Contract, Tort & Crime: Criminalisation of breaches of sales contracts under Dutch and EU law

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This book examines whether breaches of sales contracts should be criminalised in the Dutch and EU legal orders. In the context of this research, a breach of a sales contract entails the imputable and complete non-performance of one of the obligations of the seller (transfer of ownership, delivery of the good and conformity of the good) or the buyer (pay a price in money and accepting delivery) with the intention of gaining a financial advantage. At its core, a breach of a sales contract entails non-compliance with the civil standard pacta sunt servanda. It takes place in the horizontal relationship between citizens. Consequently, the Netherlands and the European Union apply a civil law approach to a breach of a sales contract.
However, it has increasingly been addressed that civil action does not provide sufficient protection to citizens against wrongdoing of others. Often, civil procedures are not as effective and efficient as possible. Claimants endure problems when tracing the non-compliant party, and face lengthy civil procedures and high costs, which generally outweigh the costs of the undelivered or unpaid goods. Therefore, the aim of this research is to determine whether the problem of breaches of sales contracts requires a predominantly criminal law approach instead.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
Number of pages426
ISBN (Print)9789461674111
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Sales contracts
  • comparative legal research
  • criminal law
  • contract law
  • Germany
  • England
  • Netherlands
  • European Union
  • criminalisation
  • civil law remedies


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