Category: Comparative Law

The reform of French Contract Law

codecivil1804coversmall_2I. INTRODUCTION
At lunchtime today, Alexis Downe, lecturer in Toulouse University 1 Capitole and visiting lecturer here in Trinity, gave a staff seminar on “The reform of French Contract Law: a brief overview”. The fundamentals of French private law in general, and of the Law of Contract in particular, are largely unchanged in the Code civil (first edition cover pictured left) since it was adopted in 1804. Nevertheless, there have been significant social changes, from the nineteenth century’s industrial revolution, to the twentieth century’s two world wars, to the twenty-first century’s information age. In many ways, the current process of reform is intended to allow French contract law to catch up with these and other developments. In this post, I provide some background to the current process of reform of French contract law, and then discuss Alexis’s paper.

II. BACKGROUND
Earlier this year, I wrote a post on this blog about French reform of Contract Law in comparative context, constructed around Bénédicte Fauvarque-Cosson‘s article on “The French Contract Law Reform in a European Context” (2014) ELTE Law Journal 59. To the story told in that post should be added the English translation (pdf) (by John Cartwright and Simon Whittaker) of the Catala Avant-projet (pdf) and academic discussions of those drafts in England and France. I have these links courtesy of a post from the Oxford Law Faculty news feed, which picks up the story from the point at which my earlier post leaves off:

The Transformation of French Contract Law by Government Decree – and Translated into English

After considerable debate … the Government was granted the authority to proceed. The draft law (in the form of an Ordonnance) concerning contract and obligations in general was published in February of 2015 so as to allow a brief period of consultation: the draft text can be seen here, and further information is available here. ….

John Cartwright and Simon Whittaker, together with Bénédicte Fauvarque-Cosson … were asked by the French Ministry of Justice to provide an official translation into English: this has now been published and is available on the Ministry website. …

The text of the draft Ordonnance, revised by the Ministry of Justice after the consultation was closed, has gone to the Conseil d’Etat for scrutiny and then, subject to its views, it will be published and enacted in its final form … before the end of the first semester (2016). …

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French reform of Contract Law in comparative context

I recently came across a special issue of the ELTE Law Journal to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Hungary’s accession to the EU. The journal is published by the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences in Hungary’s oldest university, Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Budapest, and one article in the issue particularly caught my eye (with added links):

Bénédicte Fauvarque-Cosson “The French Contract Law Reform in a European Context” (2014) ELTE Law Journal 59

I Introductory Remarks on the Development of the Law in Europe
… The civil and commercial law of each Member State is built upon three pillars, the national legal systems, EU law and the ECHR. While our national experiences influence one another, the law of the EU is built upon these reciprocal influences. In turn, our national legal systems are influenced by EU law. …

As European scholars, our role is primarily to train students to think comparatively, in order to build a common legal culture all over Europe … As European lawyers in the 21st century, our mission goes beyond comparative teaching. … Legal scholarship has played its role as a guide to the European legislator. … The same phenomenon may be observed in those of our countries where the recodification of important parts of the law is envisaged. This notably occurs in France as regard contract law, a key subject for comparatists and European scholars.

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Irish Society of Comparative Law Annual Conference

David Teniers 'Still Life' (including globe and papers) via WikipediaMark your diaries. The Annual Conference and AGM of the Irish Society of Comparative Law (ISCL: blog | website) will take place in University College Dublin

from Friday 29 April to Saturday 30 April 2011.

Call for Papers
The Society is seeking especially proposals which place Irish law (in either part of Ireland) in a comparative dimension but is also open to comparative analyses from other legal systems. Any topic in comparative law or legal systems may be proposed: private or public law, criminal law and criminal justice, legal education, legal history, etc. Papers on European or international law will also be considered. Proposals should be short (250 words) and emailed to Marie-Luce Paris, School of Law, University College Dublin. The deadline for receipt of proposals is 21 February 2011. You do not have to be a member of the ISCL to propose a paper.

Conference
The Annual General Meeting and first plenary address by Dr Eric Descheemaeker, University of Bristol, will take place on Friday 30 April. Conference sessions, the second plenary address by Professor Patrick Glenn, McGill University, and conference dinner will take place on Saturday 30 April. Further information will be available shortly via the ISCL’s blog.

The Irish Society of Comparative Law
The ISCL was established in June 2008 and is recognized by The International Academy of Comparative Law. The ISCL is open to those interested in Irish and comparative law. Its purpose is to encourage the comparative study of law and legal systems and to seek affiliation with individuals and organizations with complimentary aims. Queries should be emailed to the Secretary of the Society, Dr Bénédicte Sage-Fuller, Faculty of Law, University College Cork.

Future events
The next annual conference will be held in University College Cork on 2-3 March 2012.