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The Public Law of Government Contracts$
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A.C.L. Davies

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199287390

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199287390.001.0001

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Regulating Government Contracts

Regulating Government Contracts

(p.32) 2 Regulating Government Contracts
The Public Law of Government Contracts

A C L Davies

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the regulatory regime for government contracts in English law, highlighting three key features of that regime. First, although government contracts are commonly thought of as a matter for private law, public law rules — both common law and statutory — play an important role in their regulation. Second, it is not possible to understand the formal legal regime without considering internal government guidance. Often, this is more important than common law or statute as a source of rules for officials. Third, it is essential to consider the interaction between ‘domestic’ law and EU law (and the Government Procurement Agreement at the international level) in regulating the procurement process in particular. The chapter also gives an overview of the way in which government contracts are regulated in two other jurisdictions, French law, and US federal law. Both jurisdictions offer important comparisons and contrasts with English law's approach.

Keywords:   common law, statute, government guidance, EU law, Government Procurement Agreement, French law, US federal law

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