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Trans-Lex Principles

The TransLex-Principles are a systematic online-collection of principles and rules of transnational commercial law. They are being used by counsel and arbitrators in international arbitrations as well as contract drafters, academics and participants of moot court competitions in international arbitration across the globe. Read more


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Chapter I: General ProvisionsSection 1: Good Faith and Fair DealingSection 2: Reasonableness; Trade Usages; Professional CompetenceSection 3: VariaChapter II: AgencyChapter III: Set-Off; AssignmentChapter IV: ContractSection 1: General PrinciplesSection 2: Conclusion of ContractSection 3: Contracting under Standard TermsSection 4: Form Requirements; LanguageSection 5: InterpretationSection 6: Contractual ObligationsSection 7: Invalidity of ContractSection 8: Precontractual LiabilityChapter V: PerformanceSection 1: General PrinciplesSection 2: Payment of Money DebtsChapter VI: Non-PerformanceChapter VII: DamagesChapter VIII: HardshipChapter IX: Unjust Enrichment/RestitutionChapter X: CorporationsChapter XI: ExpropriationChapter XII: Proof, Means of EvidenceChapter XIII: International ArbitrationSection 1: Arbitration AgreementSection 2: Arbitral TribunalSection 3: Arbitral ProcedureSection 4: Award; Termination of ProceedingsSection 5: ConfidentialityChapter XIV: Private International Law

Chapter I: General Provisions

Section 1: Good Faith and Fair Dealing

I.1.1 - Good faith and fair dealing in international trade184I.1.2 - Prohibition of inconsistent behaviour54I.1.3 - Forfeiture of rights7I.1.4 - Abuse of rights3I.1.5 - No advantage in case of own unlawful acts7I.1.6 - No damage claim in case of consent7 

Section 2: Reasonableness; Trade Usages; Professional Competence

I.2.1 - Standard of reasonableness133I.2.2 - Trade usages32I.2.3 - Presumption of professional competence and equality of parties15 

Section 3: Varia

I.3.1 - Limitation of transfer of rights11I.3.2 - Lex specialis-principle3 

Chapter II: Agency

II.1 - Prerequisites and effects of agency71II.2 - Agent acting on behalf of group of companies13II.3 - Agent acting without or outside his authority12II.4 - Agency by estoppel / Apparent authority25II.5 - Attribution of knowledge to principal10II.6 - Performance by agent10II.7 - General agent3 

Chapter III: Set-Off; Assignment

III.1 - Set-off70III.2 - Assignment of claim131 

Chapter IV: Contract

Section 1: General Principles

IV.1.1 - Freedom of contract17IV.1.2 - Sanctity of contracts71 

Section 2: Conclusion of Contract

IV.2.1 - Contractual consent58IV.2.2 - Silence by offeree35IV.2.3 - No repudiation of contractual consent by state party19IV.2.4 - Lapse of an offer8IV.2.5 - Holidays and non-business days44IV.2.6 - Modified Acceptance7IV.2.7 - Writings in confirmation4 

Section 3: Contracting under Standard Terms

IV.3.1 - Scope of application; Definition7IV.3.2 - Inclusion of standard terms1IV.3.3 - No surprising standard terms4IV.3.4 - Conflicting terms; battle of forms5IV.3.5 - Unfair standard terms2 

Section 4: Form Requirements; Language

IV.4.1 - Freedom of Form55IV.4.2 - Language14 

Section 5: Interpretation

IV.5.1 - Intentions of the parties129IV.5.2 - Context-oriented interpretation28IV.5.3 - Interpretation in favour of effectiveness of contract62IV.5.4 - Interpretation against the party that supplied the term69IV.5.5 - Falsa demonstratio rule3IV.5.6 - Rights and duties of the parties under "FOB" and "CIF"16IV.5.7 - Merger Clauses88 

Section 6: Contractual Obligations

IV.6.1 - Express and implied obligations54IV.6.2 - Subsequent fixing of contract price77IV.6.3 - Fixing of price by third party9IV.6.4 - No contract to detriment of third party24IV.6.5 - Best efforts undertakings88IV.6.6 - Time is of the essence17IV.6.7 - Duty to renegotiate24IV.6.8 - (Re-) Negotiation Agreement / Clause (Pactum de negotiando)11IV.6.9 - Duty to notify / to cooperate141IV.6.10 - Conditions63IV.6.11 - Plurality of debtors6IV.6.12 - Plurality of Creditors3IV.6.13 - Duty of confidentiality97 

Section 7: Invalidity of Contract

IV.7.1 - Invalidity of contract that violates good morals (boni mores)33IV.7.2 - Invalidity of contract due to bribery47IV.7.3 - Right to avoid the contract for mistake in fact or law29IV.7.4 - Right to avoid the contract for fraudulent misrepresentation0 

Section 8: Precontractual Liability

IV.8.1 - Principle of pre-contractual liability55 

Chapter V: Performance

Section 1: General Principles

V.1.1 - Place of performance7V.1.2 - Time of performance63V.1.3 - Early performance5V.1.4 - Principle of simultaneous performance; right to withhold performance50V.1.5 - Costs of performance37 

Section 2: Payment of Money Debts

V.2.1 - Payment in currency of place of payment20V.2.2 - Conversion of money debts11V.2.3 - Nominal-value principle15V.2.4 - Distribution of currency transfer risk6V.2.5 - Payment of contract price through documentary credit16 

Chapter VI: Non-Performance

VI.1 - Termination of contract in case of fundamental non-performance169VI.2 - Deadline for notice of defects26VI.3 - Force majeure205VI.4 - Promise to pay in case of non-performance57VI.5 - Anticipatory breach9 

Chapter VII: Damages

VII.1 - Damages in case of non-performance69VII.2 - Principle of foreseeability of loss54VII.3.1 - Limits to claims for damages35VII.3.2 - Calculation of damages29VII.3.3 - Future damages/Lost profits3VII.4 - Duty to mitigate71VII.5 - Liability for damages for legal opinions8VII.6 - Duty to pay interest116VII.7 - Right to charge compound interest40 

Chapter VIII: Hardship

VIII.1 - Definition92VIII.2 - Legal consequences9 

Chapter IX: Unjust Enrichment/Restitution

IX.1 - Basic rule61IX.2 - Circumstances in which an enrichment is unjustified0IX.3 - Enrichment0IX.4 - Disadvantage0IX.5 - Disenrichment0IX.6 - No restitution in case of knowledge of illegality of performance10IX.7 - Relation to other remedies0 

Chapter X: Corporations

X.1 - Foreign corporate entities34X.2 - Piercing the corporate veil18X.3 - Liability of corporate founders6 

Chapter XI: Expropriation

XI.1 - Compensation for expropriation50 

Chapter XII: Proof, Means of Evidence

XII.1 - Distribution of burden of proof48XII.2 - Proof of written contract6XII.3 - Circumstantial evidence9XII.4 - Prima facie evidence11XII.5 - Settlement Privilege35XII.6 - Attorney-Client Privilege27XII.7 - Most favoured nation treatment in case of unequal privilege protection0 

Chapter XIII: International Arbitration

Section 1: Arbitration Agreement

XIII.1.1 - Arbitration Agreement103XIII.1.2 - Interpretation of Arbitration agreements3XIII.1.2 - Arbitration agreement and substantive claim before court20XIII.1.3 - Arbitration agreement and interim measures by court12 

Section 2: Arbitral Tribunal

XIII.2.1 - Number of arbitrators26XIII.2.2 - Arbitrator‘s duty to disclose15XIII.2.3 - Grounds for challenge of an arbitrator22XIII.2.4 - Principle of separability of the arbitration clause35XIII.2.5 - Power of arbitral tribunal to order interim measures14XIII.2.6 - Decision making by panel of arbitrators9XIII.2.7 - Immunity of arbitrator21 

Section 3: Arbitral Procedure

XIII.3.1 - Arbitral due process13XIII.3.2 - Determination of rules of procedure24XIII.3.3 - Seat of arbitration18XIII.3.4 - Language of the arbitration17XIII.3.5 - Early legal guidance by the tribunal3XIII.3.6 - Hearings and written proceedings11XIII.3.7 - No suspension in case of bankruptcy of a party10XIII.3.8 - Default of a party8XIII.3.9 - Waiver of right to object11 

Section 4: Award; Termination of Proceedings

XIII.4.1 - Rules applicable to merits; decision ex aequo et bono13XIII.4.2 - Form and contents of award27XIII.4.3 - Settlement10XIII.4.4 - Termination of proceedings20 

Section 5: Confidentiality

XIII.5.1 - Confidentiality21 

Chapter XIV: Private International Law

XIV.1 - Law applicable to international arbitration agreements14XIV.2 - Law applicable to international contract155XIV.3 - Rule of validation/Lex validitatis9 
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