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Standard Contract Terms in Cross-Border Business Transactions

A Comparative Study from the Perspective of European Union Law

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Gintautas Sulija

This book presents an overview of regulation of standard form contracts in the selected jurisdictions of the European Union. Generally, the term ‘regulation of standard form contracts’ refers to the techniques and procedures that are established by the government and case law to control the fairness and reasonableness of contracting or contractual arrangements. The necessity of regulating standard form contracts is explained by arguing that absolute freedom of contract does not contribute enough to the welfare of society, even if we assume that such freedom exists in reality. Four jurisdictions of the European Union – Germany, France, England, and Lithuania – have been selected for closer examination in order to build up a comprehensive view in the three major jurisdictions of the Union as well as in the ‘new Europe’. Moreover, the study elucidates the links between national contract laws and the European Union law. In view of the obstacles a trader may face in abiding by unknown foreign regulations, the national regulations of standard form contract are assessed in the light of so-called ‘indistinctly applicable measures’ that are prohibited under the European Union law. Thus different options aimed at eliminating trade restrictions created by foreign regulations on standard form contracts are contemplated in this book.
Contents: Regulation of Standard Form Contracts in the Jurisdictions of Selected European Union Member States – Rationale for Controlling Standard Form Contracts – Regulating Standard Form Contracts in Selected Jurisdictions: Germany, France, England, and Lithuania – Regulation of Exclusion Clauses in Standard Form Contracts – Regulation of Standard Contracts in the International Business Transactions – The Interaction of European Union Law and National Regulations on Standard Contract Terms – Elimination of Trade Obstacles to Intra-Union Trade – The Legitimacy of Regulations on Standard Form Contracts in European Union Law – Overcoming Inter-State Trade Distortions in the Internal Market.