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GoodFaithandtheViennaConventiononContracts

fortheInternationalSaleofGoods(CISG)
TroyKeily
1.Introduction
2.WhatisGoodFaith?
3.Uniformity
4.CommonLawv.CivilLaw:ClashandCompromise
5.ApproachestoGoodFaith
a.Criterionforinterpretation
b.Generalrequirementofgoodfaith
c.GeneralprincipleoftheCISG
d.GeneralprinciplesoutsidetheCISG
(1)UNIDROITPrinciplesofInternationalCommercial
Contracts
(2)Commonlawdevelopments
6.Conclusions
Bibliography
1.Introduction
Thedegreetowhichcommerciallawshouldreflectandupholdstandardsof
moralityisdeeplycontested.Whatdoesmoralityembrace?Whosemorality
shouldbeenforced?Andtowhatdegreeshouldstandardsofmorality
regulatecommercialdealings?SirGerardBrennan,theformerChiefJustice
oftheHighCourtofAustralia,believesthatinthecommerciallawthereisa
moralstandardtobeobserved.Herejectsthepositionrepresentedina
literarysettingbyGeorgeEssexEvans:[1]
Sixdaysshaltthouswindleandlie!
Onthesevenththo'itsoundethodd
Intheodourofsanctity
ThoushaltoffertheLord,thyGod,
Athreepennybit,adoze,astart,andanunctuoussmile,
Andahurriedprayertoprosperanothersixdaysofguile.
Atadomesticlevel,thetaskofreconcilingmoralitywiththelawhasbeen
approachedindivergentwaysbydifferentlegalsystems.Forexample,
242oftheGermanCivilCodeprovidesthattheconductofpartiestoa
contractualrelationshipistobegovernedbytherequirementsofgoodfaith.

[2]Theconversepositionhowever,isfoundintheEnglishcommonlaw.In
1988theEnglishCourtofAppealstatedthat"inthecaseofcommercial
contracts,broadconceptsofhonestyandfairdealing,howeverlaudable,are
asomewhatuncertainguidewhendeterminingtheexistenceorotherwiseof
anobligationwhichmayariseevenintheabsenceofanydishonestorunfair
intent."[3]ToreemphasizetheseverityoftheEnglishposition,WillsJ
inAllenv.Flood[4]stipulatedthat"anyrightgivenbyacontractmaybe
exercisedasagainstthegiverbythepersontowhomitisgranted,nomatter
howwicked,cruelormeanthemotivemaybewhichdeterminesthe
enforcementoftheright."
NowimagineascenariowhereadvocatesfromcommonlawEnglandand
civillawGermany,[5]representingantitheticalpositionswithrespectto
goodfaithandcontractconvenetoseekacompromiseonalegalpositionon
thisandrelatedissues.Thiswastheformidablescenarioconfronting
delegateswhosetaskitwastodrafttheViennaConventiononContractsfor
theInternationalSaleofGoods(CISG).
Ifthecomplexwebofmoralityandcommerciallawposesdifficultiesina
domesticcontext,thenelevatingtheissuestoaninternationalstagewas
certaintoamplifytheproblemsuchthatamarriageofcontractandgood
faithwouldappearillusory.However,withintheCISGamarriageofsorts
doesexist.Article7(1)providesthat:
"IntheinterpretationofthisConvention,regardistobehadtoits
internationalcharacterandtotheneedtopromoteuniformityinits
applicationandtheobservanceofgoodfaithininternationaltrade."
ProfessorFarnsworthdescribedarticle7(1)asa"statesmanlike
compromise".[6]Andindeed,anexaminationintothedraftinghistoryofthe
CISGrevealsthatthefinalpositionseeninarticle7(1)wasacompromise
betweenadvocatesandcriticsof'goodfaith'.Thepurposeofthispaperisto
outlinethemeaningofgoodfaithandexaminetowhatdegreeandeffect
goodfaithisrecognisedbytheCISG.Forexample,cangoodfaithbeused
solelyintheinterpretationoftheConvention,ordoesitextendtoimposean
obligationontheactionsofcontractingparties?Further,article7(1)
expresslyreferstogoodfaith,butarethereothersourceswhichprovidefor
goodfaithwithintheCISG?Somecommentatorscontendthatgoodfaithis
alsoageneralprincipleoftheCISGandoflexmercatoria,theconsequences
ofwhichwillbeexamined.Inaddition,whatinsightintothisdiscussioncan
bediscernedfromthelegislativehistoryandcommentariesontheCISG.
DisputesinvolvingtheCISGhavebeendeterminedbycourtsandtribunals,
sohowhavethecourtsinterpretedgoodfaithintheCISG?Giventheneed

foruniformityintheapplicationoftheCISG,referencetojudicialtrends
regardingtheuseandscopeofgoodfaithisparticularlypertinent.Finally,
thispapershallconsiderwhatimpactuniformandglobalchangesin
internationalcommerciallawshouldhaveonthefutureinterpretationand
evolutionoftheCISG.TheCISGrepresentsaconsensuspositionamongst
signatorynationsonthelawgoverningtheinternationalsaleofgoods.
Therefore,ifthedomesticlawofthesenationsischangingtonowrecognise
goodfaithincontractualrelations,shouldthischangebereflectedinthe
CISG?
2.WhatisGoodFaith?
Goodfaithisnotaprinciplewhichcanbeadequatelydefined,andthispaper
doesnotseektodoso.Forexample,goodfaithhasbeendescribedvaguely
asarechristeningoffundamentalprinciplesofcontractlaw,asaphrasewith
nogeneralmeaningbutwhichoperatestoexcludevariousformsofbad
faith,andasadiscretionarystandardpreventingpartiesrecapturing
opportunitiesforegoneoncontracting.[7]Goodfaithhasalsobeen
comparedwithunconscionability,"fairness,fairconduct,reasonable
standardsoffairdealing,decency,reasonableness,decentbehavior,a
commonethicalsense,aspiritofsolidarity,communitystandardsof
fairness"[8]and"honestyinfact,"indicatingthatgoodfaithisanextremely
versatileconcept.Andindeed,itsversatilityisanessentialcharacteristic
because,asstatedbyAristotle,"therearesomecasesforwhichitis
impossibletolaydownalaw,sothataspecialordinancebecomes
necessary.Forwhatisitselfindefinitecanonlybemeasuredbyanindefinite
standard."[9]
However,goodfaithisnotanobligationtoactaltruistically.Regretfully,
Lckewrites,"onemustleavetheuniversaladoptionofsuchanoblemotive
tosomefardistantandmuchmoreenlightenedage."[10]Goodfaithdoes
notrequiretheabandoningofselfinterestasthegoverningmotivein
contractualrelations.However,itmaypreventapartyfromabusingalegal
right,asthecasesbelowwillillustrate.
WithinthecontextoftheCISG,goodfaithismanifestedinvariousforms.
Forexample,anoffercannotberevokedwhereitwasreasonableforthe
offereetorelyupontheofferbeingheldopenandtheoffereeactedin
relianceontheoffer.[11]Furtherlateacceptancewillbedeemedtobe
timelywhereitwassentinsuchcircumstancesthatitwouldhavereached
theofferrorinduetimeifthetransmissionhadbeennormal.[12]Itshould
benotedthatthedoctrineofgoodfaithisbroaderinitsscope,[13]butthese
examples[14]dogiveanindicationofthetypeofobligationadutyofgood

faithrequires.Commonisasensethatpartiestoacontractforthe
internationalsaleofgoodsarerequiredtodoallthatisreasonable,and
prohibitedfromdoingallthatisnotreasonable,toensurethecontract
remainsonfoot.Thisisconsistentwiththeprincipleofcontractcontinuance
embodiedwithintheCISG.
3.Uniformity
TheverynatureoftheCISGasamultilateralconventionmeansthata
uniformapplicationofitsprovisionsiscrucial.Thisgoalisreflectedin
article7(1),whichemphasizestheimportanceoftheCISG'sinternational
characterandtheneedtopromoteuniformityinitsapplication.Essentially,
thisprovisionisdesignedtocounteractthe"homewardtrend"[15]in
interpretation,thatis,"theriskthatjudgesfromdifferentculturalandlegal
backgroundsareapttorelyuponindividualnationallegal
heritages."[16]PhaneshKonerunotesthat"[t]heintegrityoftheConvention
anditsroleasaninternationalbodyoflawtoberespectedandwidely
followeddependsonhowitsvariousprovisionsareinterpretedbythe
judiciaryinagivencountry."[17]Forthesereasons,Konerudescribes
article7(1)as"arguablythesinglemostimportantprovisionensuringthe
futuresuccessoftheConvention."[18]
TheneedforandimportanceofauniformapplicationoftheCISGgives
addedsignificancetoadiscussionandanalysisofcaselawdecidedusing
theConvention.Whilstthecaselawdoesnotestablishabinding
transnationalprecedent,itisonlybylookingatjudicialandarbitral
decisionsthatwecangaugewhethertheCISGissuccessfullypromoting
internationaltradeinthemannerintendedbyitsauthors.[19]Itiswithinthis
contextthatIwillconsiderseveralcasesandquestionwhethertheycorrectly
interpretandapplytheroleofgoodfaithenvisagedfortheCISG.Before
proceedingtothisexaminationhowever,itisnecessarytolookatthe
Conventiondebates,outlineargumentsbothforandagainstagoodfaith
provision,explainwhatcompromisewasreached,whatitmeansandhow
commentatorshavesubsequentlyapproachedthisquestion.
4.CommonLawv.CivilLaw:ClashandCompromise
Theinclusionofgoodfaithwithinarticle7(1)oftheCISGrepresentsa
"hardwoncompromise"[20]betweentwofactionsdivideduponcommon
lawandcivillawlines.Commonlawdelegatesforcefullyopposedany
explicitreferenceintheConventiontotheprincipleofgoodfaith.[21]Civil
lawdelegateshowever,favouredimposingapositiveobligationandduty
uponcontractingpartiestogoverntheirconductaccordingtotheprinciple

ofgoodfaith.Concessionsweremadefrombothfactionswitha
recommendation"thatasacompromisegoodfaithcouldsurvivebutshould
beshiftedtotheprovisionsoninterpretationoftheConvention,thus...
givingitanhonorableburial."[22]Afurtherproposalsuggestedthatgood
faithshouldapplytotheinterpretationofthecontractratherthanthe
Convention,butthecommonlawdelegatesagainfoundthisunacceptable.
Thecommonlawoppositiontotheinclusionofagoodfaithprovisioninthe
CISGwaspredicatedontheargumentthatgoodfaithwasamoral
exhortationwhichshouldnotbegiventhestatusofalegalobligation
bindingoncontractingparties.[23]Thisprincipleofmorality,whilstsaidto
bedesirable,[24]wasfurtherrejectedonthebasisthatitwas"antitheticalto
thevalueofcertaintyinthecommerciallawdevelopedincommonlaw
systems".[25]Certaintyincontractisacorollaryoffreedomofcontractand
classicalcontracttheorypresupposesthattherecanbe"nodutytocontract
exceptontermsagreedupon."[26]Commentatorshaveobservedwith
surprisetheferocitywithwhichcommonlawlawyersopposedthe
impositionofagoodfaithprovision,[27]FriedrichJuengersuggestingthat
thecommonlawlawyersmayhavesmelt"acivilianplottounderminethe
certaintiestowhichtheyareaccustomed."[28]
Goodfaithwasalsosaidtobetooambiguous,a"protein
phrase"[29]meaning"differentthingstodifferentpeopleindifferentmoods
atdifferenttimesandindifferentplaces."[30]Therefore,itwasfearedthata
goodfaithprovisionintheCISGwouldultimatelyendangeruniformityas
"nationalcourtswouldbeinfluencedbytheirownlegalandsocial
traditions"[31]intheapplicationofsuchanobligation.
Afurtherinterestingobservationmadebytheopponentsofgoodfaithwas
thatitwasunnecessarytoincludeagoodfaithrequirementinaspecific
provisionoftheCISGasgoodfaithisimplicitinallnationallawsregulating
businessactivity.[32]Theconversewasalsocorrectlyassertedinsupportof
agoodfaithprovision,thatis,as"[t]heprincipleofgoodfaithisuniversally
recognized...thereisnoharminincludingitintheConvention."[33]
Additionalargumentsweremootedinfavorofagoodfaithprovision.Civil
lawadvocatessuggestedthat"theextensionofsuchaprovisionintoan
instrumentregulatinginternationaltradewouldbeavaluableextensionofa
normofconductwhichiswidelyrecognizedasnecessaryininternational
trade."[34]Theissueofnonuniformitywasalsocounteredwiththe
suggestionthatanyinitialproblemswithnonuniforminterpretationwould
beovercomewiththepromotionofabodyofcaselaw.[35]Also,courtsand
tribunalswouldbedirectedtothetextofarticle7(1)whichstressestheneed

forauniforminterpretationoftheCISGandoutlinesthemethodologyfor
achievingthisend.Inanyevent,goodfaithdidfinditswayintoarticle7(1)
insomeform,sothehurdleofuniforminterpretationmuststillbe
addressed.[36]
LordMansfield,anadvocateoftheprincipleofgoodfaith,[37]addressed
thecriticismthattheimpositionofgoodfaitherodescertainty.InVallejov.
Wheeler[38]hestatedthat:[39]
"[i]nallmercantiletransactionsthegreatobjectshouldbecertainty:
andtherefore,itisofmoreconsequencethataruleshouldbecertain,
thanwhethertheruleisestablishedonewayortheother.Because
speculatorsintradethenknowwhatgroundtogoupon."
Hiswordsareofparticularrelevancetothedebatesurroundingtheroleand
scopeofgoodfaithwithinarticle7(1)andtheCISG.Mansfieldwarnedthat
itisnottheprincipleofgoodfaithitselfthatwouldintroduceuncertainty,
butratheruncertaintywouldarisefromnotknowingwhethertheprincipleis
lawornot.Thisstatementispertinentbecausewhilstarticle7(1)ofthe
CISGwouldseemtomakethepositionquiteclear,thatis,thattheprinciple
ofgoodfaithappliesonlytotheinterpretationoftheConvention,thisisnot
infactthecase.Rather,theroleofgoodfaithintheCISGisuncertainas
commentatorsdiffersubstantiallyintheirapproachtothisissue.[40]
5.ApproachestoGoodFaith
Commentatorshaveoutlinedfourpossibleapproachestotheroleandscope
ofgoodfaithwithintheCISG.First,thatthegoodfaithprovisioninarticle
7(1)shouldbeusedonlyininterpretingtheConvention.Second,thatthe
conductofcontractingpartiesisgovernedbyapositiveobligationofgood
faithprovidedinarticle7(1).Third,thatgoodfaithisageneralprincipleof
theCISG.Andfinally,thatgoodfaithisageneralprincipleoflex
mercatoriaandUNIDROIT.
a.Criterionforinterpretation
ThedraftinghistoryoftheCISGrevealsquiteplainlythatgoodfaithasa
generalrequirementwasrejected.Rather,aplainreadingofthe
compromisedpositionembodiedinarticle7(1)providesthatgoodfaithisto
beusedasaprincipleforinterpretingprovisionsoftheCISG.[41]Good
faithisacriterionadoptedtohelpjudgesandarbitratorsinterpretthe
Convention.ThispositionwasacknowledgedbytheICCCourtof
ArbitrationCaseNo.8611of1997,wherethecourtstatedthat"[s]incethe

provisionsofArt.7(1)CISGconcernsonlytheinterpretationofthe
Convention,nocollateralobligationmaybederivedfromthe'promotionof
goodfaith'".[42]
However,thisapproachtoarticle7(1)isnotwithoutitscomplications.How
isatribunal,directedbyarticle7(1)tointerprettheConventionhaving
regardtotheneedtopromotetheobservanceofgoodfaithininternational
trade,[43]bestabletoachievethisgoal?Surelygoodfaithininternational
tradecanonlybetrulypromotedbyrequiringpartiestosoact.Theobjective
ofpromotinggoodfaithwouldbeunderminedbyaninterpretationofarticle
7(1)whichallowedpartiestoescapeliabilitywheretheirconductismala
fides.Konerusupportsthispointbystatingthat"goodfaithcannotexistina
vacuumanddoesnotremaininpracticeasaruleunlesstheactorsare
requiredtoparticipate."[44]
Evenifthepositionisacceptedthatarticle7(1)doesnotimposean
obligationofgoodfaithoncontractingparties,butmerelyrequires
provisionsoftheCISGtobeinterpretedingoodfaith,aproblemremains.
TheCISGoutlinesrightsandobligationsofpartiestoaninternationalsale
ofgoods.Article7(1)providesthattheprincipleofgoodfaithshouldbe
usedwheninterpretingtheseprovisions.Surelyitisnotpossibletointerpret
theCISGingoodfaithwithoutalsoindirectlyaffectingtheconductof
parties.[45]ThispointwasillustratedinCaseNumber7U1720/94,heard
beforetheGermanProvincialCourtofAppeal.[46]
ThiscaseinvolvedanItalianbuyerandaGermanseller.Thepartieshad
concludedacontractforthesaleofelevencars.Thecontractofsale
providedthatthebuyerwastofurnishabankguaranteeinfavorofthe
seller,whichitdid.Thetimeofdeliverywasdeterminedafterthecontract
wasconcluded.FivecarswerereadyinAugustandtheothersixinOctober.
However,inOctober,thebuyerinformedthesellerthatacceptanceofthe
deliveryofcarswasimpossibleduetoextremeexchangeratefluctuations
betweentheLiraandtheDeutschmark.Thebuyeraskedthesellertodefer
deliveryfromthesupplier.Rather,thesellercancelleditsorderswiththe
supplieranddemandedandreceivedpaymentofthebankguarantee.The
courtorderedthesellertorepaytheguaranteemoneysastheyhadbeen
obtainedwithoutlegalgroundsthebankguaranteewastocoveran
obligationtopayandwasnottoactasapenaltyfornottakingdeliveryby
thebuyer.However,thebuyer'sclaimfordamageswasdismissed.Thecourt
determinedthattherehadnotbeenafundamentalbreach,asthecarswere
readyfordeliveryinOctober,thereforetherewasnorighttoavoidfornon
delivery.Inanyevent,thebuyerfailedtodeclarethecontractavoidedatthe
time.[47]Toallowthebuyertodeclarethecontractvoidatthetimeofthe

trial,twoandahalfyearsaftertheevent,wouldviolatetheprincipleofgood
faithinarticle7(1)oftheCISG.
Thecourtdidnotelaboratefurtherastotheirinterpretationofgoodfaithin
article7(1)oftheCISG.Itappearsthecourtmayhaveinterpretedthe
provisionsrelatingtoavoidance,particularlyarticle49whichgivesthe
partiesthepowertoavoid,andarticle26whichprovidesthatavoidanceis
onlyeffectiveifnoticeisgiven,withaviewtopromotinggoodfaithin
internationaltradeasdirectedinarticle7(1).Thatis,givingnoticeof
avoidancetwoandahalfyearsaftertherightarosewouldnotbeingood
faith.Inthissense,theobjectiveofthecivillawadvocateswhopreferreda
generalrequirementofgoodfaithhasbeenindirectlyachieved.Provisions
oftheConventioncannotbeinterpretedingoodfaithwithoutthat
interpretationhavingconsequencesfortheconductofcontractingparties.
However,circumstancesmayarisewhereconductwhichismalafideswill
notbecaughtbyprovisionsoftheCISGinterpretedingoodfaith.Ageneral
requirementofgoodfaithwouldthereforebenecessarytoremedyanaction
which,althoughstrictlywithintheprescribedlimitsoftheCISG,isnotin
goodfaith.PossiblyitwasthepreciseintentionoftheConventiondraftersin
agreeingonthearticle7(1)compromisethat,whenavailable,goodfaith
interpretationofCISGprovisionscouldremedyconductnotingoodfaith
butageneralobligationofgoodfaithwouldnotbeavailablefor
circumstancesbeyondthelanguageoftheCISG.However,evenifthiswere
thecase,recoursecouldpossiblybehadtogoodfaithasageneralprinciple
oftheCISG.
b.Generalrequirementsofgoodfaith
Despitetheexpressrejectionofgoodfaithasageneralrequirementduring
thedraftingconventions,somecommentatorsstillattestthattheCISG
embodiesanobligationofgoodfaithasageneralrequirement.Nives
Povrzenicwritesthat"[t]heprovision'theneedtopromote...theobservance
ofgoodfaithininternationaltrade'shouldbegivenabroadinterpretationin
thesensethatitisaddressedtothepartiestoeachindividualcontractofsale
aswellastotheConventionitself."[48]Shearguesthatthesubjectsof
commerciallawarepartiestocommercialtransactions,andthatgoodfaithis
aleadingprincipleinthefieldofcommercewhichcannotbeignored.
[49]WhilstPovrzenicfindssupportfromeminentauthorssuchasMichael
Bonell[50]andPeterSchlectriem,[51]itremainsanirrefutablefactthatgood
faithasageneralrequirementwasrejectedduringthedraftingofthe
Convention.Tosubsequentlyallowsuchaninterpretation,however
desirable,maytendtounderminetheConventionprocess,althoughsome

authorsbelievethatthecontinued"criticism,whichseekstobroadenthe
effectofgoodfaith,willinthecourseoftimeleadtotherecognitionofa
generalobligationonthepartiestobehaveaccordingly."[52]Certainly,there
arecaseswhichcanbeinterpretedasfavouringthisapparentlyrejected
position.
InSARLBRiProduction"Bonaventure"v.SocietyPanAfricanExport,
[53]atermofacontractforthesaleofjeansfromaFrench
manufacturer/sellertoanAmericanbasedbuyerspecifiedthatthejeans
purchasedweretobesenttoSouthAmericaandAfrica.Whennegotiating
thecontractandduringperformance,thesellerrepeatedlyandinsistently
demandedproofregardingthedestinationofthejeanssold.Duringthe
seconddelivery,itbecameapparentthatthejeanshadbeenshippedtoSpain
inbreachofthecontract.Thesellerrefusedtocontinueanyfurther
deliveriestotheAmericanbuyer,atwhichtimethebuyerbrought
proceedingsintheFrenchcourts.However,thecourtfoundthatthebuyer
hadfundamentallybreachedthecontractunderarticle25oftheCISGbynot
tellingthesellerthedestinationofthegoodsandbysendingthemtoSpain
whenthecontractstipulatedthattheyweretobesenttoSouthAmericaand
Africa.Inaddition,thecourtorderedthebuyertopaydamagesforabuseof
process.Thisfindingwasbasedontheconductofthebuyer,"contrarytothe
principleofgoodfaithininternationaltradelaiddowninarticle7CISGby
theadoptionofajudicialstandasplaintiffintheproceedings,constituted
abuseofprocess".[54]
Ineffect,thecourtrelieduponarticle7(1)oftheCISGinfindingthatthe
buyerhadbreachedanobligationtogovernitsconductingoodfaith.The
buyer'sconductofinitiatinglegalproceedingsincircumstanceswhereitwas
clearlyinbreachwassaidtobe"contrarytotheprincipleofgoodfaithin
internationaltradelaiddowninarticle7CISG".[55]Thecourtappearsto
havesuggestedthatcontractingpartieshaveapositiveobligationtoregulate
theirconductingoodfaith,andforapartytocommencecourtproceedings
incircumstanceswheretheyareclearlyatfaultisnotingoodfaith.[56]
ThedecisionintheGermancase,number7U1720/94couldalsobe
interpretedinthismanner.Therethecourtfoundlateexerciseofarightto
avoidwasnotingoodfaith.Whilstthiscasemaybeexplainedbythecourt
interpretingtheprovisionsoftheCISGingoodfaithtoindirectlyimpose
thisobligationontheparties,itmightalsobeexplainedbythecourtrelying
onarticle7(1)asimposingageneralobligationofgoodfaith.
Ifnothingelse,thereferencetotheabovetwojudgmentsillustratesoneof
thedifficultiesinestablishingandmaintainingauniformsalescode.As

tribunalsaroundtheglobeareresponsibleforinterpretingandapplyingthe
provisionsoftheCISG,theburdenisalsouponthemtopromoteuniformity
bydecidingdisputesinamannerconsistentwiththespiritoftheCISGand
thejudgmentofothertribunals.Itistruethatthedoctrineofprecedentdoes
notapplytobindcourtsandtribunalstoforeignjudgments,butinthespirit
ofinternationalcooperationwhichformedtheCISG,foreignjudgments
shouldatleastbeconsideredtofurtheruniformity.Thispositionis
supportedbyarticle7(1)whichdirectsdecisionmakerstohaveregardtothe
'internationalcharacter'oftheConventionwheninterpretingitsprovisions.
Thatis,theCISGshouldnotbereadthroughdomesticlensesbutprojected
againstaninternationalbackground.[57]Considerationofforeigndecisions
informulatingajudgmentundertheCISGwouldbeconsistentwiththe
internationalcharacteroftheConvention.However,frequentlythese
judgmentsarenotmadepubliclyavailable.Andevenwheretheyare
available,thereasonsandbasisforthecourt'sdecisionisoftennot
expressed.Allthesefactorsmeanthatitisincreasinglydifficulttokeepthe
codeuniform.
c.GeneralprincipleoftheCISG
Nouniformcommercialcodecouldhopetoincludeprovisionsgoverningall
circumstanceswhicharisewithinthescopeofitsapplication.Toovercome
theproblemoffillingthose'gaps'withintheCISG,article7(2)was
introduced.Article7(2)providesthat:
"QuestionsconcerningmattersgovernedbythisConventionwhich
arenotexpresslysettledinitaretobesettledinconformitywiththe
generalprinciplesonwhichitisbasedor,intheabsenceofsuch
principles,inconformitywiththelawapplicablebyvirtueoftherules
ofprivateinternationallaw."
Themethodologyfor"gapfilling",accordingtoarticle7(2)followstwo
steps.First,referenceismadetogeneralprinciplesonwhichtheCISGis
basedandintheabsenceofsuchprinciples,oneresortstotherulesof
privateinternationallaw,thatis,theapplicabledomesticlaw.[58]
GeneralprinciplescanbediscernedfromthetextoftheConvention[59]and
fromitslegislativehistory.Anapproachbasedongeneralprinciplesis
preferredbecauseitistheprocedurethatbestpromotesauniform
interpretationoftheCISG.Interpretationsbasedongeneralprinciplesare
morelikelytodepictthespiritunderlyingtheConventionbecausegeneral
principles"representthe'commonground'onwhichtheinternational
delegatesunderstoodeachotherandagreedtojointogetherinformulating

theConvention".[60]Also,iftherearegaps,itsisonlylogicalthata
solutionissoughtbylookingwithinthefourcornersoftheCISGitself
whereverpossible.[61]
GoodfaithisageneralprincipleoftheCISG.Itisaprinciplethatpermeates
theConvention,providingthepolicybasisformanyprovisions.For
example,notonlyisitexpresslyprovidedforinarticle7(1),goodfaithis
alsomanifestedinprovisionsrelatingtothe:[62]
"nonrevocabilityofanofferwhereitwasreasonablefortheofferee
torelyupontheofferbeingheldopenandtheoffereeactedin
relianceontheoffer;[63]...thestatusofalateacceptancewhich
wassentinsuchcircumstancesthatifitstransmissionhadbeen
normalitwouldhavereachedtheofferorinduetime;[64]...the
preclusionofapartyfromrelyingonaprovisioninacontractthat
modificationorabrogationofthecontractmustbeinwriting;[65]...
therightsofasellertoremedynonconformanceofthegoods;
[66]...[aprovision]whichprecludesthesellerfromrelyingonthe
factthatnoticeofnonconformityhasnotbeengivenbythebuyerin
accordancewith[articles38and39]ifthelackofconformityrelates
tofactsofwhichthesellerkneworcouldnothavebeenunawareand
whichhedidnotdisclosetothebuyer;[67]...thelossoftherightto
declarethecontractavoided;[68]...[andprovisions]whichimpose
onthepartiesobligationstotakestepstopreservethegoods.[69]
Inaddition,provisionsoftheCISGreflectafoundationingoodfaith
throughitsvariantssuchasreasonablenessandfairdealing.[70]Indeed,so
pervasiveisthepresenceofgoodfaiththattheobligationonthepartiesmust
exist.[71]ThisisdespiteProfessorFarnsworth'slonelycryamidstaseaof
supporttothecontrary,thatitwouldbe"aperversionofthecompromiseto
letageneralprincipleofgoodfaithinbythebackdoor."[72]
Furthermore,thereisapossibilitythattheprincipleofgoodfaithisnot
excludable.Whilstarticle6providesthat"partiesmayexcludethe
applicationofthisConventionor...derogatefromorvarytheeffectofany
ofitsprovisions",[73]Bonellarguesthattheprovisionsofarticle7(1),
particularlythegoodfaithobligation,cannotbeexcludedbyany
agreement.Bonellstatesthat[74]
"topermitthepartiestoderogate...byagreeingonrulesof
interpretationusedwithrespecttoordinarydomesticlegislation
wouldbeinconsistentwiththeinternationalcharacterofthe
Conventionandwouldnecessarilyseriouslyjeopardizethe

Convention'sultimateaim,whichistoachieveworldwideuniformity
inthelawofinternationalcontractsofsaleandtopromotethe
observanceofgoodfaithininternationaltrade."
Shouldthemandatorynatureofgoodfaithbeaccepted,itsexistenceasa
generalprincipleisfurthersupported.AsBonellsuggests,notonlyisgood
faithexpresslyprovidedforwithintheCISG,butitisofsuchimportanceto
theoperationandsuccessoftheConventionasauniformlawthattoallow
partiestoexcludeitbyagreementshouldnotbepermitted.Farnsworthagain
seekstocriticisethispositionbypointingoutthatopponentstotheinclusion
ofgoodfaith,incompromisingonarticle7,wouldbedoublysurprisedas
they"intendedneitherthatadutyofgoodfaithwouldneverthelesscreepin
asageneralprinciplenorthatthepartieswouldbepowerlesstodoanything
aboutit."[75]
TheICCArbitrationCaseNo.8611[76]of1997revealshowthegeneral
principleofgoodfaithcanbeidentifiedandappliedtogoverntheconduct
ofcontractingparties.Thiscaseinvolvedacontractofsaleforgoods
betweenaGermancompany(theseller)andaSpanishcompany(thebuyer).
ThecontractstipulatedthattheGermancompanywouldexclusivelysupply
theSpanishcompanywiththeparticulargoods(atypeofmachinery).
[77]However,theGermansellerhadarighttoterminatethecontractifthe
Spanishbuyerdidnotpurchaseastipulatedamountofgoodsinanyone
year.In1991,theSpanishbuyerboughtlessthatthisamount,soin1992the
sellerinformedthebuyerthatitwouldnolongerexclusivelysupplythe
goods.ThedisputethenarosewhentheGermansellersoughtpaymentfrom
theSpanishbuyerofinvoicesplusinterest.Thebuyerdidnotdisputehaving
receivedthespecifiedgoods,butclaimedarighttosetoffanydamagesdue
totheseller'ssupplyofdefectivegoods[78]andrefusaltotakethegoods
backorsupplythebuyerwiththerequiredreplacementparts.
Thebuyerhadurgedthesellertodeliverthereplacementpartsseveral
times.[79]Theselleragreedithadanobligationtosupplyreplacementparts
forthedeliveredgoods,andstateditwouldhavesodeliveredhadthebuyer
paidfortheoutstandinginvoices.However,theTribunaldismissedthis
claimasthefailuretodeliverthereplacementpartsappearedbeforethe
buyerwasinarrearsofpayment.TheTribunalthenmadereferencetoarticle
433oftheGermanCivilCodewhichprovidesthattheproducerof
machines[80]hasanobligationtosupplyreplacementpartsforalimited
time,evenifnospecialagreementexists.Thisobligationarisesinmost
casesfromtheprincipleofgoodfaithaccordingtoarticle242oftheGerman
CivilCode.[81]Article433oftheGermanCivilCodewasdistinguished
fromarticle7(1)oftheCISG,theTribunalnotingthatasarticle7(1)

concernsonlytheinterpretationoftheConvention,nocollateralobligation
maybederivedfromthe'promotionofgoodfaith'.[82]
Despitethisfindinghowever,theTribunalstillfoundinfavorofthebuyer
asifthecasehadbeendeterminedunderarticle433oftheGermanCivil
Code.ByrelyingonprovisionsoftheCISG,otherthanarticle7(1),aswell
asgeneralprinciplesoftheConvention,[83]theTribunalheldthattheseller
hadbreacheditsobligationtosupplyreplacementparts.Inreachingthis
conclusion,theTribunalnotedthat:
"regardingtherelationshipbetweentheparties,apromptdeliveryof
replacementpartshadbecomenormalpracticeasdefinedbyArt.9(1)
oftheCISGbywhichthe[seller]wasbound.InaccordancewithArt.
33(c)oftheCISG,thesellerhastodeliverthegoodswithina
reasonabletimeaftertheconclusionofthecontract.FromArt.7(2)it
canbederivedthattheobligationtodeliversubsequentreplacement
partswouldhavetobefulfilledwithinareasonabletimeafter
receivingthebuyer'sorder."[84]
Acomparisonwasmadebetweenarticle7(1)oftheCISGwhichthecourt
feltimposednocollateralobligationtoactingoodfaith,andtheGerman
CivilCodewhichdoes.ThecourtnotedthatundertheGermanCivilCode,
thesellerwouldhaveanobligationtosupplyreplacementpartstothebuyer,
butbecauseofthelimitednatureofarticle7(1)oftheCISGno
correspondingobligationwouldapply.However,thecourtstillfoundthat
thesellerhadbreacheditsobligationtosupplyreplacementpartstothe
buyer.Thecourt'sdecisionwasbasedonthefactthatdeliveryof
replacementpartshadbecomenormalpracticebetweentheparties[85]and
thatarticle33(c)oftheCISGprovidedfordeliveryofgoodswithina
reasonabletime.Fromtheseprovisions,thecourtderivedthegeneral
principlethatreplacementpartsshouldbedeliveredwithinareasonable
time.Asnotedabove,reasonablenessisconsideredavariantofgoodfaith
withintheCISG.Furthermore,thedecisionreachedusinggeneralprinciples
oftheConventionwasthesameasthatwhichwouldhavebeenfoundunder
theGermanCivilCodewhichexpresslyprovidesforgoodfaithasageneral
requirement.
AfurtherexampleisseeninArbitralAwardSCH4318deliveredinVienna
onJune151994.[86]Therethecourtdeterminedthattheprincipleof
estoppel[87]"representsaspecialapplicationofthegeneralprincipleof
goodfaithandwithoutdoubtisseenasoneofthegeneralprincipleson
whichtheConventionisbased."[88]Inthatcase,goodsdeliveredbyan
AustrianSellertoaGermanbuyerweredefectiveinquality.Theseller

refusedtopaydamagesonthebasisthatthebuyerdidnotgivetimelynotice
ofthedefectasrequiredundertheCISG.However,thecourtdetermined
thatthesellerwasestoppedfromraisingthedefenceofuntimelynoticeas
theseller'sconducthadledthebuyertobelievethatthesellerwouldnot
raisethisdefence.Bypursuingnegotiationssoastoseeminglyreacha
settlementagreementandbycontinuingtoaskthebuyerforinformation
regardingthestatusofitscomplaint,thecourteffectivelydeterminedthatit
wouldnotbeingoodfaithtoallowadefenceofuntimelynotice.
d.GeneralprinciplesoutsidetheCISG
Article7(2)oftheCISGclearlyprovidesthatonlygeneralprincipleson
whichtheCISGarebasedaretobeconsideredinfillinggaps.Despitethis
clearlimitation,someauthorityassertsthatrecoursecanandshouldbemade
togeneralprinciplesoutsidetheConvention.Shouldthisargumentsucceed,
apositiveobligationtoactingoodfaithmaybindpartiestotheinternational
saleofgoods,asgoodfaithisarecognisedprincipleoflex
mercatoria[89]andisalsoprovidedforintheUNIDROITprinciples.[90]
TheCISGrequiresaconnectionbetweentheCISGandanygeneral
principlessoughttobeusedbeforeapartymayseektorelyonthem.This
limitationisnecessarytopreventthearbitraryuseofgeneralprinciples
whichwouldundermineauniforminterpretationoftheConvention.Asthe
provisionofauniformlawwasaprimaryobjectiveoftheConvention
drafters,thislimitationwouldappearjustifiedandnecessary.However,this
limitationalsofrustratesthedevelopmentoftheCISG.International
conventions,unlikedomesticlegislation,lackamechanismforchange.For
example,theCISGmakesnoprovisionforalegislativeoreditorialbody
withtheauthoritytoamendandaddtotheConventionsoastoremedy
deficiencies,orinresponsetodevelopmentsinthelegalsystemsofthe
world.Further,thereisnoauthoritativejudicialbodywhichmaygive
bindingdeterminationsastothelaw.Indeed,thedebateonthetrueposition
ofgoodfaithwouldbewellservedifanauthoritativecourtortribunalwas
empoweredtogiveajudgmentbinding,oratleastofauthoritative
persuasion,toalltribunalsandcourtsaroundtheworlddealingwiththe
CISG.Thisapproachwouldcertainlyenhanceauniforminterpretation.But
thesemechanismsarenotavailable,andnorisitforeseeablethatcountries
jealouslyguardingtheirsovereigntywouldacquiescetotheprovisionof
legislativeandjudicialinstitutionstoregulatetheCISG.
IstheCISGtherefore,confinedtoitshistoricalvacuum,unabletoadaptto
thechangingworldaroundit?Shouldrecoursetogeneralprinciplesoflaw
foundoutsidetheCISGbeallowed,thisneednotnecessarilybethecase.

UlrichMagnusarguesthatgeneralprinciplesfoundoutsidetheConvention
shouldgenerallybeexcluded,butanexceptionshouldbemadeforgeneral
principles"whichareinternationallycoordinatedandactuallyfindgeneral
acceptance."[91]WhilsttheCISGmaynothaveinitiallybeenbasedonsuch
principles,suchadevelopmentshouldnotbeimpededinordertoprevent
petrifyingthisuniformlaw.
Thisissuehasparticularpertinencetothepositionofgoodfaithwithinthe
CISG.Asalreadyindicated,theroleandscopeofgoodfaithissubjectto
varyingopinions.Thefoundationofthisdisagreementislocatedinthe
disparateapproachestogoodfaithespousedbythecommonlawandcivil
lawrepresentativesrespectively,duringtheConventionswhichformulated
thefinaltextoftheCISG.Reflectingthelawasitstoodintheirdomestic
jurisdictions,delegatesfromcommonlawsystemswereopposedto
incorporatinggoodfaithintotheConvention.However,thelawinsomeof
thesecommonlawcountrieshasundergonefundamentalchanges.For
example,duetotheinfluenceofequitabledoctrinessuchas
unconscionability,Australiancommonlawisnowbetterpreparedtoaccept
andrecogniseanobligationofgoodfaithuponparties.Thequestionthus
arisesastowhethertheCISGshouldreflectthisdevelopment?
MagnuswouldarguethattheCISGshouldindeedreflectthisdevelopment,
subjecttotheprovisothatthegeneralprincipleswhichdeveloparetruly
"internationallyaccepted".Thisquestioncanbeexaminedinlightofthe
UNIDROITprinciplesandtheapparentconversioninsomecommonlaw
countriestoapositionsupportiveofgoodfaithincontractualrelations.
(1)UNIDROITPrinciplesofInternationalCommercialContracts
MagnusisoftheopinionthattheUNIDROITprinciplesshouldbeutilised
asadditionalgeneralprinciplesoftheCISG.[92]TheUNIDROITprinciples
weredevelopedonabroadcomparativelawbasis,thefinaltextrepresenting
featurescommontosomeoftheworld'slegalsystems.[93]Theprinciples
servevariousfunctions,onesuchfunctionbeingtoactasaguidelinefor
interpretationandfillinggapsininternationalconventions.Thisintention
alonehoweverisinsufficientreasonforexpandingthescopeofapplication
oftheUNIDROITprinciplestogeneralprinciplesoftheCISG.Rather
Magnusfindssupportforhispositionbyreferringtotheextensive
correspondencebetweentheUNIDROITprinciples,theprovisionsofthe
CISGandthegeneralprinciplesderivedfromwithintheCISGboundaries.
[94]Inaddition,theapproachadoptedindevelopingtheUNIDROIT
principlesreflectsabodyoflawthatisinternationallyaccepted.

AfurthermechanismtointroducetheUNIDROITprinciplesandlex
mercatoriagenerally,isfoundinarticle6oftheCISG.Asalreadynoted,
article6embodiestheruleof"partyautonomy",allowingpartiestoexclude,
derogateorvarytheapplicationandeffectoftheConventionprovisions.
TherecognitionofpartyautonomyindicatesthattheCISGdoesnot
necessarilyseekto"competewiththelexmercatoria,butratherthatthetwo
bodiesoflawarecomplementary".[95]Utilisingarticle6therefore,parties
maysupplementtheCISGorfillgapsthatremainbyreferencetousages
includedinthelexmercatoria,[96]suchastheobservanceofgoodfaith.
ReturningspecificallytoUNIDROIT,ifitisacceptedthattheseprinciples
provideanadditionalsourceforgeneralprinciplesoftheCISG,thequestion
remainsastowhatconsequencethishasregardingthepositionofgood
faith.Asnoted,theprovisionsoftheUNIDROITprinciplesandtheCISG
areverysimilar.ThisisinpartduetothefactthattheUNIDROITprinciples
weremodelledontheCISGandmanyoftheindividualswhoproducedthe
CISGalsoproducedtheUNIDROITprinciples.[97]
Article1.7(1)supportstheimpositionofapositiveobligationofgoodfaith
oncontractingparties.Itprovidesthat"eachpartymustactinaccordance
withgoodfaithandfairdealingininternationaltrade."[98]Bonellstatesthat
theonlydifferencebetweenarticle1.7oftheUNIDROITprinciplesand
article7oftheCISGrelatestothewordingratherthanthesubstantive
contentoftheobligation.[99]Insoarguing,relianceontheUNIDROIT
principlesreaffirmssupportforthepositiveobligationofgoodfaith.It
shouldberememberedhowever,thatthepersuasiveweightofthisposition
iscontingentontheratherflimsysuggestionthattheUNIDROITprinciples
canprovideasourceofgeneralprinciplestobeusedininterpretingthe
provisionsoftheCISG.[100]Furthermore,despiteBonell'srespected
opiniontothecontrary,itseemsclearlyevidentthatgoodfaithunderthe
UNIDROITprinciplesgoeswellbeyondtheCISG,toexpresslyimposean
obligationofgoodfaithoncontractingparties.
However,theexistenceoftheUNIDROITprinciplesassistsin
demonstratingthatgoodfaithisaprincipleoflawlocatedindifferentlegal
systemsandthatitisasharedvalueininternationaltrade.[101]Thisisnow
alsoincreasinglytrueforcountrieswithacommonlawtradition.
(2)Commonlawdevelopments
CommentatorsdescribetheCISGasanautonomousinstrument,
[102]meaningitiscapableofgeneratingnewrulesandadaptingto
changingcircumstances.Inthisregard,Magnusarguesthatthedevelopment

oftheCISGshouldnotberestrictedtothemechanismsoutlinedinarticle
7(2).Rather,thecriterionbywhichMagnuswouldregulatetheevolutionof
theCISGiswhetheraprincipleistrulyinternationallyaccepted.
WhentheCISGwasdrafted,goodfaithwasgenerallytreatedwith
contrastingrespectbycivillawandcommonlawlegalsystems.Thatis,
therewasnotrulyinternationallyacceptedapproachtogoodfaithin
contractualrelations.However,thispositionhaschanged.Goodfaithisnow
increasinglybeingrecognisedbycommonlawcourtsandwriters,
suggestingapositionofinternationalacceptanceisnowarealistic
possibility.
LordMansfieldin1766referredtogoodfaithas"thegoverningprinciple...
applicabletoallcontractsanddealings".[103]Intermsoftheapproach
takenbythecommonlawtogoodfaith,thisdecisionrepresentsthehigh
watermark.However,the19thandearly20thcenturieswitnessedauniform
reactionagainstthisposition.[104]Reasonsinclude"theriseoflegal
positivismwithitsdistasteforlegalprincipleswhichcontainbroadly
conceivedethicalcomponentsanditsalmostfranticquestforlegal
certainty."[105]Alltheseargumentswereairedinthecontextofthedebates
precedingtheformulationoftheCISG.Duringthisperiod,inwhichthe
commonlawsoughtthe"rightbalancebetweenfairnessandjusticeonthe
onehand,andcertaintyandpredictabilityontheother,thescalestipped
stronglyagainstfairnessandinfavorofpredictability."[106]
Whilstthependulumswayedstronglyagainsttheinclusionofagoodfaith
obligationincontractualrelationsforthegreaterpartofthiscentury,
circumstancesindicatethatthescalesareagainturning.IntheUnitedStates
thedoctrineofgoodfaithnowfindsgeneralacceptance.Section1203of
theUniformCommercialCode(UCC)providesthat"[e]verycontractof
dutywithinthisActimposesanobligationofgoodfaithinitsperformance
orenforcement."[107]Furthermore,overfiftyprovisionsoftheUCC
specificallymentiongoodfaith.[108]Likewise,theRestatement(2nd)of
Contractsincludesaprovisionstatingthat"everycontractimposesoneach
partyadutyofgoodfaithandfairdealinginitsperformanceandits
enforcement."[109]Inaddition,inCanada,goodfaithhasbeendescribedas
"avitalnormincontractlaw"[110]andtwoOntarioLawReform
Commissionstudieshaveadvocatedrulesongoodfaith.[111]InEngland
however,goodfaithis"specificallynotrecognised,althoughinmanycases
applicationofparticularruleswouldachievethesameresult."[112]
ThedevelopmentsinNorthAmericahavebeenreplicatedinAustralia.Ina
1992case,PriestleyJAconcluded"thatpeoplegenerally,includingjudges

andotherlawyers,fromallstrandsofthecommunity,havegrownusedto
thecourtsapplyingstandardsoffairnesstocontractwhicharewholly
consistentwiththeexistenceinallcontractsofadutyuponthepartiesof
goodfaithandfairdealinginitsperformance."[113]
MrJusticePriestleydrewaparallelbetweentherecognisedobligationto
exercisecontractualpowersreasonablyandhonestlyand"thenotionsof
goodfaithwhichareregardedinmanycivillawsystemsofEuropeandin
allStatesintheUnitedStatesasnecessarilyimpliedinmanykindsof
contracts"[114]Priestleyfurthernotedthattherearevariousindications,
includingtheratificationbymanycountriesofarticle7(1)oftheCISG,to
supportthepropositionthatgoodfaithisrecognisedincontractlaworat
leastthatthetimeisfastapproachingwhensuchanideamaybecome
orthodox.
FriedrichJuengermakestheinterestingobservationthatthecommonlaw
reluctancetoopenlyadoptgoodfaithasagoverningcontractualprinciple
maywellbebasedonterminologyratherthansubstance.[115]Thecourtsin
Australiarecognisetheequitabledoctrineofunconscionability.
[116]Therefore,hadarticle7oftheCISGbeenphrasedtoprohibitparties
tocontractsfortheinternationalsaleofgoodsfromengaginginconductthat
is'unconscionable'[117],supportfromcommonlawlawyersmighthave
beenmoreforthcoming;eventhoughunconscionability"isbutanother
variantofjustice,thebasicingredientofgoodfaith."[118]
Goodfaithisfindingincreasingfavoracrossthecommonlawworld.The
scenarioisthereforesetforthecommonlawtodeclaretheinductionofa
fundamentalprinciple[119]wherebygoodfaithisrecognisedasan
obligationgoverningtheconductofpartiestoacontract.Suchaprinciple
wouldbringthecommonlawintoconformitywiththelawincivil
jurisdictionsandresultinaprinciplethatistrulyinternationallyaccepted.
Accordingly,itwouldbeappropriatefortheCISGtorecognisethatthis
positiveobligationexists.Inlightofthealternativeargumentssupporting
therecognitionwithintheCISGofanobligationofgoodfaiththatregulates
theconductofcontractingparties,therecognitionofthisprinciplebyboth
commonlawandcivillawsystemsalikewouldtendtoconsummateits
positionwithinthefabricoftheCISG.
6.Conclusions
Aristotlewrotethat"thelawisalwaysageneralstatement,yetthereare
caseswhichitisnotpossibletocoverinageneralstatement."[120]This
wasthejurisdictionofequity,being"arectificationoflawwherelawis

defectivebecauseofitsgenerality."[121]Aristotlewaswarningagainstthe
rigiduniversalapplicationofprinciples,arguingthatalljusticesystemsneed
balancingequitableprinciplestoaccountfordifferentindividual
circumstances.Incivillawsystems,therequirementofgoodfaithtempered
therigidapplicationofcontractualprinciples.Incommonlawcountries
however,thefocusuntilrecentlywasplacedheavilyontheimportanceof
certaintyanddistasteforbroadlyconceivedethicalcomponents.Toa
degree,equitywasabletoremedythestrictapplicationofcontractlaw,with
doctrinessimilartogoodfaithsuchasunconscionability.However,the
claimisbeingmadeincommonlawcountriesthatequitytoday"hasno
exclusiveproprietorshipof'goodfaith'."[122]Caselawandcommentary
suggeststhatthecommonlawscalesarepresentlytiltinginfavorofalso
recognisinggoodfaithasanobligationgoverningtheconductofparties.
Shouldthisoccur,goodfaithwillbecomeaprinciplerecognised
internationally.Thispositionisconsistentwiththeinclusionofgoodfaith
obligationsinthelexmercatoriaandtheUNIDROITprinciples.The
concernofthispaperwasthedegreetowhichtheCISGrecognisedgood
faith.DoesgoodfaithoperateintheCISGasabalancingequitableprinciple
inthemannersuggestedbyAristotle?
Asdiscussed,opinionsonthisquestionvary.Therecognitionofgoodfaith
asapositiveobligationdoesfindsupportwithintheCISG.Eminentauthors
suchasBonellandSchlectriemholdthatarticle7(1)oftheCISGembodies
anobligationofgoodfaithasageneralrequirement.Beyondthisposition,it
isanirrefutablefactthatgoodfaith,initsvariousmanifestations,permeates
thebodyandspiritoftheCISG.Thatis,goodfaithisageneralprincipleof
theCISG,andassuchcanbeutilisedbyvirtueofthearticle7(2)procedure.
Alternatively,anarrow,literalinterpretationofarticle7(1)oftheCISG,and
considerationofitslegislativehistory,favorstheuseofgoodfaithbyjudges
andarbitratorsmerelyasaninstrumentofinterpretation.Whilstthe
consequencesofthispositionmayindirectlyregulatepartyconductagainst
agoodfaithstandard,nogeneralobligationofgoodfaithwouldexistunder
anarrowapproachtoarticle7(1).However,notonlydoesthisstanceoffend
thewisdomofAristotle,itposesgreaterquestionsastohowtheCISG
shouldbeinterpretedinthefuture.Aliteralinterpretationconfininggood
faithtoacriteriaforinterpretationismoreinlinewiththetraditional
commonlawapproachtostatutoryinterpretation,anapproach"gearedtothe
conceptofwrittenlawasanexceptiontothecommonlaw...[inwhich]
statutesmustbeinterpretednarrowly."[123]Thisapproachisinappropriate
wheninterpretinganinternationalconvention.Rather,the"provisionsofthe
Conventionmustbeflexibleenoughtobeworkablewithoutformal

amendmentforalongperiodoftime.TheConvention,therefore,mustbe
regardedasanautonomoussystem,capableofgeneratingnew
rules."[124]Ifgoodfaithtrulyisaprinciplerecognisedinternationally,then
theCISGshouldbeallowedtoreflectthisdevelopmenttoitsfullextent.To
suggestotherwiseistoconfinetheCISGtoitshistoricalvacuum.