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Interpretation Clauses

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Chapter Summary

True to its objectives, the Working Group on International Contracts looked at interpretation clauses in international commercial contracts from the perspective of international contract draftsmen. An analytical way of describing interpretation clauses is used since this has the advantage that the various elements of these clauses are emphasized and are given extensive attention. This chapter discusses the substantive issues and thereafter the impact of evidence law on substantive law. It describes 12 categories of interpretation clauses that have been identified based on the research of some 270 interpretation clauses found in international commercial contracts supplied by the members of the Working Group. Some of the clauses include characterization clauses, entire agreement clauses, heading clauses, definition clauses, and severabilty clauses. Finally, interpretation clauses vary so much according to the contractual context that one refrain from making other specific recommendations of general application.

Keywords: international contracts; interpretation clauses; substantive law



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