SCHLECHTRIEM & SCHWENZER: COMMENTARY ON THE UN CONVENTION ON THE INTERNATIONAL SALE OF GOODS (3rd Edition). Edited by Ingeborg Schwenzer. Oxford University Press, Oxford (2010) xcvi and 1270 pp, plus 168 pp Appendices and 42 pp Index. Hardback £225.
The Vienna Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods 1980 (the “CISG”) has gained a growing following on the international commercial scene. With its recent adoption in Turkey and Japan, there are now over 75 ratifying states sharing the same international sales law. And the UK may well follow suit shortly (although we have been told this for a while now, and I have stopped holding my breath waiting for it to happen). With this wide international application comes a vast transnational library of sources, commentaries and casebooks—good, bad and ugly.
The “Schlechtriem” Commentary is an exemplar of good CISG commentaries. It has long been renowned for its comprehensive analysis and significant influence on the jurisprudence of the CISG. To label it the most significant commentary of the International Sales Law is not an overstatement … even from an author of a competing volume. One of its greatest strengths—which the third edition retains—is its inherent comparative quality. Most of the commentaries are tailored for transnational understanding. The history of the book does this justice: with a book written originally in German for the German legal profession, that has since undergone a metamorphic change through a translation phase to a more varied selection of expert authors writing their own contributions in English, it is very much based on understanding from a civil law perspective, but written for a broader (common law) audience.
This third edition, which has been edited solely by Ingeborg Schwenzer since Peter Schlechtriem passed away in 2009, retains the status of an essential companion to any work on the CISG. It