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Published in J. Herbots editor / R. Blanpain general editor, International Encyclopaedia of Laws - Contracts, Suppl. 29 (December 2000) 1-192. Reproduced with permission of the publisher Kluwer Law International, The Hague.

[For more current case annotated texts by this author, see Bernstein & Lookofsky, Understanding the CISG in Europe, 2d ed. (2003) and Lookofsky, Understanding the CISG in the USA, 2d ed. (2004).]

excerpt from

The 1980 United Nations Convention on Contracts
for the International Sale of Goods

Joseph Lookofsky

Article 17
Effect of Rejection

110. In most domestic systems, a rejection serves to 'kill' the offer. Article 17 of the CISG provides a rule which accords with this idea: 'An offer, even if it is irrevocable, is terminated when a rejection reaches the offeror'.

Article 17 was designed for a simple, limited purpose: the protection of the reasonable expectations of the offeror. Having received a rejection from the offeree,[1] the offeror should be free to take his business elsewhere. Indeed, even if the offeror was originally bound by an irrevocable offer, the offer dies when the rejection is received.

1. As regards a purported acceptance which varies from the content of the original offer, see Article 19 and infra No. 118 et seq. [page 68]

Pace Law School Institute of International Commercial Law - Last updated April 4, 2005