Chapter 11: Making the Principles of European Contract Law: Theoretical and Methodological Aspects
* Ole Lando Why is examining the laws and customs of foreign nations useful? We lawyers who are possessed by the wish to improve the law cannot but help to search for the best solution, and in the search for the best solution we have to study foreign laws. Today there is a need to unify or harmonise the laws of the world or a region of the world, as for instance Europe. In this chapter, I shall not give the grounds for this need, just state that it is there. What I shall do instead is give an account of how laws were examined and used when the Principles of European Contract Law (PECL) were elaborated. I. THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION ON EUROPEAN CONTRACT LAW (CECL) The project to prepare the PECL was new, and its aim to provide uniform contract rules for the EU was controversial. Some of those who were asked to become Members of the Commission on European Contract Law (CECL) were reluctant to work without pay in a venture with an uncertain future. It took almost two years to get all EU countries represented in the CECL. However, I succeeded in getting a team of independent academics. They were, if not experts, certainly well-read in contract law. Most of them were familiar with the systems and structures of foreign laws, and all of them were ready to accept that their own legal system did not in every respect provide the best solution to a problem....
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