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The New German Law of ObligationsHistorical and Comparative Perspectives$
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Reinhard Zimmermann

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199291373

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199291373.001.0001

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Consumer Contract Law and General Contract Law

Consumer Contract Law and General Contract Law

(p.159) 5 Consumer Contract Law and General Contract Law
The New German Law of Obligations

Reinhard Zimmermann

Oxford University Press

More than by any other component of the reform process, the face of the German Civil Code (BGB) has been changed by the incorporation of a number of special statutes aiming at the protection of consumers. The draftsmen of the new law have thus made an effort to streamline, or harmonise, general contract law and consumer contract law. While it had been on the initial reform agenda of 1978, it had no longer been part of the brief of the Commission charged with the reform of Germany's law of obligations. The incorporation into the BGB of the special legislation concerning consumer protection was not required by any fiat on the European level. The issue is very much on the agenda mapped out by the action plan for a more coherent European contract law and it also still has to be considered by the draftsmen of the Principles of European Contract Law who, while providing a blueprint for general contract law, have so far failed to take account of the acquis communautaire in the field of consumer contracts.

Keywords:   German Civil Code, consumer contract law, general contract law, consumer contracts, reform, consumer protection, law of obligations, Principles of European Contract Law

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