oa Fundamina : A Journal of Legal History - Janwillem Oosterhuis specific performance in German, French and Dutch law in the nineteenth century - remedies in an age of fundamental rights and industrialisation : book review

Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1021-545X
  • E-ISSN: 2411-7870



It is often stated in comparative essays and studies that one of the fundamental differences between the common law and civil law with regard to obligations lies in the remedy of specific performance. According to this view, specific performance is the primary remedy in civil law where there has been a breach of contract, since the innocent party has a right to fulfilment of the contract. In the common law, on the other hand, specific performance is a secondary remedy, the primary remedy being a claim for damages. Against this background, this historical analysis by Oosterhuis is an important addition to the body of work on this subject in the English language. The author also gives an in-depth account of changes to this remedy during the nineteenth century, which was a very formative time for the civil law in Europe, especially the three countries studied in this work.

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