Chapter VIII The international harmonisation and unification of the Law of Obligations
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This chapter addresses the question of whether and to what extent a convergence of the aforementioned concepts of the Law of Obligations may be brought about by rules aimed at the international or supranational harmonisation or unification of this branch of the law. According to a widely disseminated point of view, many cross-border economic activities typically governed by the Law of Obligations require a discrete system of legal regulation, capable of overcoming the diversity of national systems and of offering economic players a more secure legal framework than that which results from the operation of conflict of laws rules. This chapter reviews the background to the current initiatives for the international harmonisation and unification of the Law of Obligations together with the main relevant legal sources to be considered in this respect. It then examines the impact of the most significant international and supranational legal instruments in the area, such as the CISG, the Draft Common Frame of Reference, the UNIDROIT Principles for International Commercial Contracts, and European Directives aimed at the harmonisation of the Law of Obligations, on the various categories of sources of obligations considered. It concludes with a tentative response to the perceived need for an internationally harmonised or unified Law of Obligations.

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