Methodology of uniform contract law : the UNIDROIT principles in international legal doctrine and practice
Despite ever growing international trade and dispute settlement, a consistent international methodology of uniform private law has yet to be formed. This is needed in order to encourage the use of existing uniform transnational law rules specifically designed for application to international commercial contracts. This study examines uniform contract law in legal methodology and considers the barriers which exist toward it in modern nation states. It explores ways in which these barriers can be overcome and considers whether it is thereby possible to create a specific methodology of international contract law. Through exploring these three areas, this thesis intends to distinguish and analyse the main obstacles to the application of uniform contract law. The study is therefore organized into three sections, each exploring one of those methodological obstacles and providing solutions for overcoming them. Part One discusses the barriers erected by traditional theories of contract law. Part Two addresses the attitude taken by national lawyers when applying uniform law and enquires how this attitude is formed. This section also asks why this attitude provides an obstacle to the success of uniform law and considers ways in which it could be changed. Part Three, the third and final section considers the treatment of uniform contract law in the context of conflict of laws. This section also asks how seemingly opposite positions in the modern and traditional theory of private international law can be reconciled and considers the ways in which uniform contract law can be applied within a domestic law context as lex contractus. The author argues that the points of resistance identified can be tackled by developing an autonomous methodology of interpretation of transnational contract principles; and, by treating model sets of transnational contract principles as a form of lex specialis. Overall, the thesis seeks to demonstrate that the potential of the UPICC has not yet been fully recognised, and that barriers to such recognition are not insurmountable.