The EU Commission has proposed an optional Common European Sales Law (CESL) whose main purpose is the reduction of the legal costs of cross-border contracting. This paper outlines the Commission's view as to these current legal costs and how its proposal would reduce them, and then compares these with the likely costs of operation of the CESL. It identifies these likely costs as lying in the complex legal framework into which the CESL would be set; the relative uncertainty of the concepts used by the CESL and of its substantive scope; and the significance of national judicial evaluations required by the complex legal standards used by the CESL, of which the most prominent is 'good faith and fair dealing'. The paper concludes that a number of the costs which the Commission expects to be saved by use of the CESL are likely to find parallels in costs generated by its use and that, owing to its own characteristics, the CESL is likely to generate its own further and new legal costs.
Common Market Law Review