European Business Law Review

Volume 29 (2018)

Volume 29 (2018) / Issue 6

Radosveta Vassileva, 'Autonomous Interpretation of Uniform Commercial Law: The East-West European Divide' (2018) 29 European Business Law Review, Issue 6, pp. 885–906


The requirement for autonomous interpretation of international instruments has been a subject of concern for decades. Academics have particularly paid attention to the so-called common law/civil law divide. Yet, is this the only divide, which persists? By showcasing the distinct Bulgarian approach to autonomous interpretation of international instruments, this paper raises concern about the East-West European divide, which has been ignored by Western scholarship. It draws on two concrete examples – the Bulgarian interpretation of the CISG and EU consumer directives – to underscore that Bulgarian legal cultural particularities endure in these different contexts despite the various mechanisms aimed at enhancing uniform interpretation, which have been put into place. Finally, the paper calls for the development of more elaborate strategies for facilitating autonomous and more uniform interpretation, which consider the idiosyncrasies of East European jurisdictions like Bulgaria. The question is relevant both for international instruments, which are already in force, as well as for the advancement of future harmonizing documents.

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ISSN: 0959-6941
ID: EULR2018034