The effect of unexpected circumstances on contracts in Scotland and Louisiana

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter analyses the legal rules governing unexpected circumstances in contract law in the mixed legal systems of Louisiana and Scotland. The subject lies at the heart of commercial law, and one of the most interesting issues is likely to be whether the influence of the United States and England, world-leading commercial systems, has been dominant. The subject poses challenges to the comparatist. Louisiana, like many other legal systems, employs more than one legal concept in this area. By contrast, in Scots law, the unitary concept of frustration is applied to all cases. Other obstacles to be overcome include structural differences in the law of contract, and the difficult boundary between unexpected circumstances and error. Despite these difficulties, the chapter concludes that the two mixed legal systems can indeed learn from one another, in particular by drawing on the best parts of the different sources available to them.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMixed Jurisdictions Compared
Subtitle of host publicationPrivate Law in Louisiana and Scotland
EditorsVernon Valentine Palmer, Elspeth Christie Reid
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages37
ISBN (Print)9780748638864
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Publication series

NameEdinburgh Studies in Law
PublisherEdinburgh University Press


  • legal rules
  • contract law
  • mixed legal systems
  • Louisiana law
  • Scots law
  • commercial law


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