Jan Smits, ‘The Common European Sales Law (CESL) Beyond Party Choice’

The Proposal for a Common European Sales Law (CESL), published by the European Commission in 2011, proposes to introduce an optional regime for cross-border sale of goods for the European Union. This contribution considers the choices that other actors than contracting parties (legislatures, courts, practitioners and academics) have to make in dealing with the proposed CESL. For national legislatures, the main choices are whether they want to turn the CESL into a real self-standing legal system and whether they want to guarantee the coherence, transparency and competitiveness of the national law. The European legislature has to decide if it wants to make use of CESL as a legislative model, while national and European courts have to find ways to ensure an autonomous interpretation. In so far as legal practitioners are concerned, the CESL will require alternative ways of informing private actors about how the optional regime differs from other (national) legal systems. This calls for a greater role for new technologies in providing legal information. Finally, academics have to decide if they want to use the CESL as a reference text in teaching and research. This is dependent on the relative qualities of the CESL compared with UP, PECL, PESL, DCFR and CISG. Analysis of these choices shows that the actual use of CESL by contracting parties will be highly dependent on the choices that other actors make in designing the legal environment.

Smits, Jan M., The Common European Sales Law (CESL) Beyond Party Choice (April 2012). Maastricht Faculty of Law Working Paper No. 2012/11.

First posted 2012-04-14 19:41:10

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