Four Exeter academics presented their research at the conference.

Exeter academics participate in an international conference on contract law in London

Dr Joseph Lee of Exeter Law School convened an international conference on contract law with participants from the UK, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, Greece, Taiwan, and Japan.

There were two keynote addresses:

  • Professor Mindy Chen-Wishart of Oxford University gave a talk titled Looking Towards Asia which mapped out current developments in Asian jurisdictions and introduced her current six-book project on comparative Asian contract law.
  • Professor Robert Lee of Birmingham University discussed the economic rationale behind the caveat emptor rule in English Law and how this rule shapes commercial transactions by reference to environmental due diligence in sale/purchase agreements for businesses and business property.

Four Exeter academics presented their research at the conference.

  • Dr Timothy Dodsworth investigated the reasons for shaping long term contracts and the different regulatory attitudes towards automatically renewable contracts in the UK, Germany, US, and Canada.
  • Dr Isabelle Rueda shared her research findings on impact assessment in EU law and how it may apply to contract law harmonisation.
  • Dr Severine Saintier evaluated the doctrine of good faith in both French and English law and explored solutions to bridge the divide between common and civil law.
  • Dr Joseph Lee put forward an argument on how the nexus of contracts theory in company law may help align intra-corporate dispute arbitration with general commercial arbitration based on party autonomy.

Conference participants also discussed how contract law may drive innovation and deliver sustainable economy: How do Original Equipment Manufacturing contracts help build a formidable IT industry in Asia? Why does the Japanese Business Federation (Keidanren) oppose the reform of standard contract terms in Japan? How did the development of Bills of Exchange in the 17th Century facilitate international commerce, and what lessons can we learn from that period of history? How can choices of law affect economy equality in sovereign debt litigation? How do corporate social responsibility clauses operate in commercial contracts to enhance corporate integrity? What is the function of industry-developed management tools such as NEC and JCT in the construction business, and what is the result of their implementation in other jurisdictions such as Hong Kong?

A working group will be established to explore further issues identified at the conference and to engage with industry to close the knowledge gaps.

Date: 26 September 2016

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