Sources of Contract Law: Essay

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Except in a few American jurisdictions the basic law of contracts is not codified. Contract law is thus primarily common law, embodied in court decisions. Many legislative enactments do, however, bear on the subject. Generally, only a few statutes purport to modify a principle running throughout contract law. For the most part legislatures have concentrated on regulating particular types of contracts such as insurance policies and employment contracts. Of particular relevance in twentieth century legislation is Article 2 of the UCC. The UCC and the Restatement of Contracts: The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) is the product of a Permanent Editorial Board under the joint auspices of the American Law Institute and the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. A draft was approved by these bodies in 1952. In 1953, it was enacted by Pennsylvania. No other state followed. In 1956, the New York Law Revision Commission recommended against enactment unless extensive amendments were made. Reacting to the New York report, the Permanent Editorial Board made extensive revisions. As so revised, it was enacted by all the states except Louisiana between 1957 and 1967. The UCC originally contained nine articles. Since its original enactment, two articles have been added and several have been thoroughly revised. Article 1 contains general provisions applicable to all transactions governed by the Code. Article 2 governs the sales of goods; Article 2A deals with the leasing of goods; an Article 2B in the process of being drafted will govern the licensing of computer software; Article 3 governs commercial paper; Article 4, bank deposits and collections; Article 4A, funds transfer; Article 5, letters of credit; Article 6, bulk transfers; Article 7, warehouse receipts, bills of lading and other documents of title; Article 8, investment securities; Article 9, secured

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