Law Review: UK Govt reponse on European Contract Law – British Bill of Rights – Britain a dictatorship?

It is not often, having taught Contract for 30 years, that I get the pleasure or opportunity of writing about Contract or noting an excellent blog post on Contract Law.
Hector L MacQueen, Eric Clive and Laura Macgregor, writing in European Private Law News have written an incisive critique …

The UK Ministry of Justice has published a disappointing response to the European Commission’s Green paper on European Contract Law. It is disappointing because it misdiagnoses the problem and favours options which would do nothing for British businesses or consumers.

The seven page, undated, paper has the title “UK Government response to a green paper from the European commission on policy options for progress towards a European contract law for consumers and business”. It can be found at

The blog post is a good read for anyone involved in Contract Law

Legal Week’s blogroll – the five most-read and five tips to be the most read

Please excuse the fact that I am mentioned in this Legal Week piece – but I note it because I am pleased that the mainstream legal press continues to pick up on the work of bloggers (and Legal Week are asking for more bloggers to put posts up for their Village Week section).  We aren’t in competition with each other as bloggers and nor are we in competition with The Guardian, The Times, The Lawyer, Legal Week or The Law Society Gazette. So…. if you would like to read Ben Wheway’s article in Legal Weekhere it is. Ben has a few useful tips – 5 tips in fact! – which may help all bloggers attract attention to their posts.

Prisoner vote refusal against European court ruling ‘would be like dictatorship’

In a statement almost certain to inflame those who have had enough of Europe generally and the European Court of Human Rights in particular – Jean-Paul Costa says Britain will be resorting to the tactics of the Greek colonels in 1967 if it does not comply with ECHR ruling

But… there can be little doubt that the forces of British sovereignty in all things to do with Britain are banging the drums…

The president of the Strasbourg court spoke out as Downing Street sources said that David Cameron‘s hopes of limiting the powers of the ECHR will be postponed until after the general election in 2015.

The prime minister told MPs that a commission to examine the creation of a British Bill of Rights – promised in the coalition agreement – will be launched soon.

No 10 sources said the commission would be limited because there are “red lines” which cannot be crossed under the Tories’ coalition agreement with the pro-European Liberal Democrats. The Lib Dem red lines are not amending Britain’s human rights act and not pulling out of the ECHR.

Cameron will reach out to Tory eurosceptics by establishing a separate body that will draw up proposals on how to limit the powers of the court that will be included in the Conservative manifesto for the 2015 general election. “These issues are difficult in the coalition,” one Tory government source said. “It is not realistic to introduce these changes before 2015. It is quite a complicated area so we will draw up our own proposals that will be bulletproof.”

One thought on “Law Review: UK Govt reponse on European Contract Law – British Bill of Rights – Britain a dictatorship?

  1. A quote fro the government’s response to the contract proposal:

    “The UK notes this with some concern, since, if it is true, it suggests that important policy decisions have been taken in the absence of adequate evidence and before the views of consultees are known.”

    Not that the UK government would ever do such a thing – would they?

    Overall it seems to me to be another indication of the anti-anything-Europe stance which has clearly taken hold in Westminster.

    It probably makes good sense to have this EU contract law provided parties can opt in. An example might be where a contract is between parties from several countries. Having said this, most small and medium level business people probably never even consider which law of contract will apply – they just want to do business so they make the deal.

    Thanks for the link to Legal week’s blogroll. Very useful.

    I think Mr Costa was ill-advised to wade in at this point. As President of the Court he should know that the court is only involved in the event of infraction proceedings and even if the court find that there is an infraction then the Council of Europe has to make the final decision. It is all in the CoE’s treaty arrangements. Costa’ statement at this point will certainly not be helpful and may leave him open to allegations of bias at a later date.

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