Contract Law Principles In The Context Of Internet Consumer

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Contract law principles in the context of internet consumer





Online Contract Formation in Civil Law Jurisdictions3

British Common Law in Internet Commerce4

UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce7



Outcome 111

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Outcome 314

Outcome 423

Outcome 524

Outcome 625

Outcome 726

Outcome 828






In its short history of thirty years, the Internet has served as a platform of communication for people in ever widening circles'. The Internet soon became the medium of choice for the scientific community. Today, the Internet is available to millions of people. The Internet was at first exclusively used for non-profit purposes. Arguably, its main usage today is commercial (Morijn, 2006, 15). The World Wide Web, by now the most popular mode on the Internet, lends itself both to targeted and wide-scale advertising as well as the sale of goods and services'. While suppliers profit from having a new marketing channel with a wide reach for low cost, consumers take delight in an increasing amount of the merchandise available to them at dwindling prices.

The internet makes it possible for users to enter into agreements with ease and flexibility. The questions usually asked are which courts have jurisdiction, what law applies to contracts found in the Internet and what terms apply (Mitsilegas, 2006, 127). Very important questions that usually go unnoticed, however, are whether or not a contract was actually found, and if so when that the contract was found and wherel8 Only if a contract was concluded does it make sense examine issues of jurisdiction and of choice of law. This means that the main problems of this thesis depend factually upon the contract formation.

The relevance of where a contract was found requires further explanation. In earlier private interactional law, the location where the last step to create a binding contract was taken was important because the validity of a contract was determined according to the law of the place of contracting (Loof, 2006, 21). The modem approach rejects this approach and allows party autonomy to operate even on the issue of material validity of the contract.

Material validity covers such aspects as formation, illegality and consent. This is, e.g., the requirement that there must be two signatures on the contract as well as a requirement that the contract bas to be made in duplicate. Art. 3109(1) Civil Code of Britain, S.Q. 1991, c. 64 refers to the formal validity: "The form of a juridical act is governed by the law of the place where it is made contract. The circularity of this rule is admitted but justified on practical grounds. According to this approach; a test of the closest connection is applied only if the parties did not choose the applicable law. In that case, the location of the contract formation does playa role as one of the factors that the court considers in identifying the applicable law. If the place of formation coincides with the place of performance, the court will most likely apply the law of that state to define the rights and obligations arising from the contract (Kombos, ...
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