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Sources of contract law

15 January, 2016 - 09:11

At common law, contract law is mainly case law. In most jurisdictions, contract law is not codified, with the notable exception of India. In the realm of sale of goods, the laws in many common law jurisdictions are codified, e.g. the Sale of Goods Act in the UK and the Uniform Commercial Code in the US, but their application is restricted to contracts for sale of goods, rather than contracts generally.

In Continental civil law jurisdictions such as Germany, Japan, France, Switzerland and Italy, the contract law is found within the civil code or the code of obligations. Contract law, tort law and the law of unjust enrichment are all regarded as part of the law of obligations.

At the time of writing, China’s civil code is still in the drafting stage. The General Principles of Civil Law and the Contract Law remain the sources of Chinese contract law. In addition, the Sino-foreign Equity Joint Venture Law and the Sino-Foreign Cooperative Joint Venture Law contain specific provisions on Sino-foreign joint venture contracts.

Administrative rules and regulations also constitute sources of the Chinese contract law. Furthermore, according to article 125 of the Contract Law, ‘transaction practices’ may also be the so urces of contract law.