Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Allan Farnsworth and Private International Law

Professor E. Allan Farnsworth of Columbia Law School passed away yesterday. Although best known as the dean of contract scholars, a Reporter of the Restatement (Second) of the Law of Contracts, and the author of influential treatise and casebook on contracts, Professor Farnsworth also had a profound influence on private international law. Not only was he a central figure in the development of both the Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) and the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts, but his scholarship on these instruments and on comparative contract law is a benchmark for academics writing in private international law and comparative law. Consider just three short pieces available on the Internet on international aspects of contract interpretation, good faith in the law of contracts, and the use of standard forms. Moreover, his casebook on Contract law, co-written with William Young and Carol Sanger, asks students to compare and contrast U.S. domestic law to examples from other countries, the CISG, and the UNIDROIT Principles, thus introducing first-year students to international and comparative law.
Allan Farnsworth was a great scholar and teacher. He will be missed.