BOOK REVIEWS - Bridge (Ed): Benjamin’s Sale of Goods (8th edn)
Djakhongir Saidov, Senior Lecturer, University of Birmingham.
BENJAMIN’S SALE OF GOODS (8th Edition). Edited by MG Bridge, LLM, Barrister (MT), Professor of Law, University of London. Sweet & Maxwell, London (2010) cclxxvi and 2425pp, plus 37 pp Appendices and 112 pp Index. Hardback £435.
Benjamin’s Sale of Goods has, for decades, consolidated and unravelled the intricacies of English sales law and its related areas. It has done so in such a clear and comprehensive way that, while there are some other excellent books on sales law on the market, no other text could rival it by attempting to provide a fuller, broader and more up-to-date account of this area of the law. This proposition gains additional strength when the new, 8th edition, of this treatise is looked at. The fact that this edition is over one hundred pages longer than the previous edition shows how thoroughly the editorial team has been tracing and reflecting on the extensive legal developments since 2006.
The composition of the editorial team has changed since the last edition. Professor MG Bridge took over in 2006 from Professor AG Guest as the general editor. Other contributors who have joined since 2006 are Professors HN Bennett (negotiable instruments, documentary credits and autonomous guarantees), P Rawlings (nature and formation of the contract of sale) and JR Harris (conflict of laws) and Mr GF Dawson (remedies). This partly new editorial team has largely adhered to the structure of the previous edition, as the work spans the fundamental blocks of sales law, such as the nature, formation, performance and remedies for breach of a sales contract, passage of property and risk. There are dedicated chapters on consumer protection, overseas sales, methods of payment and conflict of laws. The only structural change concerns what was the chapter on “Documentary Credits and Finance by Mercantile House”, which is now divided into two chapters on “Documentary Credits” and “Autonomous Guarantees”.
Every part of Benjamin has had to be revised, albeit to a different extent. The statutory developments, reflected in the treatise, include the incorporation of: the Companies Act 2006 (to the extent that it applies to the registration of charges), the statutory changes necessitated by the legislative activity on the EU level concerning consumer protection (particularly the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and the Consumer Credit (EU Directive) Regulations 2010) and conflict of laws, in connection with the Rome I Regulation and the operation of the Rome II Regulation on the Law Applicable to Non-Contractual Obligations. The recommendations of the Law Commission in its report on Consumer Remedies for Faulty Goods are also included. The chapters dealing with methods of payment had to be revised, particularly in the light of the adoption of new editions of international non-legislative instruments, such as the ICC’s Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits 600 (2007), International Standard Banking Practice for the Examination of Documents under Documentary Credits (2007), Uniform Rules for Contract Guarantees 758 (2010) and the Uniform Rules for Bank-to-Bank Reimbursements 725 (2008).
A substantial amount of the new body of case law that has emerged since 2006 is dealt with in different ways. Many of the cases, such as KG Bominflot Bunkergesellschaftfuur Mineraloele mbH &
Co v Petroplus Marketing AG (The Mercini Lady)  EWHC 1088 (Comm);  2 Lloyd’s Rep 679 (subsequently reversed in part in the Court of Appeal  EWCA Civ 1145;  1 Lloyd’ s Rep 442), which concerned mainly the issues of quality and durability, are merely referred to
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