Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly


CONTRACT LAW: An Introduction to the English Law of Contract for the Civil Lawyer. John Cartwright, MA, BCL, Solicitor, Reader in the Law of Contract, Tutor in Law, Christ Church, University of Oxford. Hart, Oxford (2007) xxxv and 272 pp, plus 8 pp Appendix and 19 pp Index. Paperback £25.
This book sets out to introduce the English law of contract to lawyers who are trained in a civil law jurisdiction. At the outset, one may ask what English contract law has to offer a foreign lawyer. This question is particularly relevant in a time when much of the international academic debate is devoted to the Unidroit Principles of Contract law and other efforts to harmonize contract law. International restatements of contract law will surely gain in importance in the years to come and certainly merit a place in contract law courses in all jurisdictions. Meanwhile, their practical influence on today’s business transactions should not be exaggerated.
English law continues to play an important role in international business (although, with respect, this may be due less to its intrinsic merits than many English lawyers tend to think). An understanding of English contract law is necessary for lawyers in any jurisdiction who, for instance, practise maritime law. But the strongest reason for foreign lawyers to study English contract law must lie in its enormous influence on contemporary contract practice. Contracts designed for common law jurisdictions are used, sometimes with no or only minor redrafting, in business


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