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SQE Law Exam: UK Contract Law vs. Global Contract Law

SQE Law Exam: UK Contract Law vs. Global Contract Law

Are you preparing for the SQE Law Exam and wondering about the differences between UK contract law and global contract law? Look no further, as this blog post aims to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the key distinctions between these two legal frameworks.

What is Contract Law?

Contract law is a fundamental area of law that governs agreements between parties. It establishes the legal rights and obligations of each party involved in a contract. Understanding contract law is essential for any aspiring solicitor, as contracts form the basis of commercial relationships and transactions.

UK Contract Law

UK contract law primarily derives from common law principles, which are based on judicial decisions over time. However, statutory provisions, such as the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and the Consumer Rights Act 2015, also play a significant role in shaping contract law in the UK.

In the UK, contract law is characterized by a strong emphasis on the principles of freedom of contract and party autonomy. The courts generally uphold the intentions of the contracting parties, focusing on the agreement itself and its terms. However, the courts also recognize the need for fairness and will intervene to correct any unfair terms or unequal bargaining power.

It is important to note that UK contract law is not entirely codified, meaning that it does not exist in a single comprehensive statute. This requires solicitors to have a deep understanding of case law and legal precedent to apply the law effectively.

Global Contract Law

Global contract law, on the other hand, refers to the framework of contract law that is applicable across different jurisdictions around the world. While there are variations between countries, many legal systems share common principles based on the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) and international trade practices.

One of the key differences between UK contract law and global contract law is the level of harmonization. As countries have developed their own legal systems independently, there can be significant variations in contract law across different jurisdictions. This can create challenges when parties from different legal backgrounds enter into international contracts.

International contracts are often governed by choice of law clauses or international conventions. These mechanisms enable parties to select the legal framework that will govern their contract, ensuring predictability and certainty.


In conclusion, while UK contract law and global contract law share common principles, such as the requirement for offer, acceptance, and consideration, there are notable differences between the two. UK contract law is predominantly based on common law principles and allows for a significant degree of party autonomy, while global contract law requires consideration of different legal systems and conventions.

As an aspiring solicitor, it is crucial to have a strong understanding of both UK and global contract law, as you may encounter clients or transactions that involve international elements. By familiarizing yourself with the similarities and differences between these two legal frameworks, you will be better equipped to navigate the complexities of contract law in practice.

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