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Exemptions for the Non-Performance of Contractual Obligations in CISG Article 79

The Quest for Uniformity in International Sales Law

Book | 1st edition 2014 | United Kingdom | Peter Mazzacano

This book explores the international jurisprudence on Article 79 of the 1980 United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), which is, perhaps, one of its most contentious provisions. The author’s premise is that Article 79—which concerns exemptions for contractual non-performance due to an “impediment” beyond a party’s control—should be interpreted autonomously, that is, as an international norm, without reference to domestic legal concepts and principles. To this end, he considers the application of Article 79 by courts and arbitral tribunals across a number of signatory states.

The examination of Article 79 provides the focus and the depth of analysis necessary to draw firm conclusions regarding the development and treatment of an important, but problematic, legal doctrine. This doctrine is common, in various guises, to all the major legal regimes of the world. By studying the treatment of Article 79 by the courts and arbitral tribunals of various states, differences in doctrine and case law are discerned.

Disparities in the national treatment of Article 79 are also examined within the context of globalization and the advent of international trade. The extent of conceptual differences towards the doctrine of excuses for non-performance helps to determine whether the CISG’s goal of sales law harmonization and uniformity is ultimately achievable. The answer is of crucial importance to the international commercial parties involved in the burgeoning realm of global trade.

About this book
‘Dr. Mazzacano’s book on CISG art. 79 is a masterful analysis of the important question as to when a contracting party is excused from fulfilling its obligations. He compares the common law and civil law approaches with the neutral approach taken by the CISG and demonstrates that it has been possible to fashion a rule for international sale of goods that has been interpreted relatively uniformly.’
Eric Bergsten, Professor Emeritus of Pace University School of Law and former Secretary of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)

‘There is no excuse for anybody involved in CISG related matters not to read this well researched, well thought through, and well written book.’
Prof. Franco Ferrari, Director, Center for Transnational Litigation, Arbitration and Commercial Law, New York University School of Law

‘Peter Mazzacano has filled a gap in an important area of the CISG namely the exemptions for the non-performance of contractual obligations as set out in article 79 CISG. The question of what is an impediment to the performance of contractual obligations has long been underdeveloped. Peter has now written a text which will not only be useful for academics but equally for practitioners.’
Dr. Bruno Zeller, Professor in Transnational Commercial Law, University of Western Australia, Faculty of Law

Technical info
More Information
Type of product Book
Format Paperback
EAN / ISSN 9781780682204 / 9781780687476
Weight 449 g
Status Available
Number of pages xiv + 260 p.
Access to exercice No
Publisher Intersentia
Language English
Publication Date Jun 25, 2014
Available on Jurisquare No
Available on Strada Belgique No
Available on Strada Europe No
Available on Strada Luxembourg No


  • Table of Contents
  • Chapter 1. The Quest for a Uniform International Sales Law
  • Chapter 2. Background to the CISG
  • Chapter 3. Excuses for Non-Performance: Development of an Autonomous Concept
  • Chapter 4. Getting It Right: Relative Uniformity in the Treatment of Article 79 in Domestic Courts and Arbitrations
  • Chapter 5. Getting It Wrong: Divergence in Article 79 Case Law in Domestic Courts and Arbitrations
  • Chapter 6. Conclusion
  • Appendix A: CISG Article 79
  • Table of Authorities
  • Index