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Recitals in International Contracts

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Chapter Summary

A large number of contracts, particularly those dealing with international trade, begin with so-called "recitals". The parties to such contracts use recitals to set out a series of statements that they regard as useful before approaching the body of the contract. Often, the parties introduce themselves and state their respective qualifications. They describe the purposes of their contract and the circumstances that have brought about their collaboration. This chapter begins with a description of how recitals occur in practice. The analysis is based on some 200 examples of recitals collected by the working group. It then attempts to put forward some suggestions on the legal implications of recitals; after drawing parallels with similar but better known legal concepts, it points out the different ways in which the contents of recitals appear capable of affecting the legal position of the parties to the contract. Finally, it offers some advice to negotiators.

Keywords: collaboration; international contracts; international trade; legal implications; negotiators; recitals



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