Unauthorised Agency in the Principles of European Contract Law
Danny Busch & Laura J. Macgregor (eds), The Unauthorised Agent, Aspects of European and Comparative Law, Cambridge University Press 2009
18 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2018
Date Written: July 19, 2009
This chapter concentrates on the rules with respect to unauthorised agency provided by the Principles of European Contract Law. These principles devote an entire chapter to agency (Chapter 3: Authority of Agents). The PECL are of a non-binding nature and aim to establish rules of general contract law within the European Union. The PECL provide the general rule that where an agent acts without (sufficient) authority, his acts do not bind the principal. This general rule is exempted in cases where the doctrine of apparent authority applies or where the principal subsequently ratifies the unauthorised act. In addition, the PECL provide that the third party may hold an unauthorised agent (the falsus procurator) liable for the damage which the third party has suffered as a consequence of the agent’s lack of authority. In this chapter, in II, I first examine the scope of the PECL. In III I examine the distinction made between direct and indirect agency. In IV I devote some attention to the general effect of unauthorised agency. Afterwards, I then turn to the main exceptions to the general effect of unauthorised agency: apparent authority (V) and ratification (VI). VII follows with some remarks about the liability of the falsus procurator and VIII with a treatment of the interrelationship between apparent authority, ratification and the liability of the falsus procurator. IX elaborates on a special case which can be associated with unauthorised agency, namely acting in the name of a principal yet to be named. X ends this chapter with some concluding observations.
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