European Contract Law: the Draft Common Frame of Reference - European Union Committee Contents


Chapter 1: Introduction

European Contract Law: the Draft Common Frame of Reference

1.  A project leading to the preparation of a common frame of reference (CFR) in the field of contract law has been under way since the publication by the European Commission of an Action Plan in 2003. The first stage was a research project of comparative law, building on work begun in the 1990s by academic lawyers and others. That stage has now concluded with the presentation of the DCFR[1] to the Commission by the Study Group on a European Civil Code and the Research Group on Existing EC Private Law, in December 2008. It was published in February 2009. An edition including explanatory and extensive comparative law material gathered in the course of the work is, we understand, to be published later this year.

2.  An interim outline edition of the DCFR was presented to the Commission in December 2007, and published in early 2008.[2] The final version contains additional material promised by the interim edition and has revised the original text to take account of comments on the interim edition. The publication of the final version did not significantly affect the matters which are considered in this report.

3.  Sub-Committee E (Law and Institutions) has been following the CFR project since its inception and undertook this inquiry based on the interim edition. A list of members of the Sub-Committee is at Appendix 1. No call for evidence was issued. The Sub-Committee took evidence from Professor Stefan Vogenauer, Professor of Comparative Law at the University of Oxford, Jonathan Faull, Director General for Justice, Freedom and Security at the Commission and from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, Lord Bach, attended by two officials from his Department, Paul Hughes (Head of International Property Law) and Oliver Parker (Senior Legal Adviser). We are very grateful to them for their assistance.

4.  The Ministry of Justice commissioned a report on the draft CFR from Professor Simon Whittaker of the University of Oxford. We are grateful to the Minister for providing a copy.[3]

5.  We make this report to the House for information.


1   Principles, Definitions and Model Rules of European Private Law; Draft Common Frame of Reference (DCFR), Outline Edition (Sellier 2009)Back

2   Principles, Definitions and Model Rules of European Private Law; Draft Common Frame of Reference (DCFR), Interim Outline Edition (Sellier 2008). Back

3   The 'Draft Common Frame of Reference': an Assessment commissioned by the Ministry of Justice, United Kingdom (November 2008). Back


 
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