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Reforming the French Law of Obligations

Comparative Reflections on the Avant-projet de réforme du droit des obligations et de la prescription ('the Avant-projet Catala')

Editor(s): John Cartwright, Stefan Vogenauer, Simon Whittaker
Media of Reforming the French Law of Obligations
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Published: 17-04-2009
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 950
ISBN: 9781847315021
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Studies of the Oxford Institute of European and Comparative Law
RRP: £144.00
Online price : £115.20
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Loren Epson

About Reforming the French Law of Obligations

The 2005 Avant-projet de réforme du droit des obligations et de la prescription, also dubbed the Avant-projet Catala, suggests the most far-reaching reform of the French Civil code since it came into force in 1804. It reviews central aspects of contract law, the law of delict and the law of unjustified enrichment. There is currently a very lively debate in France as to the merits or the demerits of both the particular draft provisions and the general idea of recodification as such.

This volume is the first publication to introduce the reform proposals to an English speaking audience. It contains the official English translation of the text, and distinguished private lawyers from both England and France analyse and assess particularly interesting aspects of the substantive draft provisions in a comparative perspective. Topics covered include negotiation and renegotiation of contracts, la cause, the enforcement of contractual obligations, termination of contract and its consequences, the effects of contracts on third parties, the definition of la faute, the quantification of damages, and the law of prescription. The volume also contains an overall assessment of the draft provisions by one of the most senior French judges who chaired the Working Party on the Avant-projet, established by the French Supreme Court, the Cour de cassation.

The book is indispensable for comparative private lawyers and lawyers with a particular interest in French law. It is also of use to all private lawyers (both academics and practitioners) looking for information on recent international and European trends in contract and tort.

Table Of Contents

Part I
Introducing the Avant-projet de réforme
Part II
Assessing the Avant-projet de réforme
A. Negotiation and Renegotiation
B. A Future for la cause?
C. Enforcement of Contractual Obligations
D. Termination for Non-performance and its Consequences
E. The Effects of Contracts on Third Parties
F. The Definition of la faute
G. Damages, Loss and the Quantification of Damages
H. Reforming the French Law of Prescription
I. The Perspective of the Judiciary
J. Summaries of the Discussions and Emerging Themes
Part III
Translating the Avant-projet de réforme


“The collection of valuable not so much for its assessment of the modest character of the Avant-projet itself, but for its critical review of key areas in the current state of French law. It provides examples of succinct, readable and thoughtful analysis, often provided from outside France. By presenting debates between French and UK-based scholars, the book is also a good showcase of the quality of scholarship on French law in the UK, which is often far more reflective than that in France.” –  John Bell, The Cambridge Law Journal

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