Special clauses protecting the seller or the buyer in contracts concerning energy supply in the wholesale energy market
Γεωργάτσου, Ευαγγελία - Άννα
KeywordsEnergy -- Economic aspects ; Energy industries -- Law and legislation -- European Union countries ; Energy supply
From the strict and rigid latin pacta sunt servanda principle, which underlines the sanctity of contracts, to Nelson Mandela’s tragic ascertainment that “only free men can negotiate and enter into contracts”, it is clear that agreements are the backbone of modern civil society and trade. Trade means faster growth, higher living standards, and new opportunities through commerce. All commercial and industrial activity is inseparably linked with the continuous use, and hence supply, of energy. Thus, in the field of energy supply, certainty and accuracy is of outmost importance. Bearing this in mind, legal practitioners from different countries and legal systems strive to create a safe and anticipated contractual environment for both sellers and buyers of energy products. The effort to create a common international or regional legal framework in contract law and the vast stipulation of General Terms of Reference in energy contracts render rather clearly that globalized energy trade calls for globalized legal approaches and solutions. To that end, special clauses included in such contracts are anticipated both to perform as summoned and to be comprehensible to business professionals from different legal systems and business cultures. In reality most of the special clauses found in modern contracts are rather a result of business trends than legal practice, even so these clauses must conform to certain legal standards. The above interactive “mechanism” has led to both, a modern lex mercatoria (the so called “new new lex mercatoria”) that has evolved from the medieval sense of the term to established transnational systems of law with codified legal rules (eg. The Unidroit Principles), and to regional and international attempts offering alternative solutions and soft law guidance.