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The Notice Requirement of Article 39 and Islamic Law: Developed vs. Developing Countries

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Abstract Article 39 of the United Nations Convention for the International Sale of Goods, 1980 (CISG) requires a buyer to notify the seller within a reasonable time of any non-conformity. This requirement has been advanced by courts and applied mostly in favour of the developed countries by adopting a strict interpretation of Articles 39 and 44. This interpretation should be revisited, taking into consideration certain circumstances within some developing countries, e.g., observance to Islamic law and the lack of sophistication of many buyers as to regulations for international commerce. Although the provisions in Article 39 are not uncommon in several developing countries and under Islamic law, during their implementation, however, courts may neglect the Article’s legislative history and intent to uniformity and flexibility. Such strict interpretation may deter developing countries from participating in and benefiting from the CISG. A more contextual interpretation of these Articles will not contradict Islamic law.

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