for International Commercial Contracts: A New Lex Mercatoria?", ICC Publication n° 490/1 (1995); the seminar held in October 1995, in Rome, organized by the Journal Diritto del Commercio Internazionale; the Inter-American Congress held in November 1996, at the University of Carabobo, Valencia (Venezuela); the seminar held in November 1996 at the Universidad Panamericana, in Mexico City; and the Congress of the International Academy of Comparative Law in Bristol, in 1998.

700. UNIDROIT Principles in Practice, supra note 673, n.10, points to an extensive bibliography in Michael Joachim Bonell, Un "codice" internazionale del diritto dei contratti: i principi UNIDROIT del contratti commerciali internazionali 410-40 (Giuffrè, Milan, 1995), and 1996 Uniform L. Rev. 210-13, 423, 626-28, 808.

701. This is the general impression one gets browsing through the relevant bibliography. The intrinsic quality of the UNIDROIT Principles has also been confirmed by the UNIDROIT Secretariat's inquiry; see UNIDROIT Principles in Practice, supra note 673.

702. According to the UNIDROIT Secretariat's inquiry their total number at the time was 95; see id. fn.12. Bonell goes on to list some of the said Universities and Law Schools.

703. See id. fn. 13, where he cites A. Komarov, The UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts: A Russian View, 1996 Uniform L. Rev. 247, 249: "In relation to the new Russian civil code the Principles have already played the role indicated for them in the Preamble ... in the sense that they have served as a model for national legislation."

704. See UNIDROIT Princples, supra note 673, text corresponding to fn. 14.

705. See id. fn. 15, where he cites the letter of 8 June 1995 from the Ministry of Justice of Estonia to UNIDROIT: "At present time we're elaborating a new draft law of obligations of the Estonian Republic. The UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts is certainly one of the most important and authoritative sources for drafters of the new law of obligations because it contains a positive experience of different States."

706. See id. text corresponding to fn. 16.

707. On this point, Bonell refers to information received from one of the members of the Codification Commission. The relevant provisions of the UNIDROIT Principles are Arts. 2.1 to 2.11, 4.1 to 4.6, 7.1.7, 7.4.2 to 7.4.6 and 7.4.13; see UNIDROIT Principles in Practice, supra note 673, the text corresponding to fn. 17.

708. See id. text corresponding to fn. 18. The relevant UNIDROIT Principles are Articles 4.1 and 4.2, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6 and 4.7. See id. citing the Scottish Law Commission, Discussion Paper No. 101, Interpretation in Private Law (August 1996).

709. See id. text corresponding to fn. 19.

710. Id. fn. 20, where it states that this information was supplied in a reply to the UNIDROIT Secretariat's questionnaire.

711. See id. fn. 21, where he states that the information was also supplied in a reply to the UNIDROIT Secretariat's questionnaire. The member States of OHADA (French acronym of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa) all belong to the so-called "Zone Franc": Benin, Burkina-Faso, Comores, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, Niger, Chad, Cameroun, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Central African Republic and Togo.

712. See id. where the author cites R. Sutton, Commentary on "Codification, Law Reform and Judicial Development", Appendix - Tentative Scheme for a Draft Code, 9 J. Contract L. 204-05 (1996).

713. Although, in view of its binding nature, CISG will take precedence over the UNIDROIT Principles whenever the requirements for its application exist.

714. See CISG, supra note 1, arts. 49(1)(a), 51, 64(1)(a), 72(1), 73.

715. See id. art. 46(2).

716. See id. art. 70; See also P. Schlechtriem, Commentary on the UN Convention on the International Sale of Goods (CISG) 176 (Clarendon Press, Oxford 1998).

717. Lookofsky, supra note 225, at 70; see also UNCITRAL Secretariat, Commentary on the Draft Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, U.N. Doc. A/ CONF. 97/5, reprinted in Official Records, supra note 202, at 26. The "substantial detriment" test is one of the innovations of CISG as compared with ULIS; see M. Will, in Commentary on the International Sales Law, supra note 79, at 210. See also Babiak, Defining 'Fundamental Breach' under the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, 6 Temp. Int'l & Comp. L. J. 120 (1992).

718. See Chapter 3, supra. See also F. Diedrich, Maintaining Uniformity in International Uniform Law Via Autonomous Interpretation: Software Contracts and the CISG, 8 Pace Int'l L. Rev. 303 (1996) available at http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/ biblio/Diedrich.html.

719. See generally Enderlein & Maskow, supra note 125.

720. See Will, supra note 716, at 211.

721. See John O. Honnold, Uniform Law for International Sales under the 1980 Convention 67 (Kluwer 1999).

722. See R. Koch, The Concept of Fundamental Breach of Contract under the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), in Review of the Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) 1998, 177, 233 (Pace Int'l L. Rev., eds., 1999).

The Koch article offers a thorough analysis of the concept of fundamental breach based on an examination of the concept's legislative history and of its context in the Convention, as well as on a critical treatment of the various approaches to it by the courts and scholars, before advancing a new methodology to determine fundamental breach.

723. See id. at 331:

"The approach, focusing on the gravity of the consequences as measured by the contract's overall value and the monetary loss suffered by the aggrieved party, is not supported by the Convention's remedial system. It disregards the fact that the damages remedy, apart from the right of avoidance, is always available to the aggrieved party. Moreover, it cannot explain why avoidance is necessary, above and beyond the damages remedy, to protect the expectation interests of the aggrieved party under the contract. Additionally, the application of the additional criteria provided for by the UNIDROIT Principles cannot be supported, according to which a breach is fundamental because it was committed intentionally or recklessly. It disregards the fact that under the Convention's remedial system fault is not generally a condition of contractual liability and that no remedy depends on fault in the sense of deliberate or negligent wrongdoing."

On the cross-references to the concept of fundamental breach Koch states:

"The criterion employed by the UNIDROIT Principles, which looks at whether the breaching party would suffer a disproportionate loss as a result of the avoidance in determining fundamental breach, cannot be supported by the various cross-references to fundamental breach. To the contrary, the drafting history of article 46(2) gives good reason to view recourse to this criterion, in general, as prohibited. The different cross-references do, however, confirm the no-reliance approach (Articles 72, 73(2)) and the approaches looking at one party's (in)ability/(un)willingness to perform (Article 72) or whether the goods are fit to their intended purpose (article 51(2))." Id.

724. The need for critical consideration of domestic legal concepts when interpreting uniform law has been pointed out by a decision of the German Supreme Court, Bundesgerichtshof, 14 July 1983, reprinted in 1984 Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft 153, on Art. 29 CMR (Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road), where the carrier's liability depends on how the words "willful misconduct" in the English version and "faute ... qui ... est consideré comme equivalent au dol" in the French version were construed. After exhaustive consideration of foreign cases and analyses, the court came to the conclusion that in view of the linguistic ambiguities, regard should be had to "the Convention's legislative history as well as to its underlying policy and objective; in doing so, one must take care not to borrow domestic legal concepts without closer inspection as this might endanger the intended unification."[emphasis added]. See id.

A translated summary of the decision is reprinted in Peter Schlechtriem, Unification of the Law for the International Sale of Goods, National Report: Germany, in Internationaler Kongress für Rechtsvergleichung 1986, Deutscher Laenderberichte 139 n.34 (P. Schlechtriem ed., 1987).

725. See Koch, supra note 721, at 353-54. Note also Koch's views on the appropriateness of using domestic meanings and interpretative techniques in the construction of the CISG, id. at 191-92:

"However, where a term in the Convention has been taken from one or several legal systems, such as the 'Nachfrist-type' requirement, an analysis of its domestic meaning does not necessarily diminish the international character of the Convention and its primary aim of promoting uniformity. Nor can one conclude that domestic interpretive techniques are excluded by that reference, provided that their application leads to results which are persuasive and conform to the goals of the Convention in general, as well as those of the specific provision. Domestic interpretation is compatible with article 7(1) only if it is critically analyzed before application."

726. See id., at 200, citing Diedrich, supra note 717, at 335 (where Diedrich states that systematic comparison with other conventions is dogmatically inadmissible since there is no international uniform law that could serve as justification for the principle of legal unity within one system of law that presupposes a methodical and dogmatic consistency of its laws) and F. J.A. van der Velden, The Law of International Sales, National Report: Netherlands, in Netherland Reports to the Twelfth International Congress of Comparative Law 21, 27 (Gerver et al. eds., 1986).

727. Koch, supra note 721, at 203. The future co-existence of two similar sets of "Principles" (i.e., the UNIDROIT and the PECL) has led some commentators to make "doomsday" predictions. Parties and arbitrators, it is argued, will be faced with two competing instruments and the need to choose between them is seen as a veritable "nightmare scenario." See e.g., H. Raeschke-Kessler, Should an Arbitrator in an International Arbitration Procedure Apply the UNIDROIT Principles?, in UNIDROIT Principles for International Commercial Contracts, A New Lex Mercatoria? 167, 174-75 (Jean-Paul Beraudo et al., eds. & Inst. Int'l. Bus. Law ed., 1995). See also C. Kessedian, Un exercise de rénovation des sources du droit des contrats du commerce international: Les Principes proposés par l'Unidroit, in 1995 RCDIP 641, 669.

According to Koch such a scenario clearly jeopardizes the objectives of the Convention and, therefore, courts and arbitral tribunals should not apply either instrument as a means of interpreting ambiguous terms in the CISG. Koch, states that:

"[C]ritical consideration of concepts and criteria used in properly interpreting the Convention offered by those instruments, however, should be permissible. In this respect, the same restrictions pertinent to the use of the domestic interpretation of a given Convention term apply to those instruments. In other words, resorting to the principles and criteria under the UNIDROIT Principles or any other uniform law project should only be permissible when their application can be justified by the legislative history and the underlying purposes of a given provision in the context of the Convention itself."

728. See Bonell, UNIDROIT Principles Alternative or Complementary, supra note 673, at 26-39. The same solution is provided under Article 8:108 PECL. For a commentary on similarities and differences between the UNIDROIT Principles and the CISG, see A.S. Hartkamp, The UNIDROIT Principles for International Commercial Contracts and the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Approval, Essays on Comparative Law, Private International Law and International Commercial Arbitration in honour of Dimitra Kokkina-Intridou 85-98 (Boeli-Woelki/ Grosheide/Hondius/Steenhof eds.1994) 85-98. See also Perillo, supra note 607.

729. See M.J. Bonell, General Report: A New Approach to International Commercial Contracts: The UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts, XVth International Congress of Comparative Law, Bristol, 26 July-1 August 1998 (Kluwer Law International, 1999) 12-13 [citations omitted].

730. See id.

731. This limitation is necessary to prevent the arbitrary use of general principles which would undermine a uniform interpretation of the Convention. For elaboration upon this caveat, see Franco Ferrari, General Principles and International Uniform Commercial Law Conventions, A Study of the 1980 Vienna Sales Convention and the 1988 UNIDROIT Convention on International Factoring and Leasing (1997) [manuscript on file at the Institute of International Commercial Law of the Pace University School of Law]. The Principles "may … serve to corroborate a solution based on the Conventions general principles or to interpret the latter. …They cannot, however, be used as an independent source of gap-filling."

See also U. Drobnig, The Use of Unidroit Principles by National and Supranational Courts, Address delivered on the occasion of a colloquium on International Commercial Contracts and the New Unidroit Principles: A New Law Merchant?, (Paris, October 20-21, 1994), where the author states that if general principles on which the Convention is based are not contained in the CISG, "there does not seem to be any room for recourse to the UNIDROIT Principles."

732. Only in the absence of such general principles does the same article permit as a last resort reference to the domestic law applicable by virtue of the rules of private international law. Note, however, that such course harms the objective of uniformity.

733. U.Drobnig, The Use of the UNIDROIT Principles by National and Supranational Courts (paper presented at the colloquium on Les contrats commerciaux et les nouveaux Principes UNIDROIT: Une nouvelle lex mercatoria? 8 (ICC Institute of International Business Law and Practice, Paris, Oct. 20-21 1994).

734. See Bonell, UNIDROIT Principles Alternatives or Complementary, supra note 673, at 33. For evidence of favourable opinion on the possible use of the UNIDROIT Principles in interpreting and supplementing CISG, see also id. the references to: S.N. Martinez Cazon, A Practitioner's View of the Applicability of the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts in Interpreting International Uniform Laws 3 (paper presented at the 25th IBA Biennial Conference, Melbourne, Oct. 9-14, 1994); F. Enderlein, The UNIDROIT Principles as a Means for Interpreting International Uniform Laws 12 (paper presented at the 25th IBA Biennial Conference, Melbourne, Oct. 9-14, 1994).

735. Ulrich Magnus, Die allgemeinen Grundsätze im UN-Kaufrecht, 59 Rabels Zeitschrift 492-93 (1995) (English translation) reprinted in Ulrich Magnus, General Principles of UN-Sales Law, 1997 Int'l Trade & Bus. L. Ann. 52.

736. See, e.g., Commentary on the International Sales Law, supra note 79, at 80.

737. The principle of full compensation can be said to underlie generally the provisions of CISG on the buyer's remedies for breach of contract by the seller (Articles 45, 46 CISG) and the provisions dealing with the seller's remedies for breach by the buyer (Articles 61, 62 CISG). The principle of full compensation underlies more specifically the provisions dealing with the measure of damages for breach (Article 74 CISG including loss of profit, Article 75 CISG dealing with a contract/cover differential, Article 76 CISG dealing a contract/ market differential, Article 78 CISG declaring interest to be paid on any payment that is in arrears); the provisions dealing with the effect of avoidance (Article 81(2) CISG requiring restitution for goods already delivered or payments made, Article 84(1) CISG requiring the seller to refund price already paid plus interest, Article 84(2) CISG requiring the buyer to account for benefits derived from the goods) and the provisions relating to the preservation of goods (Articles 85 and 86 CISG entitling the seller and the buyer respectively to reimbursement for costs incurred and Article 88(3) CISG endorsing both parties' right to reimbursement for preserving and selling the goods).

738. See Bonell, Unidroit Principles Alternative or Complementary, supra note 673 at 33.

739. UNIDROIT Principles, supra note 230, art. 7.4.9(2).

740. There are already two arbitral awards rendered under the International Court of Arbitration of the Federal Chamber of Commerce in Vienna, which, following the same line of reasoning, expressly refer to the UNIDROIT Principles in determining the applicable rate of interest with respect to two sales contracts governed by CISG: see Schiedsspruche SCH 4318 and SCH 4366 of 15 June 1994: in Recht der internationalen Wirtschaft 590 (1995) (note by Schlechtriem).

741. See Internationales Schiedsgericht der Bundeskammer der gewerblichen Wirtschaft Arb. Awards, (Vienna 1994) No. SCH 4318 and No. SCH 4366, UNILEX (15 June 1994); reprinted in Recht der internationalen Wirtschaft 590 et seq. (1995), with note by P. Schlechtriem, at 592 et seq.; for a succint presentation in French, see I. Seidl-Hohenveldern in 1995 Journal du Droit International 1055-1056. For elaboration on the thesis that rate of interest under Article 78 CISG ought to be resolved in accordance with general principles of the Convention, e.g., in accordance with the resolution in the UNIDROIT Principles, see P. Koneru, The International Interpretation of the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods: An Approach Based on General Principles, 6 Minnesota Journal of Global Trade 105-52 (1997).

742. Cf. Int'l Ch. Comm. Award No. 8128 (1995), an abstract of which has been published in 1996 Journal du Droit International 1024.

743. For concise commentary on this issue, see A.H. Kritzer ed., Pre-Contract Formation, on the Pace Institute website, at http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/biblio/kritzer1.html.

The relevant provisions of the UNIDROIT Principles are Articles 2.1.5 - which makes a party who negotiates, or breaks off negotiations in bad faith, liable for the losses caused to the other party - and 2.1.6 - which imposes upon the parties a duty of confidentiality with respect to confidential information given in the course of negotiations, irrespective of whether or not a contract is subsequently concluded.

744. Suggested by Bonell, in Unidroit Principles in Practice, supra note 637, at 36.

745. For more on this point, cf. Bonell, Int'l Restatement, supra note 313, at 121-23.

746. This may be the case, for instance, with the rules on contracting on the basis of standard terms (cf. Arts. 2.19, 2.22 of the UNIDROIT Principles), or on public permission requirements (cf. Arts. 6.1.14, 6.1.17). On the other hand, the rules relating to validity (cf. Chapter 3 of the Principles), or to the court's intervention in cases of hardship (cf. Article 6.2.3) will only be applied to the extent that they do not run counter to the corresponding provisions of the applicable domestic law.

747. See Bonell, Int'l Restatement, supra note 313, at 120-23.

748. Unidroit Principles, supra note 637, at 38, notes that the only mandatory rules arbitrators may take into are those which claim to be applicable irrespective of the law otherwise governing the contract ("loi d'application necessaire"). The application of the mandatory rules in question, along with the UNIDROIT Principles, will not usually give rise to any true conflict, given their different subject matter. One of the few potential examples of such conflict may be when arbitrators have to decide between the law of the place of payment imposing the payment in local currency and the different solution provided for in the UNIDROIT Principles that otherwise governs the contract. See id. at 39, fn. 41.

749. Scea Gaec Des Beauches Bernard Bruno c. Societé teso Ten Elsen GMBh & CokG (Cour d' Appel de Grenoble (Fr.)), No. 94/3859 UNILEX (Ch. Comm. 23 October 1996), CLOUT no. 205; also available at http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/ 961023f1.html; cf. summary published in 1 Uniform L. Rev. 180 (1997).

750. R.Hill, A Businessman's View of the UNIDROIT Principles, 13 Journal of International Arbitration 163 (No.2, June 1996).

751. Id. at 169.

752. See, e.g., H.Raeschke-Kessler, supra note 726.

753. For an overview of the dispute that finally led to the solution adopted in CISG, see Schlechtriem, Einheitliches UN Kaufrecht, supra note 568, at 23.

754. This is the term used by Audit, supra note 423, at 52.

755. For an overview of the authors who supported the possibility of making recourse to the rules of private international law even under the Hague Conventions, see Herber, supra note 312, at 93.

756. For a similar conclusion, see Commentary on the International Sales Law, supra note 79, at 82: "With respect to ULIS it was already questioned whether turning to domestic law should be permitted if a gap could not be filled by general principles which could be extracted from the uniform law itself. The prevailing view was opposed to this approach."

757. For a recent discussion of the "general principles of law," see G. Alpa, General Principles of Law, 1 Ann. Surv. Int'l. & Comp. L. 1 (1994).

758. This is the expression used by Wahl, supra note 614, at 134.

759. Commentary on the International Sales Law, supra note 79, at 82. Bonell also cites Wahl, supra note 614, at 139 et seq.

760. See J. Kropholler, Der 'Ausschluss' des IPR im Eiheitlichen UN-Kaufrecht, Rabels Zeitschrift für Auslandisches und Internationales Privatrecht 380 (1974).

761. See id. at 380-385.

762. For a similar evaluation, see M. J. Bonell, Article 7, in Convezione di Vienna sui Contratti di Vendita Internazionale di Beni Mobili 25 (Cesare Massimo Bianca ed., 1991); Herber, supra note 312, at 93.

763. For a similar conclusion, see Uniform Interpretation, supra note 39, at 228. Commentary on the International Sales Law, supra note 79, at 83, states that the "recourse to domestic law for the purpose of filling gaps under certain circumstances is not only admissible, but even obligatory."

764. Commentary on the International Sales Law, supra note 79, at 83.

765. See id. As Honnold puts it:

"[The CISG] presents a delicate balance between (1) developing the Convention's general principles and (2) recourse to domestic law -- a choice that invevitably will be influenced by the traditions and mind-set of the tribunal. … [C]ivil law practice is generally hospital to the first alternative and common law to the second. Which is more compatible with the ohgjectives of the Convention? This writer, although nurtured in the common law has come to believe that international unification calls for us to re-examine our traditional approach." See Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 156.

766. Eörsi, supra note 125, at 2-12.

767. See Prof. Kritzer's editorial remarks on "reasonableness", which include further citations and references, on the Pace website at http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/text/reason.html.

768. For a discussion on "reasonableness" as a general principle of CISG, see supra Chapter 4, Section 5(a).

769. See Kritzer, supra note 766.

770. Id.

771. See Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 97.

772. See Id. at 49-56; B. Nicholas, The Vienna Convention on International Sales Law, 105 L.Q. Rev. 201, 243 (1989).

773. See Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 151.

774. See Eörsi, supra note 125, at 2-11. Eörsi suggests that a gap may exist in Arts. 78 and 84 CISG, which provide for the payment of interest by an infringing party, but do not specify the appropriate rate. He also considers that a gap may exist under Article 1(1)(b), "if one of the parties to a contract has a place of business in State A which has ratified the Convention and another in State B which has not ratified it." Id.

775. As with any question involving interpretation of the Convention, it is both useful and advisable to look to the legislative history for assistance, see Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 138-142; Commentary on the International Sales Law, supra note 79, at 20. Recourse to the legislative history of an international treaty for guidance when interpreting its provisions has been recognised as appropriate by both civil law and common law courts. For the U.S. position, see Air France v. Saks, 470 U.S. 392, 396 (1985). For the position in the U.K., see Fothergill v. Monarch Airlines [1981] A.C. 251. It would appear likely that Australian courts would follow the Fothergill case; see Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (C'th), s.15AB.

776. For an examination of the legislative history of Article16 CISG, see Documentary History, supra note 90; Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 205-214; G. Eörsi, Articles 14, 15, 16, 17, 55 CISG, in Commentary on the International Sales Law, supra note 79, at 132, 150-55.

777. See Eörsi, supra note 775, at 158.

778. See id. at 155; K. Sono, Restoration of the Rule of Reason in Contract Formation: Has There Been Civil and Common Law Disparity?, 21 Cornell Int'l. L.J. 478 (1988). The position in the U.S.A. is set out in § 2-205 of the U.C.C., which, while adopting the civil law approach, limits its application to signed written offers made by merchants.

779. Uniform Law for Int'l Sales, supra note 53, at 213.

780. For a similar analysis of Professor Honnold's hypothetical problem case, see Rosenberg, supra note 599, at 445 et. seq.

781. Rosenberg explores an alternative argument that a contract between the Seller and the Buyer has come into existence based on the argument that the promise by the Buyer not to revoke its offer had been accepted by the Seller's conduct; see id. at 446, fn.19. However, the same author goes on to doubt whether courts would be prepared to accept the existence of a contract on this basis and cites in support of such a conclusion K. Zweigert and H. Kotz, 2 Introduction to Comparative Law 40 (1987). "... it is a sheer fiction to say that the parties have made a special preliminary contract to the effect that the offer should remain open."

782. There may, however, be many instances where after examining a provision of CISG and having "regard to its international character and the need for uniformity in its application" (Article 7(1) CISG), the answer to this question may not be very clear.

783. However, where a matter is not governed by CISG recourse may be had to the applicable domestic law. See Uniform Sales Law 1986, supra note 125, at 57; Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 213; Commentary on the International Sales Law, supra note 125, at 75.

784. See, e.g., Rosenberg, supra note 599, at 448.

785. The legislative history of CISG reveals that its drafters rejected a proposal by the former German Democratic Republic to introduce a provision which would have created a general liability for precontractual negotiations. See Amendment of the German Democratic Republic, U.N. Doc. A/Conf.97/C.1/L.95, reprinted in Report of the First Committee, supra note 351, at 87. According to Professor Schlechtriem, what follows from this rejection is that damages caused by one party to the other in the course of precontractual negotiations remain subject to regulation by domestic law applicable to conflict rules, unless the case concerns the revocation of an offer which is a matter regulated by CISG; see Uniform Sales Law 1986, supra note 125, at 57.

786. See Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 14.

787. Id. at 154.

788. See id. at 214: "The Convention - and only the Convention - controls whether the revocation of the offer is rightful." Revocation of an offer "is a matter governed by the Convention" also according to Uniform Sales Law 1986, supra note 125, at 57, fn.26. Also see P. Schlechtriem, The Borderland Between Tort and Contract - Opening a New Frontier, 21 Cornell Int'l L.J.467, 475 (1988).

789. See earlier discussion of this point with references to Arts. 74 and 23 CISG, in this chapter, supra.

790. See, e.g., Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 156.

791. For support for such methodology, see Rosenberg, supra note 599, at 448-449.

792. See Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 155-56.

793. However, provision for a remedy in an analogous situation may not have been intended to extend to cases other than those specifically dealt with by that provision. See Commentary on the International Sales Law, supra note 79, at 78; Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 156.

794. A similar operation is carried out by Rosenberg, supra note 599, at 453-6.

795. See A.G. Murphey, Jr., Consequential Damages in Contracts for the International Sale of Goods and the Legacy of Hadley, 23 Geo. Wash. J. Int'l. L. & Econ.415, 420 (1989).

796. See id. at 439-40.

797. For a similar conclusion, see Rosenberg, supra note 599, at 455.

798. See id. at 449.

799. See id. at 456, n.68, where the author provides a list of several obligations of the buyer and the seller (e.g., Arts. 60(a), 21(2), 32(1), 32(2), 48(2), 29(2) CISG) and states that failure to perform any of them might give rise to actions for damages by the other party.

800. Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 156.

801. Cf. Prof. Honnold's "fall-back solution", where he states that if "a tribunal declines to develop a remedy under Article 7(2) … the tribunal should … work from the premise that, by command of the Convention, the revocation of the offer was wrongful and draw on applicable domestic law for the remedy that is appropriate to this type of wrong." Id.

802. See Zweigert & Kotz, Comparative Law, supra note 780, at 41.

803. Id.

804. See id. at 39, where the authors cite Civ. 10 May 1968, Bull. civ. 1968 III, 162.

805. See id. at 40. Also see F. Kessler & E. Fine, Culpa in Contrahendo, Bargaining in Good Faith and Freedom of Contract: A Comparative Study, 77 Harv. L. Rev. 401 (1964); Eörsi, supra note 775, at 155.

806. See, e.g., E. A. Coronis Associates v. M. Gordon Construction Co. 216 A.2d 246 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 1966), Harry Harris v. Quality Constr. Co. 598 S.W. 2nd 872, 874 (Ky. Ct. App. 1979). See also Farnsworth, Precontractual Liability, supra note 458, at 236-239.

807. For an examination of U.S. developments under s.90, see P. Gibson, Promissory Estoppel, Article 2 of the UCC and the Restatement (Third) of Contracts, 73 Iowa L.Rev. 659 (1988); D. Farber and J. Matheson, Beyond Promissory Estoppel: Contract Law and the Invesible Handshake, 52 U. Chi. L. Rev. 903 (1985); and C. Knapp, Reliance in the Revised Restatement: The Proliferation of Promissory Estoppel, 81 Colum. L.Rev. 52 (1981).

808. 164 C.L.R. 387 at 406, 416 (1988).

809. Silovi Pty. Ltd. v. Barbaro, 13 N.S.W.L.R. 466, at 472 (1988). See also A. Leopold, Estoppel: A Practical Appraisal of Recent Developments, 7 Aust. Bar Rev. 47 (1991); P. Parkinson, Equitable Estoppel: Developments after Waltons Stores (Interstate) v. Maher, 3 J. Cont. L. 50 (1990).

810. See Waltons Stores (Interstate) v. Maher, 164 C.L.R. 387, at 405, 419, 423 (1988) (Australia).

811. See Crabb v. Arun Dist. Council 1976 Ch. 179, at 187, 188 (Eng. C.A.).

812. For such a view, see Hill, supra note 749.

813. See, e.g., UNIDROIT Principles in Practice, supra note 673.

814. Cf. M. Blessing, Regulations in Arbitration Rules on Choice of Law, in ICCA - Congress Series No. 7: XIIth International Arbitration Congress 391, 401 (Vienna, 3-6 November 1994, The Hague / London 1996).

815. B. S. Selden, Lex Mercatoria in European and U.S. Trade Practice: Time to Take a Closer Look, 2 Golden Gate U. Ann. Surv. Int'l & Comp. L. 111, 122 (1995).

816. For an updated list of Contracting States, see the Pace University School of Law and Institute of International Commercial Law website, at http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu.

817. For the case law on this issue, see Bonell & Liguori, supra note 496, at 153.

818. Professor Will published a list of over 550 decisions, see Will, supra note 501.

The Pace Law School leads an attempt to "debunk the myth" that there are "hardly any cases on the CISG;" in its website, over 820 such cases were reported in January 2001, the preponderance of which are judicial rulings. See http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/text/caseschedule.html. Moreover, the consensus seems to be that there has been more than double this number of rulings on the CISG. A factor to take into account is the number of CISG-related cases that follow the arbitral process and remain covered by the confidentiality that such process entails; see K.P. Berger, The Creeping Codification of the Lex Mercatoria 65 (Kluwer 1999). "More than 90% of international commercial disputes are … decided by international arbitral tribunals".

819. For a schedule of cases by country, see http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/text/casecit.html. See also M. J. Bonell and F. Liguori, The U.N. Convention on the International Sale of Goods: A Critical Analysis of Current International Case Law - 1997 (Part I), 1997 Revue de droit uniforme/ Uniform Law Review 385-95; also available on the Pace Law School website.

820. See John Honnold, The Sales Convention: From Idea to Practice, in Symposium - Ten Years of the United Nations Sales Convention, 17 J. L. & Com.181-86 (1998), also available on the website of the Pace Law School.

821. See Bonell & Liguori, Analysis of Case Law, supra note 818.

822. See V. S. Cook, The UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods: A Mandate to Abandon Legal Ethnocentricity, 16 J. L. & Com. 257-63 (1997) [hereinafter Cook, A Mandate].

823. See, e.g., Callaghan, supra note 501, at 185, (stating that certainty in international sales would have the effect of "facilitat[ing] the flow of international trade" and generally "serve the interests of all parties engaged in commerce").

In addition, there are other reasons that may account for the under-utilization of the Convention, such as the bargaining power of one of the parties to an international sales transaction to demand application of its own national laws, or the failure of counsel to raise the issue of application of the Convention at trial. See H. M. Flechtner, Another CISG Case in the U.S. Courts: Pittfalls for the Practitioner and the Potential for Regionalized Interpretations, 15 J.L. & Com. 127, 131 (1995).

824. See http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/text/caseschedule.html. The Pace Law website bibliography is recommended for a most thorough and updated compilation of CISG-related jurisprudence and doctrine: see http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu.

825. See http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/text/caseschedule.html. In January 2001, on the Pace Law website there were listed: 23 cases from Belgium; 9 court decisions and 9 arbitral rulings by the CIETAC (Intern'l Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission); over 40 rulings by the ICC Court of Arbitration in Paris, plus three Arbitral Tribunal rulings in Vienna; 7 awards of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Court of Arbitration, and over 70 awards of the Tribunal of International Commercial Arbitration at the Russian Federation Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

826. CISG has long been a favorite topic among commentators and scholars. For an excellent compilation of English (and other language) writings on the Convention, see the bibliography of the Pace Law website, which in January 2001 contained an updated listing of over 4,300 citations, at http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/biblio/biblio.html.

827. Sport D'Hiver di Genevieve Culet v. Ets. Louys et Fils, 31 January 1996; UNILEX 1996, avialable at http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/960131i3.html.

The foreign cases cited by the Italian judges are: Pretura di Locarno-Campagna (Switz.), No. 6252 UNILEX (27 Apr. 1992), rendered in Italian (which may have been the reason why this case was quoted) and Landgericht Stuttgart (F.R.G.), No. 3KfH 097/89 UNILEX (31 Aug. 1989), reprinted in Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft 984 (1989), and in Praxis des internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts 317(1990), which had decided an analogous matter.

828. 23 October 1996 (CLOUT no. 205), supra note 666.

829. Cf. Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf (F.R.G.), No. 17 U 73/93 UNILEX (2 July 1993), in Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft 843 (1993).

830. 8 January 1997, CLOUT no. 192; available at http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/970108s1.html.

831. 134 F.3d 1384 (11th Cir. 1998), CLOUT no. 222, also available at http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/980629u1.html.

832. 993 F.2d 1178 (5th Cir. 1993), CLOUT no. 24; also available at http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/930615u1.html.

833. Calzaturificio Claudia S.n.c. v. Olivieri Footwear Ltd., No. 96 Civ. 8052(HB)(THK) (S.D.N.Y. 1998), available at http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/980406u1.html. The facts and the ratio decidendi in MCC-Marble Ceramic were almost identical to the facts in Calzaturificio, but the federal appellate court ruling in MCC-Marble Ceramic did not endorse dicta in Calzaturificio that where the CISG and the UCC are similar UCC case law can be used to help interpret the CISG. Also, the appellate court in MCC-Marble Ceramic offered more extensive reasoning on why CISG Article 8 trumps the U.S. parol evidence rule. Ibid.

834. Bejing Metals 993 F.2d at Fn. 14.

835. 1990 WL 31194517 (E.D.LA. 1999), available in UNILEX database 1999.

Professor Schlechtriem has provided a comment on this case, stating the following:

On the one hand, in applying the standards of the country of the buyer for the determination of the conformity of the goods, the federal court ruled that the arbitral tribunal decided on the merits contrary to the general rule handed down in the BGH decision. Interesting also is the fact that a fundamental breach of contract (Art. 25 CISG) was assumed without further discussion, justifying an avoidance of contract according to Art. 49 CISG. Finally, sales law was, without further discussion, applied to deliveries under a distribution contract. On the other hand, the decision of the U.S. federal court is remarkable because it treats a foreign court decision as precedent, or at the least as 'authority' and thus treats uniform international law similar to American law with the - for American courts self-understood - consideration given to decisions of their neighboring states under the (American) common law. In other words, it treated the CISG as a kind of international common law, the application and development of which is in the hands of the courts of all nations party to the Convention, which must therefore also give consideration to decisions made in other countries - in this case, 'the law as articulated by the German Supreme Court'." Peter Schlectriem, Commentary, Praxis des Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts 388-90 (Trans. in English 1999); see also http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/990517u1.html.

836. Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), 8 March 1995, CLOUT no. 123; also available at http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/950308g3.html.

In this case, the German Supreme Court held that a Swiss seller, who delivered to the German buyer New Zealand mussels containing a cadmium concentration exceeding the limit recommended by the German health authority, was not in breach of contract. The court held that Article 35(2)(a) and (b) CISG does not place an obligation on the seller to supply goods, which conform to all statutory or other public provisions in force in the import State, unless the same provisions exist in the export State as well, or the buyer informed the seller about such provisions relying on the seller's expert knowledge, or the seller had knowledge of the provisions due to special circumstances.

The court further held that the [buyer] had lost the right to rely on the lack of conformity and to declare the contract avoided in the ground of faulty packaging, since the [buyer] had waited more than a month before it notified the [seller] about the non-conformity and thus had not acted within the reasonable time required by article 39(1) CISG. According to the court, in this case one month after delivery would be a "generous" period of time but obviously acceptable as "reasonable time" for the purpose of notification. Id.

837. Tessile 21 S.r.l. v. Ixela S.A., (Tribunale di Pavia (It.)), 29 December 1999, available at http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/99122983.html.

838. In this case the plaintiff was an Italian seller of high fashion textiles and the defendant was a Greek buyer.

Rheinland Versicherungen v. Atlarex S.r.l. (Tribunale di Vigevano (It.)), 12 July 2000 case abstract and editorial analysis by Charles Sant'Elia available at http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/000712i3.html. Note also that in Downs Investments v. Perwaja Steel SDN BHD (S.C. Queensland, Australia) Civ. Jur. No. 10680 of 1996 (2000) the Supreme Court of Queensland referred to both doctrine (John Honnold, Uniform Law for International Sales under the United Nations Convention (2nd ed., 1991)) and jurisprudence (Helen Kaminski Pty Ltd v Marketing Products Inc., 1997 WL 414137 (S.D.N.Y. 1997)) in holding that in contractual dispute for the sale of scrap steel between an Australian seller (plaintiff) and a Malaysian buyer (defendant) governed by CISG, the buyer's refusal to establish a timely letter of credit was clearly a fundamental breach within the meaning of Article 25 and Article 64(1)(a) of the Convention; see http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/001117a3.html.

839. See UNIDROIT Principles in Practice, supra note 673.

840. Int'l Chamber of Comm. Arb. Award (Paris 1995), No. 8128/1995 UNILEX (1996).

841. Internationales Schiedsgericht der Bundeskammer der gewerblichen Wirtschaft Arb. Awards, (Vienna 1994) No. SCH 4318 and No. SCH 3466 UNILEX (15 June 1994)

842. See, e.g., Bonell & Liguori, Analysis of Case Law, supra note 818; Franco Ferrari, CISG Case Law: A New Challenge for Interpreters?, 17 J.L. & Com. 246-61 (1999) [hereinafter Ferrari, A New Challenge]; M.Karollus, Judicial Interpretation and Application of the CISG in Germany 1988-1994, in Review of the Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods 51-94 (Cornell Int'l L. J., eds. 1995); Flechtner, supra note 822; Darkey, supra note 645; Callaghan, supra note 501.

All the above commentaries are also available on the Pace Law website under the author's name at http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/index.html.

843. For a detailed examination of this problem, see Hartnell, supra note 690.

844. Cf. Landgericht Hamburg (F.R.G.), No. 5 O 543/88 UNILEX (26 September 1990), reprinted in IPRax: Praxis des Intemationalen Privat - und Verfahrensrechts 400 (1991).

845. Cf. Landgericht Hamburg (F.R.G.), No. 5 O 543/88 UNILEX (26 September 1990); Kammergericht Berlin (F.R.G.), No. 2 U 7418/92, UNILEX (24 January 1994), in Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft 683 (1994); Amtsgericht Alsfeld (F.R.G.), No. 31 C 534/94 UNILEX (12 May 1995), in Neue Juristische Wochenschrift Rechtsprechungs-Report 120 (1996).

846. Cf. P.T. van den Heuvel v. Santini Maglificio Sportivo, (Arrondissementsrechtbank Arnhem) (Neth.), No. 1992/18225, UNILEX, 25 February 1993, in Nederlands Internationaal Privaatrecht Nr. 445 (1993); Gruppo IMAR S.p.A. v. Protech Horst B.V., (Arrondissementsrechtbank Roermond) (Neth.), No. 920150, UNILEX, (6 May 1993); Oberlandesgericht Koblenz (F.R.G.), No. 2 U 1230/91 UNILEX (17 September 1993), in Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft 934 (1993); Oberlandesgericht Hamm (F.R.G.), No. 11 U 191/94, UNILEX (9 June l995), in IPRax: Praxis des Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts 269 (1996); Oberlandesgericht Stuttgart (F.R.G.), No. 5 U 195/94 UNILEX (21 Aug. 1995), in Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft 943 (1995); Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf (F.R.G.), No. 6 U 152/95 UNILEX (11 July 1996), in Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft 958 (1996). A different opinion seems to be found in the judgment rendered by the decision in CL Eurofactors B.V. v. Brugse Import- en Exportmaatschappij (Arrondissementsrechtbank Middelburg), No. 300/94, UNILEX, (25 January 1995), in Nederlands Internationaal Privaatrecht Nr. 127 (1996), which held that set-off is a matter not expressly settled by the Convention.

847. Cf. Bezirksgericht Arbon (Neth.), No. BG 9341/94, UNILEX, (9 December 1994); Oberlandesgericht Hamm (F.R.G.), No. 11 U 206/93 UNILEX (8 February 1995), in IPRax: Praxis des Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts 197 (1995).

848. Int'l Chamber of Comm. Arb. Award (Paris 1994), No. 7660/JK UNILEX, in 6 ICC Int'l Court of Arb. Bulletin 69 (1995); Oberlandesgericht Hamm (F.R.G.), 11 U 191/94, UNILEX (9 June 1995), in IPRax: Praxis des Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts 269 (1996).

849. Int'l Chamber of Comm. Arb. Award, No. 7197/1992, in Journal du droit international 1028 (1993) 1028; Diepeveen-Dirkson B.V. v. Nieuwenhoven Vichandel GmbH (Gerechtshof Arnhem), No. 94/305, UNILEX (22 August 1995), in Nederlands Internationaal Privaatrecht Nr. 414 (1995).

850. Oberlandesgericht Rostock (F.R.G.), No. 1 U 247/94, UNILEX (27 July 1995), in OLG-Report 50 (1996).

851. Landgericht Aachen (F.R.G.), No. 43 O 136/92 UNILEX (14 May 1993), in Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft 760 (1993).

852. Handelsgericht St. Gallen (Switz.), No. HG 48/1994, UNILEX (24 August 1995). On the other hand, application of the Convention precludes recourse to domestic laws regarding defects in the quality of the goods and "Wegfall der Geschäftsgrundlage", as these matters are exhaustively covered by the Vienna Convention, as rightly pointed out by Landgericht Aachen (F.R.G.), No. 43 O 136/92 UNILEX (14 May 1993), in Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft 760 (1993).

853. Int'l Chamber of Comm. Arb. Award, No. 7331/1994 (1995), in 6 ICC Int'l Court of Arb. Bulletin 73 (1995). This issue is central to the thesis of the present writer; see Chapters 1 and 2 of this work, supra.

854. Marc Rich & Co., A.G. v. Iritecna S.p.A. (Corte d'Appello di Genova), No. 211, UNILEX (24 March 1995) in Diritto Marittimo 1054 (1995), with a note by M. Lopez de Gonzalo, La rilevanza degli usi nella disciplina dell'obbligazione di consegna nella vendita marittima, at 1055.

855. By January 2001, the Pace website had reported few more than a dozen cases where a U.S. court was called to rule on or mention the CISG. For citations to the other U.S. rulings, see the Pace Law website at http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/text/casecit.html#us.

However, very few of these cases deal with the interpretation the CISG; see Filanto, S.p.A. v. Chilewich Int'l Corp., 789 F. Supp. 1229 (S.D.N.Y. 1992) appeal dissmissed 984 F.2d 58 (2d Cir. 1993); Delchi Carrier, SpA v. Rotorex Corp., 71 F.3d 1024 (2d Cir. 1995). A more recent case that deals with CISG's interpretation is MCC-Marble Ceramic Center, Inc. v. Ceramica Nuova D'Agostino S.p.A., 144 F.3d 1384 (11th Cir. 1998). See also Medical Marketing International, Inc. v. Internazionale Medico Scientifica, S.r.l., No. CIV. A. 99-0380 (E.D. La. 1999).

856. Article 1(1) CISG provides: "This Convention applies to contracts of sale of goods between parties whose places of business are in different States: (a) when the States are Contracting States; or (b) when the rules of private international law lead to the application of the law of a Contracting State." Article 6 CISG states that "the parties may exclude the application of this Convention …"

857. Note that the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (5th Circuit) had come up with an earlier dissapointing decision. In Beijing Metals & Minerals Import/Export Corp. v. American Business Center. Inc., 993 F.2d 1178 (5th Cir. 1993), (CLOUT no. 24), a Chinese manufacturer and a U.S. importer agreed to develop the North American market for the manufacturer's weight lifting equipment. Following a dispute, the parties concluded a modified payment agreement in writing. When the Chinese manufacturer sought to enforce the payment agreement, the U.S. importer raised defences under alleged contemporaneous oral agreements with respect to the manufacturer's supply obligations. The lower court excluded the testimony about oral agreements under Texas state's "parol evidence" rule.

The appellate court declined to resolve the dispute about whether CISG or state law applied to the parties' contract because it concluded that to do so would be unnecessary to its decision. Nevertheless, the court stated expressly that the parol evidence rule "applies regardless" of whether CISG applied or not; see http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/930615u1.html for Prof. Kritzer's editorial note. Also see MCC-Marble Ceramic Center, Inc. v. Ceramica Nuova D'Agostino S.p.A., 144 F.3d 1384 (11th Cir. 1998), where the 11th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals had the following to say about the 5th Circuit ruling in the Beijing Metals case:

"Without resolving the choice of law question, the Fifth Circuit cited Filanto for the proposition that there have been very few reported cases applying the CISG in the United States, and stated that the parol evidence rule would apply regardless of whether Texas law or the CISG governed the dispute. … The opinion does not acknowledge Filanto's more applicable dictum that the parol evidence rule does not apply to CISG cases nor does it conduct any analysis of the Convention to support its conclusion. In fact, the Fifth Circuit did not undertake to interpret the CISG in a manner that would arrive at a result consistent with the parol evidence rule but instead explained that it would apply the rule as developed at Texas common law. … As persuasive authority for this court, the Beijing Metals opinion is not particularly persuasive on this point."

858. See Cook, A Mandate, supra note 821, who is of the same opinion with the present writer.

859. See Delchi Carrier, SpA v. Rotorex Corp., No 88-CV-1078, 1994 WL 495787 (N.D.N.Y. Sept. 9, 1994); affirm'd. in part by 71 F.3d 1024 (2d Cir. 1995).

860. For a more complete account of the full facts in this case, see Darkey, supra note 645, at 143-44.

861. For a detailed and critical analysis of the Delchi decision, see Id. at 151-52. For similar academic criticism of the Delchi case, see Cook, A Mandate, supra note 821.

862. See Darkey, supra note 645, at 139, where the author states that the the judgment in Delchi "is more noteworthy for the dearth of analysis and the methodology utilised to support the conclusions, than for the actual reasoning employed."

863. See id. at 144, where she states: "Once the court finally addressed the conclusions of law, CISG was identified as the applicable law under Article 1(1)(a). Rather than citing the language of the article and applying it to the facts of the case, the court cited two cases: Filanto, SpA v. Chilewich Int'l Corp., the first U.S. judicial interpretation of CISG, and Orbisphere Corp. v. United States, an international trade court case that discusses in a footnote that CISG is the applicable law to some international sales contracts between the U.S. and foreign parties" [references omitted].

864. The court held that "the familiar principle of foreseeability established in Hadley v. Baxendale" applied: see Delchi, 71 F.3d at 1029; see also Hadley v. Baxendale, 156 Eng. Rep. 145 (1854).

The two foreseeability formulations bear a superficial similarity, but apply different threshold levels. For example, the Hadley v. Baxendale "probable result" limitation appears to be much more restrictive than the "possible consequence" limitation of Article 74 CISG. The facts of the case supported a finding of the requisite amount of foreseeability under both the Article 74 definition of foreseeability, as well as under the Hadley v. Baxendale rule of foreseeability, but doctrinal clarity required further analysis of the two rules to reach this result, see Murphey, supra note 794 (analyzing the differences between Article 74 CISG and Hadley v. Baxendale); J.S.Ziegel, Canada Prepares to Adopt the International Sales Convention, 18 C.B.L.J. 1, 14 (1991).

865. Darkey, supra note 645, at 148-51, is of the opinion that the Delchi court, when dealing with the issues of pre-judgment interest and the conversion of the award into dollars, failed to follow the methodology demanded by Article 7(2) and, instead, it followed domestic tradition; see also id. at 144-45: "[t]he court awarded damages without discussing the CISG provisions dealing with breach and cure …".

866. See id. at 148-49; "[t]he court made no reference to Article 7 … Nor did it examine the legislative history of the Convention or refer to scholarly opinion …", Id. at 149. For a similar criticiam, see also Cook, A Mandate, supra note 821.

867. See Chapters 3 and 4 of this work, supra. See also, Honnold, supra note 445, at 211, where he states that courts should fill gaps through an analogical application of the Code, a civil law approach, instead of resorting to domestic rules.

868. Delchi, 71 F.3d 1024, 1027-28 (2d Cir. 1995).

869. The Delchi court quotes one foreign case, Hadley v. Baxendale, however, this 1854 English decision has been an integral part of U.S. jurisprudence for many years, see Murphey, supra note 794, at 416, fn.5 (stating that Hadley "has been one of the more important cases for students in American law schools"). See also Delchi, 71 F.3d at 1029 (referring to the Hadley rule as "the familiar principle of foreseeability").

870. See, e.g., Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 135-161; Darkey, supra note 645, at 140-142; see also Franco Ferrari, Specific Topics of the CISG in the Light of Judicial Application and Scholarly Writing, 15 J.L. & Com. 1, 8-13 (1995) [hereinafter Ferrari, Specific Topics of the CISG].

871. The legislative history of Article 78 CISG indicates that it is a controversial provision, see Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 422; J.Sutton, Measuring Damages Under the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods, 50 Ohio St. L.J. 737, 747 (1989).

872. See Honnold, supra note 445; Cook, The Need for Uniform Interpretation, supra note 441.

The Delchi court could have received valuable assistance from many European court decisions interpreting CISG Articles 25 and 74. See, e.g., 2 Guide to Int'l Sale Goods Convention 201.070, 201.167 (Business Laws, Inc. 1996) (providing annotations of domestic and foreign courts for each CISG article, specifically Articles 25 and 74). See also Introduction to the CISG Pace Website, 9 Pace Int'l L.Rev. 218-20 (1997), containing citations to 37 case law interpretations of Article 82 ULIS. The significance of this additional body of case law is:

"When the CISG legislators undertook their work they commenced with the text of ULIS. In certain cases, ULIS language was carried forward and put into the CISG in precisely the same setting as under ULIS. This was the case with Article 82 ULIS. Its effect is substantively the same as the text that became Article 74 CISG. Hence, case law on Article 82 would also appear relevant to the proper interpretation of Article 74 CISG. As stated by Mann, in Mann, supra note 437, at 383: "It is simply common sense that if the Convention adopts a phrase which appears to have been taken from one legal system … where it is used in a specific sense, the international legislators are likely to have had that sense in mind and to intend its introduction into the Convention."

873. Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 416, and Sutton, supra note 870, were the only academic authorities cited to support the assertion that the CISG permits recovery of diminished volume of sales; see Darkey, supra note 645, at 147.

874. Darkey, supra note 645, at 152.

875. See Cook, A Mandate, supra note 821, at 263.

876. 144 F.3d 1384 (11th Cir. 1998), supra note 765. See also H. M. Flechtner, The U.N. Sales Convention (CISG) and MCC-Marble Ceramic Center, Inc. v. Ceramica Nuova D'Agostino, S.p.A.: The Eleventh Circuit Weighs in on Interpretation, Subjective Intent, Procedural Limits to the Convention's Scope, and the Parol Evidence Rule, 18 J. L. & Com. 259 (1999), available at http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/biblio/flechtner1.html.

877. Authorities cited for the proposition that the CISG excludes the common law parol evidence rule include R.A. Brand & H. M. Flechtner, Arbitration and Contract Formation in International Trade: First Interpretations of the U.N. Sales Convention, 12 J.L. & Com. 239 (1993); H. M. Flechtner, More U.S. Decisions on the U.N. Sales Convention: Scope, Parol Evidence, 'Validity' and Reduction of Price Under Article 50, 14 J.L. & Com. 153 (1995); Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53; A. H. Kritzer, Guide to Practical Applications of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (1994 Supp.); J. E. Murray, Jr., An Essay on the Formation of Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, 8 J.L. & Com. 11 (1988); P. 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).

Contrary authority cited was D. H. Moore, The Parol Evidence Rule and the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods: Justifying Bejing Metals & Minerals Import/Export Corp. v. American Business Center, Inc., 1995 BYU L. Rev. 1347.

878. Citing, inter alia, Herbert Bernstein & Joseph Lookofsky, Understanding the CISG in Europe 29 (1997); see 144 F.3d at 1390, fn.17.

879. The court apparently was not aware of several other valuable resources for researching foreign CISG case law. These include, in addition to French and German CISG web sites, the CLOUT publication by UNCITRAL (containing abstracts of CISG decisions in the official languages of the United Nations), and the UNILEX database published by the Centre for Comparative and Foreign Law Studies in Rome. For a more comprehensive listing of CISG-related websites and other useful resources, see Chapter 3, supra.

880. See, e.g., Flechtner, The 11th Circuit Weighs in supra note 876, at 270, who declares:

"The MCC-Marble opinion reveals a court striving to transcend its background in domestic U.S. law, energetic in pursuing an international perspective on the Convention's meaning, and informed, thoughtful and coherent in its grasp of CISG provisions and their implications. This constitutes genuine progress towards meeting the requirements of Article 7(1). The opinion, however, is not without flaws. Its imperfections highlight the U.S. legal community's ignorance of some of the resources available for understanding and interpreting the CISG, and the resulting difficulty in fully grasping some substantive implications of the Convention's text. Not surprisingly, the court's steps into the unfamiliar territory of international legal methodology are modest, tentative and cautious. On the whole, nevertheless, the Eleventh Circuit's analysis and approach represents an encouraging development in CISG jurisprudence in the United States."

See also M. J. Kolosky, Note, Beyond Partisan Policy: The Eleventh Circuit Lays Aside the Parol Evidence Rule in Pursuit of International Uniformity in Commercial Regulation, 24 N.C. J. Int'l. L. & Com. Reg199, 216-17 (1998), where the author describes the decision as "a carefully reasoned complete analysis of the issue [that considers] the international interests at stake" and declares that the court "paid strict attention to its international responsibility in its interpretation of the CISG through emphasizing the importance of setting aside familiar domestic law in order to further international uniformity." Id.

881. For a more recent U.S. judicial reference to an interpretation of the CISG by a court of another Contracting State, see Medical Marketing International, Inc. v. Internazionale Medico Scientifica, S.r.l., No. CIV. A. 99-0380 (E.D. La. 1999). Note, also, that in Downs Investments v. Perwaja Steel SDN BHD (S.C. Queensland, Australia) (2000) Civ. Jur. No. 10680 of 1996 available at http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/001117a3.html, the Supreme Court of Queensland referred to both doctrine and jurisprudence in holding that the buyer's refusal to establish a timely letter of credit was clearly a fundamental breach within the meaning of Article 25 and Article 64(1)(a) of the Convention, supra note 771.

882. See L. M. Ryan, The Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods: Divergent Interpretations, 4 Tul. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 99, 101 (1995), stating that "textual uniformity… is insufficient."

883. See Munday, supra note 422, at 450.

884. See J. Honnold, Uniform Laws for International Trade: "Early Care and Feeding" for Uniform Growth, 1 Int'l Trade & Bus. L. J. 1, 2-3 (1995) [hereinafter Early Care and Feeding] available at http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cisg/biblio/honnold3.html.

885. Id.

886. See Kastely, supra note 191.

887. See Early Care and Feeding, supra note 883, at 2-3, where the author gives the examples of the language in Article 67(1) CISG, which provides that risk passes when the goods are handed over to the first carrier, and in Article 69(1) CISG, which provides that "[i]n cases not within articles 67 and 68, the risk passes to the buyer when he takes over the goods or, … from the time when the goods are placed at his disposal…"

888. Id. Professor Honnold also offers the example of the definition of what "goods" the CISG covers by discussing the combined effect of CISG Articles 2, 35, 46 and 85-88. See id.

889. Id. at 3.

890. See, e.g., Internationales Kaufrecht, supra note 552, at 61; D. J. Rhodes, The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods: Encouraging the Use of Uniform International Law, 5 Transnat'l Law. 387, 395-96 (1992).

891. See Early Care and Feeding, supra note 883, at 3.

892. This thesis sounds one such note specifically applicable to the CISG. There is also another note of caution applicable to any use of travaux préparatoires. Noting a U.S. Supreme Court case in which "the majority and minority each pick and choose excerpts from the same legislative history to reach different results", Lookofsky points out that "our experience with legislative history at the national … and … international … levels gives grounds for a certain measure of skepticism. We might not expect the proposals, counter-proposals and comments made by various national delegates during years of drafting (and re-drafting) of the CISG text to provide simple solutions to complex questions of Convention interpretation"; see Lookofsky, supra note 225, at 17. Although he presents this caveat, one will also find there Lookofsky's endorsement of reliance upon travaux in appropriate circumstances.

893. See Early Care and Feeding, supra note 883, at 3. Note, however, that at the 1980 Diplomatic conference the proposals were put to a vote and these votes were recorded.

894. Id. at 2. For a text on comparatives of issues addressed by the CISG, see the Notes sections in PECL, supra note 231.

895. Early Care and Feeding, supra note 883, at 4.

896. See Chapter 4, supra.

897. For academic support of the view favouring analogical extension of the CISG's principles over recourse to domestic law, see, e.g., Early Care and Feeding, supra note 883; Commentary on International Sales Law, supra note 79 (citing other studies). See also J. Hellner, Gap-Filling by Analogy, in Festschrift till Lars Hjerner, Studies in International Law 219-33 (Norstedts, Stockholm, 1990); P. Volken, CISG: Scope, Interpretation and Gap-Filling, in Dubrovnik Lectures (P. Sarcevic and P. Volken, eds., Oceana, NY 1986).

898. The concept of relying on the general principles of the Convention caused some debate among the members of the Working Group at their first session, in 1970, see Report of the First session, supra note 408, Ά56-72.

899. Id. at Ά 57.

900. "The general principles ... are the general ideas which inspired the Uniform Law." Id.

901. Second Session Report, supra note 213, at Ά213.

902. Id.

903. First Session Report, supra note 408 at Ά 69 (emphasis added). The text of CISG specifically provides for a certain measure of evolution. For example, usages and practices evolve and, as pointed later in this subsection, to the extent that Article 9 CISG applies, it trumps the language of CISG.

904. In debates over the drafting of CISG, some delegates pointed out that the general principles of ULIS are apparent in the provisions of ULIS and its legislative history. Id. at Ά 59.

905. Kastely, supra note 191, at 606.

906. Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 155.

907. Id. "The language of Article 7(2) reflects the decision to narrow the scope of ULIS 17 ... which authorized tribunals to find (or create) general principles to settle every problem that is not governed expressly by the Convention." Id.

908. Id.

909. E.g., various proposals concerning the issue of interest rates were discussed at the Vienna Convention. The issue remained unresolved and the final text emerged without any solution.

910. See Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 155.

911. Landgericht Aachen (F.R.G.), No. 41 O 111/95 UNILEX (20 July 1995). The Court rejected the opinion according to which the interest rate, in order to achieve a uniform international regulation, shall be determined in accordance with the general principles on which CISG is based: as a matter of fact even when CISG was still only in the preparatory stage it had not been possible to reach a uniform solution to this problem.

912. E.g., on the issue of interest rate, courts often remark that "the general principles do not settle the matter"; see Int'l Chamber of Com. Arb. Award (Paris 1994), No. 7565 UNILEX (1994), in 6 Int'l Court Arb. Bulletin 64 (1994).

913. 71 F.3d 1024 (2d Cir. 1995).

914. Landgericht Aachen (F.R.G.), No. 41 O 198/89 UNILEX (Apr. 3, 1990), in Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft 491 (1990).

915. See generally Internationales Schiedsgericht der Bundeskammer der Gewerblichen Wirtschaft Arb. Award (Vienna 1994) No. SCH-4318 UNILEX (June 15, 1994), reprinted in Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft 591-92 (1994).

916. Id. The reference to the UNIDROIT Principles relates to another important issue raised in the present writer's thesis - the call for the use of appropriate elements of the UNIDROIT Principles in Article 7(2) CISG as the "general principles" upon which CISG is based; see the relevant discussion in supra Chapters 4 and 5.

917. Internationales Schiedsgericht der Bundeskammer der Gewerblichen Wirtschaft Arb. Award (Vienna 1994) No. SCH-4366 UNILEX (June 15, 1994), reprinted in Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft 590-91 (1994). See also A Comprehensive and "Intelligent" Data Base on the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) (Transnational Juris Publications, Inc., Irvington, N.Y. 1996) [also known as "UNILEX", supra note 752].

918. Early Care and Feeding, supra note 883, at 5.

919. See generally Chapter 3, supra.

920. See Franco Ferrari, The Relationship Between the UCC and the CISG and the Construction of Uniform Law, 29 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 1021 (1996) (using several concrete examples to illustrate the negative consequences that can arise from the use of domestic concepts).

921. See, e.g., Commentary on the International Sales Law, supra note 125, at 72-73: "To have regard to the 'international character' of the Convention means first of all to avoid relying on the rules and techniques traditionally followed in interpreting ordinary domestic legislation."

922. See Uniform Interpretation, supra note 39, at 202.

923. See also Delchi Carrier SpA v. Rotorex Corp., 71 F.3d 1024, 1028 (2d Cir. 1995), a recent American case in which the court referred to the need to interpret the CISG in light of its international character, although it eventually failed to do so; critically analysed earlier in this chapter.

924. See Gerichtspräsident von Laufen (Switz.) UNILEX, (May 7, 1993), see also Schweizerische Zeitschrift für internationales und europäisches Recht (1993) (abstract).

925. Cf. Bundesgerichtshof, No. VIII ZR 51/96, UNILEX (April 3, 1996) in Neue Juristische Wochenschrift (1996).

926. See generally Chapter 2, supra.

927. Some examples of expressions that are textually the same are: "avoidance", "reasonable", "good faith" and "trade usages".

928. This is generally true for any uniform law convention. For a discussion on the issue of how to interpret uniform law conventions other than the CISG, see generally S. Bariatti, L'interpretazione delle convenzioni internazionali di diritto uniforme (1986); and B. W. M.Trompenaars, Pluriforme unificatie en uniforme interpretatie - in het buzonder de budrage van UNCITRAL aan de internationale unificatie van het privaatrecht (1989).

For a different opinion, see Mann, supra note 437, where the author states that if a convention adopts a phrase which appears to have been taken from a legal system where it is used in a specific sense, the international legislators are likely to have had that sense in mind and to intend its introduction into the Convention. Mann's statement appears to have some credit in the following comparative examination of Article 74 CISG, which the legislative history documents that it was taken from Article 82 ULIS. To determine whether one has a true comparative, each side of the equation must also be looked in its overall setting: in the case of Article 74 CISG, in the context of the entire text of the CISG; in the case of article 82 ULIS, in the context of the entire text of ULIS. The suggestion is that where a comparative analysis can stand, as is the case with Article 74 CISG and Article 82 ULIS, it would not be inappropriate for a tribunal to consider such precedent as an aid to the proper interpretation of Article 74 CISG.

929. See, e.g., Herber & Czerwenka, supra note 638, at 47.

930. See Ferrari, supra note 919, at 1026.

931. See the discussion of this point in Chapters 2 and 3, supra.

932. See Commentary on the International Sales Law, supra note 125, at 74: "When drafting the single provisions these experts had to find sufficiently neutral language on which they could reach a common understanding."

933. See also Diedrich, supra note 717, at 310: "The [entire] text of the CISG consists of unique, supranational collective terms formed out of compromises between state delegates based on several systems of laws." For references to the provisions of the CISG that result in a compromise, see, e.g., E. Diederichsen, Commentary to Journal of Law & Commerce Case I, Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt am Main, 14 J.L. & Com. 177 (1995); Uniform Interpretation, supra note 39, at 201; Koneru (1997), supra note 657; and Selden (1995), supra note 740, at 121.

934. See Internationales Kaufrecht, supra note 552, at 61; Herber, supra note 312, at 94. However, one commentator has argued that not all expressions found in CISG are to be interpreted autonomously: Ferrari, A New Challenge, supra note 841, where the author argues that one example of such an expression is "private international law" and concludes that where the CISG makes reference to "private international law", it refers to a "domestic" concept of private international law, i.e., the private international law of the forum.

935. It has often been stated that it is only possible to reduce the danger of diverging interpretations, it is not possible to eliminate them as such. See, e.g., J. M. Lookofsky, Consequential Damages in Comparative Context 294 (1989).

936. Many abbreviations have been used for the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods; for a court decision which lists several of them, see Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt am Main (F.R.G.), No. 13 U 51/93 UNILEX (20 Apr. 1994), in Recht der Internationalen Wirtschaft 593 (1994). For a discussion in legal writing of the various abbreviations, see A. Flessner & T. Kadner, CISG? Zur Suche nach einer Abkürzung für das Wiener Übereinkommen über Verträge über den internationalen Warenkauf, in Zeitschrift für Europäisches Privatrecht 347 (1995).

937. See, e.g., Article 18 of the European Economic Community Convention on the Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations, reprinted in 19 I.L.M.1492, 1496 (1980); Art. 4 of the UNIDROIT Convention on International Factoring, reprint. in 27 I.L.M. 922, 945-46 (1988); Art. 6 of the UNIDROIT Convention on International Financial Leasing , reprinted in 27 I.L.M. 922, 933-34 (1988).

938. See Honnold, supra note 444, at 208: "One threat to international uniformity in interpretation is a natural tendency to read the international text through the lenses of domestic law." See also Babiak, supra note 717, at 117: "[I]nterpretations based on domestic law should be avoided."

939. See, e.g., Audit, supra note 423, at 47; M. J. Bonell, Commento all'art. 7 della Convenzione di Vienna, in Nuove Leggi civili commentate 21 (1989); Diedrich, supra note 718.

940. See Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 136 (stating that "the reading of a legal text in the light of the concepts of our domestic legal system [is] an approach that would violate the requirement that the Convention be interpreted with regard to its 'international character'.").

941. Contra Commentary on the International Sales Law, supra note 125, at 74: "[T]o have regard to the 'international character' of the Convention also implies the necessity of interpreting its terms and concepts autonomously."

942. See Herber, supra note 330, at 94; P. Winship, Changing Contract Practices in the Light of the United Nations Sales Convention: A Guide For Practitioners, 29 Int'l Law. 525, 528 (1995); Maskow, supra note 125, at 39.

943. See, e.g., Darkey, supra note 645, at 142; Hartnell, supra note 690, at 7.

944. It has often been pointed out that the CISG's ultimate goal is uniformity. See, e.g., S. A. Malloy, Note, The Inter-American Convention on the Law Applicable to International Contracts: Another Piece of the Puzzle of the Law Applicable to International Contracts, 19 Fordham Int'l L.J. 662, 667 fn. 17 (1995).

945. See Franco Ferrari, Uniform Interpretation of the 1980 Uniform Sales Law, in Essays in European Law and Israel 511 (Alfredo Mordechai Rabello ed., 1997); J.A. Goddard, Reglas de interpretacion de la Convencion sobre Comparaventa Internacional de Mercaderias, in Revista de Investigaciones Juridicas 103 (1990); T. V. Lepinette, The Interpretation of the 1980 Vienna Convention on International Sales, Diritto del commercio internazionale 377 (1995); Rosenberg, supra note 599.

946. One of the risks that result from diverging interpretations of CISG is forum shopping. See, e.g., Uniform Law for Int'l Sales 1991, supra note 53, at 142: "The settlement of disputes would be complicated and litigants would be encouraged to engage in forum shopping if the courts of different countries persist in divergent interpretations of the Convention."

947. Also see E. H. Patterson, United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods: Unification and the Tension Between Compromise and Domination, 22 Stan. J. Int'l L. 263, 283. (1986).

948. See Cook, A Mandate, supra note 821, at 261.

949. See Reinhart, supra note 666, at 30.

950. Some commentators have argued that the interpreters of CISG are not only the judges, but the contracting parties as well. See, e.g., Enderlein & Maskow, supra note 125, at 55:

"To have regard to the international character of the Convention means, above all, not to proceed in interpreting it from national juridical constructions and terms ... This does not only refer to judges but also to the parties which in settling their differences of opinion first and foremost have to interpret the applicable rules." (second emphasis added).

951. For court decisions quoting prior CISG case law rendered by tribunals of the same country, see, e.g., Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf (F.R.G.), No. 6 U 152/95 UNILEX (July 11, 1996), in Recht der internationalen Wirtschaft 958 (1996); Landgericht Kassel (F.R.G.), No. 8 O 2391/93, UNILEX (22 June 1995); Oberlandesgericht Hamm (F.R.G.), No. 11 U 206/93 UNILEX (February 8, 1995), in Praxis des internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts 197 (1996); Oberlandesgericht Koblenz (F.R.G.), No. 2 U 1230/91 UNILEX (17 Sept. 1993), in Recht der internationalen Wirtschaft 934 (1994); Oberlandesgericht Oldenburg (F.R.G.), No. 12 O 674/93 UNILEX (9 Nov. 1994), in Neue Juristische Wochenschrift Rechtsprechungs-Report 438 (1995).

952. Sport D'Hiver di Genevieve Culet v. Ets. Louys et Fils (Tribunale Civile di Cuneo) (It.), No. 45/96 UNILEX (31 Jan. 1996). In similar vein, see also Cour d'appel de Grenoble, 23 October 1996; and Obergericht des Kantons Luzern (Switz.), No. 11 95 123/357 UNILEX (8 January 1997).

953. Id. quoting Pretura Locarno-Campagna (Switz.), No. 6252 UNILEX (27 Apr. 1992), reprinted in Schweizerische Zeitschrift für internationales und europaisches Recht 665 (1993).

954. Id. quoting Landesgericht Stuttgart, August 31, 1988, reprinted in Praxis des internationalen Privat-und Verfahrensrechts 317 (1990).

955. For a discussion of proposals for the establishment of an international tribunal with jurisdiction over CISG, see Chapter 3, supra. This issue arose under the 1964 Hague Conventions as well. For a discussion of this issue, see Graveson, supra note 51, at 12, where the author states that: "Allowing for the necessary and inevitable divergence of human decision, a problem still remains of ensuring that any tendencies towards divergence in the application of uniform laws shall be corrected at appropriate times and in suitable ways. How then shall continuing uniformity be ensured? Shall it be done by giving ultimate jurisdiction to an international court, such as the International Court of Justice?" (emphasis added).

Cf. Commentary on the International Sales Law, supra note 125, at 89: "[A] similar solution can hardly be conceived with respect to [the Vienna Sales] Convention. This Convention, like other international conventions elaborated under the auspices of the United Nations or other international organizations … is intended to receive a world-wide acceptance. To expect that all adhering States, notwithstanding their different social, political and legal structure, could even agree on conferring to an international tribunal the exclusive competence to resolve divergences between the national jurisdictions in the interpretation of the uniform rules, would be entirely unrealistic."

956. See Early Care and Feeding, supra note 883 at 6.

957. See Uniform Words and Uniform Application, supra note 484, at 127. On the weight that common law jurisdictions give to domestic scholarly writing and to court decisions in civil law jurisdictions, see id. at 123-126. See also R. Schlesinger, H. Baade, M. Damaska & P. Herzog, Comparative Law 5997-656, especially the note at 643 (Foundation Press, Westbury, NY 1988).

958. The dawn of the new millennium has brought along a technological innovation that can assist in the uniform development of the CISG. "The Internet has in fact revolutionized not only the speed of communication, but also the degree of information availability - in case of the CISG that might well turn out to be the key factor in all attempts to enable jurists to "have regard" to the international character of the Convention. (A factor that in 1980 nobody could have foreseen)": Letter from Ulrich G. Schroeter to the International Institute for Commercial Law Website Database (14 February 2001) (on file with the Institute).

959. For some recent papers discussing judicial applications of the CISG in different countries, see Bonell & Liguori, supra note 496; Bonell & Liguori, Analysis of Case Law, supra note 818; Callaghan, supra note 501; L. F. Del Duca & P. Del Duca, Practice Under the Convention on International Sale of Goods (CISG); A Primer for Attorneys and International Traders, 27 UCC L.J. 331 (part I) (1995), 29 UCC L.J. 99 (part II) (1996); Ferrari, Specific Topics of the CISG, supra note 869; H. M. Flechtner, More U.S. Decisions on the U.N. Sales Convention: Scope, Parol Evidence, 'Validity' and Reduction of Price Under Article 50, 14 J.L. & Com. 153 (1995); Karollus, supra note 841; C. Witz, The First Decision of France's Court of Cassation Applying the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, 16 J. L. & Com. 345-56 (1997).

960. See, e.g., Ferrari, A New Challenge, supra note 841.

961. Commentary on the International Sales Law, supra note 125, at 91.

962. L. A. DiMatteo, An International Contract Law Formula: The Informality of International Business Transactions Plus the Internationalization of Contract Law Equals Unexpected Contractual Liability, 23 Syracuse J. Int'l L. & Com. 67, 79 (1997).

963. L. A. DiMatteo, The CISG and the Presumption of Enforceability: Unintended Contractual Liability in International Business Dealings, 22 Yale J. Int'l L. 111, 133 (1997).

964. Id.

965. See, e.g., Ferrari, A New Challenge, supra note 841, at 260-261, where the author declares that foreign case law should have merely persuasive power, admitting a change of his previous position in: Uniform Interpretation, supra note 39, at 204-05, where he had stated that foreign case law can have the value of precedent where there is a uniform trend.

966. Citing as evidence the criticism towards the large body of CISG case law which has applied the rate of interest of the domestic law designated by the rules of private international law of the forum, see: Amtsgericht Augsburg, No. 11 C 4004/95 UNILEX, January 29, 1996; Tribunal Civil de la Glâne, May 20, 1996, UNILEX; LG München, January 25, 1996, UNILEX; HG St. Gallen (Switz.) No. HG 45/1994, UNILEX (December 5, 1995), in Schweizerische Zeitschrift für internatioanles und europäisches Recht 53 (1996); AG Tessin, February 12, 1996, in Schweizerische Zeitschrift für internationales und europäisches Recht 135 (1996); Int'l Chamber of Comm. Arb. Award (Paris 1997), No. 8611/HV/JK UNILEX (1997).

967. V. G. Curran, The Interpretive Challenge to Uniformity, 15 J.L. & Com. 175, 177 (1995).

968. See Enderlein & Maskow, supra note 125, at 56: "[W]hat matters ... is not a prejudicial effect of rulings by foreign courts or arbitrational tribunals and not that the decision taken by an organ, which by accident was entrusted first to deal with a specific legal issue, is attached a particularly great importance; rather, the existing material in regard to relevant rulings has to be taken account of when giving the reason for a decision."

969. E.g., the battle of the forms is handled by CISG in a different manner to the UNIDROIT Principles; see the discussion in Chapter 4, Section 6(a), supra. In this case, resorting to the UNIDROIT Principles should not be allowed.

970. For a detailed discussion of each of these proposed roles of the UNIDROIT Principles, see Chapter 4, supra. See id., where it was also made clear that the PECL are available to perform a similar function to that of the UNIDROIT Principles.

971. See, e.g., Drobnig, supra note 732, at 8.

972. See, e.g., UNIDROIT Principles, Alternative or Complementary, supra note 673; Cazon, supra note 733; Enderlein, supra note 733.

973. See Hill, supra note 749.

974. Id. at 169.

975. See H. Raeschke-Kessler, supra note 726.

976. For a similar evaluation, see Bonell, supra note 761, at 25; Herber, supra note 312, at 93.

977. For a similar conclusion, see Uniform Interpretation, supra note 39, at 228. Commentary on the International Sales Law, supra note 125, at 83, states that the "recourse to domestic law for the purpose of filling gaps under certain circumstances is not only admissible, but even obligatory."


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