Contract Law


Contract Law

A Comparative Introduction, Second Edition

2nd edition

9781785368783 Edward Elgar Publishing
Jan M. Smits, Professor of Private Law, Faculty of Law, Maastricht University, the Netherlands
Publication Date: June 2017 ISBN: 978 1 78536 878 3 Extent: 320 pp
This innovative and accessible text offers a straightforward and clear introduction to the law of contract suitable for use across geographical boundaries. It introduces the key principles of contract law by comparing solutions from different jurisdictions and has an innovative design with text boxes, colour and graphics, making it a highly attractive tool for studying. This revised second edition has been updated to reflect the most recent changes in the law, including the French reform of the law of obligations and the new UK Consumer Rights Act. A whole new chapter on contracts and third parties has also been added.

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Critical Acclaim
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Reflecting the most recent changes in the law, the second edition of this popular textbook provides a fully updated, comparative introduction to the law of contract. Accessible and clear, it is perfectly pitched for international students and courses with a global outlook.

Jan Smits approaches contract law on the basis of common principles and methods without being tied to a particular jurisdiction or legal culture. Notable updates include consideration of the 2016 reform of the law of obligations in France and the 2015 UK Consumer Rights Act, as well as substantial new coverage of work on contracts and third parties.

Key features:

• introduces key principles by comparing solutions from different jurisdictions, illustrating for students the international nature and substance of contract law

• draws from a wide variety of sources including German, English, French and Dutch law, European and international instruments, and examples from Central and Eastern Europe and Islamic contract law

• focuses on legal method as well as substantive law

• attractive and accessible design with text boxes, colour and graphics to help students navigate easily and identify key information.

With its innovative approach and engaging design this textbook has proved an essential companion to introductory courses on contract law across a multitude of jurisdictions throughout Europe and beyond.
Critical Acclaim
‘Contract Law: A Comparative Introduction has the primary aim of conducting an innovative and comprehensive analysis of contract law with reference to the dichotomous legal approaches in common law and civil law jurisdictions: it not only introduces the must-know concepts of contract law but also re-evaluates the current vision of contract law from a comparative point of view. Most importantly, the book offers a summary of available perspectives and interpretative options on a wide range of contractual matters and it thereby, as far as the law of contract is concerned, enlarges the horizon of legal possibilities. Hence, for one thing, the contribution serves a useful purpose for students and researchers by providing a significant starting point for comparative contract law study. For another, the book is particularly important for international commercial lawyers who frequently deal with contracts that engage contracting parties from diverse jurisdictions sharing different legal traditions on interpreting the same contractual provision.’
– Gordon Chung, European Review of Private Law

Acclaim for the first edition:

‘Smits’ Contract Law presents and explains the basic tenets of contract law under German, English, French, and Dutch laws, as well as under EU and international (hard and soft) law sources.
The result is a volume that offers a linear, insightful, and creative elucidation of a wide array of key contract law questions and features, combining substantial clarity with a sophisticated level of analysis.’
– Marta Infantino, European Review of Private Law

‘Recommended to everyone, for students because of the clear and self-explanatory text and for experienced lawyers because of the sharp focus on the main principles of contract law.’
– Eric Tjong Tjin Tai, Tilburg University, the Netherlands

‘A crystal clear exposé of a difficult topic.’
– Ewoud Hondius, Utrecht University, the Netherlands

‘Jan Smits’s book provides a splendid introduction to the key questions, themes, and features of contract law. It is not aimed at one specific national audience but can, and should, be read by students across Europe.’
– Reinhard Zimmermann, Max Planck Institute, Germany

‘With Contract Law, Jan Smits again demonstrates why he is one of the best and most creative scholars in the area of private law. Professor Smits is able to balance breadth and depth of coverage to produce a valuable introductory book, which helps fill a tremendous need and void in the literature.
– Larry DiMatteo, University of Florida, US

‘Contract Law may be recommended to beginners and advanced readers. Very user-friendly, it explains all ideas in a comprehensive yet concise manner. Moreover, it is written in a clear and easily understandable language that is essential particularly for non English native speakers. A first class textbook for comparative contract law courses.’
– Konrad Osajda, University of Warsaw, Studies & Analyses Office, Supreme Court of Poland

Contents: PART I CONTRACTS 1. Introduction 2. Sources of contract law PART II THE FORMATION OF A CONTRACT 3. Offer and acceptance 4. The intention to create legal relations 5. Legal capacity of the parties 6. Formalities PART III THE CONTENTS OF THE CONTRACT 7. The party agreement: Interpretation and gap filling 8. The principle of good faith and policing unfair contract terms PART IV VITIATING FACTORS 9. Defects of consent and misrepresentation 10. Prohibited contracts PART V CONTRACTUAL REMEDIES 11. Performance 12. Damages for non-performance 13. Termination of the contract Index
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