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A comparative study on the seller's liability for non-conforming goods under CISG, English law, European law and Korean law

By Byung-Mun Lee


This thesis is a comparative and analytical study which comprises of an analysis of the rules of the seller's liability for non-conforming goods of four legal systems; Korean law, English law, the U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (1980) and the E.C. Directive on Certain Aspects of the Sale of Consumer Goods and Associated Guarantees.\ud \ud The purpose of this study is to ask whether there is any need to introduce a unified liability system into Korean law and how to achieve the system under the existing law in order to overcome all the complexities caused by the separate existence of the general liability for non-performance and the seller's guarantee liability. A further purpose is to investigate how effectively the rules of the seller's liability for non-conforming goods protect the reasonable expectations of the parties; in particular, the interests of consumers and private sellers which are distinguished from those of commercial buyers and business sellers, respectively, and where the issue is not directly related to the particular interests of consumers or private sellers, the common interests of all the parties.\ud \ud The study is conducted by an internal evaluation within the boundaries of law in a legal context and an external evaluation in light of 'efficiency' as used by economists. It shows, first, that Korean law needs a unified liability system which is based on a contract to resolve the problems originating in the distinction between the general liability as a contractual liability and the seller's guarantee liability as a legal liability. Second, achieving a genuine unified liability system require one's interpretation that rescission and damages in the seller's guarantee liability should be as they are in the general liability. This would settle other problems inherent in the casuistic distinction between the general liability as a fault liability and the seller's guarantee liability as no-fault liability and its consequences in interpreting damages under the seller's guarantee liability. Finally, in what aspects of the seller's liability for non-conforming goods each jurisdiction fails to reflect the interests of consumers and private sellers, and the common interests of all the parties

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