Skip to main content

The Law Applicable to Voluntary Agency in a Comparative Perspective Das Internationale Stellvertretungsrecht im Spiegel nationaler und supranationaler Kodifikationen

Buy Article:

$25.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Questions relating to an agent's authority represent a basic problem of contract law and are of considerable practical importance in international market transactions. This article analyses which law should govern the powers of an agent to bind his principal vis-à-vis a third party. To this end, the article examines, systemises, and evaluates the pertinent solutions adopted in more than twenty jurisdictions as well as in the European Commission's Proposal for a Rome I-Regulation of December 2005. The findings may be summarised as follows:

1. Due to the characteristic triangular relationship of the agency situation there is a clear need for a separate conflicts rule dealing with the agent's authority.

2. The agent's place of business and the place where the agent acted represent the most commonly accepted and best founded connecting factors in this respect while the place of the habitual residence of the agent should not be taken into account. As to the question which law should prevail if the agent does not actually act in the country of his business establishment, the solutions differ considerably among the various legal systems. Basically, applying the law of the place of business of a professional agent constitutes a sound and sensible solution which particularly meets the needs of international trade. Therefore, this connecting factor should generally take precedence over the lex loci actus provided that the agent's place of business was actually foreseeable to the third party.

3. Most of the legal systems recognise party autonomy with regard to the law governing the agent's authority, which appears to be a particularly reasonable concept. As to its implementation, however, there are some variations in detail. Both as a matter of principle and of business practice the most appropriate approach seems to be to allow the principal to designate the law applicable to the agent's powers unilaterally, i.e. without the consent of the agent or the third party, provided that this designation is in writing and is foreseeable to the third party. Since the ambit of the law chosen by the principal also extends to possible liability for the agent as falsus procurator, the choice must be foreseeable to the agent as well.

4. The scope of the conflict rule on agency should be designed comprehensively rather than restrictively in order to avoid difficult problems of characterisation. Hence, the rule should not merely adjudicate the existence and the extent of the agent's actual or apparent authority but should encompass the legal consequences of the exercise of the agent's powers with regard the principal/third party relation as well as the agent/third party relation, including the liability of the falsus procurator and the effects of an undisclosed agency.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Data/Media
No Metrics

Language: ger

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-10-01

More about this publication?
  • Die Zeitschrift wurde 1927 von Ernst Rabel als das deutsche Zentralorgan und Forum für die Grundlagenforschung auf den Gebieten des Privat-, Wirtschafts- und Verfahrensrechts in ihren internationalen Aspekten gegründet. Fachgebiete für alle diese Materien sind also die Rechtsvergleichung und das Auslandsrecht, das Internationale Privat-, Wirtschafts- und Verfahrensrecht sowie die Rechtsvereinheitlichung einschließlich des Europarechts.

    Die Zeitschrift versteht sich als Forum internationaler wissenschaftlicher Auseinandersetzung und geistigen Austausches mit der ausländischen Forschung. Sie publiziert grundlegende Aufsätze (in Deutsch, Englisch, Französisch) aus allen Arbeitsgebieten des Instituts, unter Einbeziehung des Wirtschafts- und Europarechts. Besonders beachtet werden die Übereinkommen, Richtlinien und Verordnungen der Europäischen Gemeinschaften sowie die Übereinkommen der Haager Konferenz für IPR. Neue Gesetzestexte, Abkommen und rechtsvergleichende Entwürfe werden als Materialien abgedruckt und kritisch gewürdigt. Für die Besprechung der in- und ausländischen Literatur gibt es einen umfangreichen Rezensionsteil.

  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Information for Advertisers
  • Terms & Conditions
  • About Us
  • Contact
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more