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This project aims to produce by 2025 a draft English Commercial Code, encapsulating the core principles and rules of English commercial law in the format of black-letter propositions and accompanying commentary. It aims to restate the principles and rules, to make them readily accessible in one place, and, where appropriate, to clarify and to modernise English commercial law. Codification of commercial law principles stalled after the Edwardian era. In addition to US and international precedents, Lord Burrows’s recent Restatements of unjust enrichment and of contract have demonstrated the utility of such a project in identifying in clear and accessible formats the principal rules, isolating areas of uncertainty, and suggesting the way forward where the law is unclear. This paper outlines the background to the project and its methodology, and attaches the draft Part I of the draft Code, covering general principles of English commercial law and matters of interpretation.
A. ENGLISH COMMERCIAL LAW: A NATIONAL TREASURE?
English commercial law has long been celebrated by its admirers as a product of the “strength and stretch of human understanding”,1 from its genesis in the court of