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General Principles and Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) – Uniformity under an Interpretation Umbrella?

https://doi.org/10.17589/2309-8678-2017-5-2-113-128

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Abstract

Globalization and digitalization of international sales creates needs to harmonize rules of international commercial contracts. The question is whether the harmonization should be done by binding rules or using soft law tools or through digitalization. In this article I argue on favor of harmonization through international contracts law rules’ international interpretation.

The international interpretation principles used in this article are found from on Art. 7(1) of the Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) which sets three interpretation rules: international character; promoting uniformity; and observance of good faith in international trade. These principles are not only principles of the CISG, but also principles commonly recognized in international commercial practice and also in domestic contract rules. I argue that by adopting an international interpretation umbrella – the meta-principle of international interpretation, cross-border contracts could be interpreted under the same principle no matter applicable substantial law. The meta-principle functions as an interpretation umbrella covering general principles and Articles of the CISG, general principles of international commercial contracts, Lex Mercatoria, and cross-border contract provision under national law.

The outcomes points out that arbitral tribunals have interpreted general principles of the CISG and Lex Mercatoria in various ways. General principles and their application in case law is analyzed in connection with the Civil Code of the Russian Federation. Tribunals found that general principles of the CISG are applicable even if the CISG is not. It follows Art.’s 7(2) logic to promote international standard to cross-border contracts where the closes connection is international commercial practice rather than any national jurisdiction.

About the Author

Laura Lassila
University of Helsinki
Finland

Legal Counsel, Doctoral Student 

Pääskylänrinne 6 C 87, Helsinki, 00500



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For citation:


Lassila L. General Principles and Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) – Uniformity under an Interpretation Umbrella?. Russian Law Journal. 2017;5(2):113-128. https://doi.org/10.17589/2309-8678-2017-5-2-113-128

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ISSN 2309-8678 (Print)
ISSN 2312-3605 (Online)