Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Lawyers buying into CESL's process

Finally, here is a link to Commissioner Reding's most recent speech on the proposal for a Common European Sales Law, given at the occasion of a debate organised by the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) for the purpose of 'buying into the process'. On the point of interpretation of the CESL, which is as important for consumers as it is for professional users of the instrument, Reding observed:

'I also envisage a database that enables courts to draw on existing case-law from all Member States. This database - accessible to everybody, but in particular to all legal practitioners, would ensure transparency and a de-facto convergence of relevant case-law. The database would contain national rulings applying Common European Sales Law provisions as well as translated summaries. This would ensure the consistency of application. In time, this database would also remove the necessity for judges to investigate foreign law and compare several laws. This in turn will help to lower litigation costs and shorten the length of proceedings. 

With this in mind, it is reasonable to expect that the vast majority of issues would be resolved by Member States' courts without problematic inconsistencies. And that only a small number of questions would have to be taken to the Court of Justice in Luxembourg. We should also bear in mind that the Common European Sales Law builds on the biggest common denominator of contract law traditions in Member States. Even though the details are new, it would be a rare occurrence that the concepts and approaches underlying the instrument are alien to the courts that will have to apply them. This will limit the risk of fundamentally differing interpretations.

To support us on this journey we also have excellent work by way of commentaries like that edited by Professor Schulze. I thank you for your tremendous efforts in producing this commentary - which can be seen as a very helpful tool in showing others how the Common European Sales Law will work. 

This is only one tool but nevertheless an important pre-cursor of what is taking place: There will be many others including – as mentioned in your position paper – comments which explain the Common European Sales Law article by article as well as suggestions for a digest to be created linking different court cases to each other.'

To be continued...

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