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Abstract

The Arab codes give the law of obligations the prominent place it occupies in the civil law system. These codes recognize (liberative or negative) prescription as a mode of barring claims as a result of inaction for a period of time. In addition, the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts of 2004 (PICC 2004) provides that prescription extinguishes an action to enforce a claim of right. The purpose of this article is to conduct a comparative exercise by analyzing similarities and differences between Arab civil codes and the PICC 2004. Arab civil codes and the PICC 2004 wrestle with the same concept, prescription, in more or less the same terms. However, the value of studying the PICC 2004 along with Arab civil codes is even greater because they do differ. The article concludes by arguing that certain prescription provisions in Arab civil codes are unclear and antiquated. Arab countries can reconcile their civil codes with more recent international legal instruments, such as the PICC 2004, without jeopardizing their own traditions and values.

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