The Scope of the Convention in the Law of France: Introduction



In spite of the conclusion in Chapter 2, French law distinguishes between national contracts, governed by purely domestic law, and international contracts governed by the domestic version of the Convention.1 The French legislature began to prepare legislation applicable to national and international contracts alike, legislation intended to embody the substance of the Convention in a form appropriate to French law; it would be strange if the state which introduced the Protocol option had not done so. Yet, two laws were passed, that of 9.4.1936 containing the exact terms of the Convention, and that of 2.4.1936 (L36) modelled on the Convention but differing from it both in form and in substance.2 It is probable that the latter law only was originally intended, but that the final draft differed too greatly from the Convention for it to be regarded as the Convention in appropriate national form.3 The differences were partly due to the demands of French shippers,4 and partly to the inability or reluctance of French lawyers to adapt the Anglo-Saxon concepts which dominate the Convention.5


Foreign Element Protocol Option Brussels Convention International Contract French Court 
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© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1976

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