This volume provides an advanced introduction to the law of international sales as embodied in the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG). It is intended for those who have or who would like to obtain familiarity with the basic doctrines of the CISG, but who also desire some understanding of its theoretical underpinnings. Because this is an introductory text and is concerned with the theory underlying commercial law, it does not deal with all the provisions within the CISG or with all the nuances of those doctrines that are discussed. My hope is that it will provide an understanding of the most critical provisions and their principles for a more general audience, but also pave the way for more sophisticated inquiry into the subject. I have kept citations to cases and scholarly commentary to a minimum in order to provide a more readable and uninterrupted text. For those who are interested in more in-depth treatment of doctrine, as well as extensive discussion of some of the underlying theory, I have co-authored a more substantial treatise with Steven D. Walt, The UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (Cambridge University Press 2016).
The text considers the CISG through a particular methodological lens. It assumes that the primary objective of commercial law is to reduce transaction costs – costs related to the negotiation and implementation of contracts. If commercial law is to satisfy that objective, it should provide for the parties the...
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