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外文翻译--法国法律中的违约责任:在安全的期望值和有效性之间.doc

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外文翻译--法国法律中的违约责任:在安全的期望值和有效性之间.doc

1大连理工大学本科外文翻译法国法律中的违约责任在安全的期望值和有效性之间ThebreachofcontractinFrenchlawbetweensafetyofexpectationsandefficiency学院(系)专业学生姓名学号指导教师完成日期大连理工大学DalianUniversityofTechnology注此处按照实际情况填写即可,打印(宋体、小四)阅后删除此文本框。2ThebreachofcontractinFrenchlawbetweensafetyofexpectationsandefficiencyPierreGarello∗FacultedEconomieAppliquée,UniversitedeDroit,dEconimieetdesSciencesdAixMarseille,3AvenueRobertSchuman,AixenProvence13628,FranceAccepted20August20021.IntroductionwhichpathwillleadustoabetterunderstandingofFrenchcontractlawContractsaremarvelloustoolstohelpustoliveinaworldofuncertainty.Theyallowustoprojectourselvesintoanunknowablefuture,toinvest.LawyerswhohaveinspiredtheFrenchCivillawandcontributedtoitsevolution,aswellasmostlawyersintheworld,haveclearlyperceivedthenecessitytoprotectthatinstitution.Thecontractis,asfarastheindividualisconcerned,thebestforecastinginstrumentgeneratinglegalsecurity,andthefavoredpathtofreedomandresponsibilitythatisnecessaryfortheflourishingofhumanbeingsinasociety.1Contractsarefarfrommiraculoustools,however.Iftheymakelifeeasier,theydonotnecessarilymakelifeeasy.Asthefutureunfolds,oneorbothcontractingpartiesmaybetempted,orcompelled,tobreakhisorherpromise.But,themerefactthatthecontractisrunningintodifficultiesdoesnotforcethelawtodosomething2Itisonlywhenoneofthepartiesdoesnotperformthatthelawthecourt,thelegislation,backedwithcoercivepower,hastogiveanopinion,todecidethecase.Inordertodososomeprinciples,ortheories,arerequiredtoreachajudgmentastowhatisthebestthingtodo.ThepresentstudyoftheFrenchcontractlawisbasedonthepremisethat,fromalawandeconomicspointofview,thereexistsbasicallytwopossiblewaystoaddressthisconcernthefirstapproachrequiresthatwheneveraproblemarises,anassessmentbemadeofallcostsandbenefitsincurredbytheparties.Inotherwords,onemustattempttoevaluateinasufficientlyprecisewaytheconsequencesofthecourtdecisionoroftheruleoflawunderconsiderationforbothpartiesaswellasforthirdpartiesincludingpotentialfuturecontractors.Thelawthenandmorepreciselyhere,contractlawshouldaimprimarilyatprovidingtherightincentivestocontractingparties,wherebyrightincentivesonemeansincentivestobehaveinsuchawaythatthedifferencebetweensocialbenefitsandsocialcostsbemaximized.ItwillbearguedbelowthatFrenchcontractlawsometimesfollowsthisapproach.Thesecondpossibleattitudelooks,apparently,prettymuchlikethefirst.Theguidingprincipleisagainthatthelawshouldprovidetomembersofthesocietytherightincentives.Butonemustimmediatelyaddthatthejudgeorthelegislator,ortheexpertisnotinapositiontoevaluateandcomparethesocialcostsandbenefitsofalternativerulesoflaw.Heorshejustdoesnotknowenough.Onedoesnotknow,forinstance,alltheeffectsofarulethatwouldallowonepartytobreachacontract,withouttheconsentoftheotherparty.Indeed,evenifthe3victimofthebreachispromisedafaircompensation,allowingsucharulegloballymighthaveanegativeeffectontheverypurposeoftheinstitution,whichistoreduceuncertainty.Asaconsequence,thelawshouldadoptagoallessambitiousthanthemaximizationofsocialwellbeing.Thatgoalcouldbetoprotectcontracts,or,inotherterms,tocreateasetofincentivesthatleadindividualstofeelconfidentthattheirlegitimateexpectationswillbefulfilled.Aspointedout,thosetwoattitudesmayappearthesame,differingjustindegree.Thefirstoneassumesmoreknowledgeonthepartoflawyersandlegislatorsthanthesecond.However,whenitcomestopracticaldecisionmaking,differencesturnouttobeimportant,becausethemoreknowledgeableyouthinkyouare,thestrongerwillbetheincentivetoregulatethecontract,andthelowerwillbetherespectfortraditionandcustomsonwhichdailyexpectationsarebased.Thetwoapproachesoutlinedabovearewellknowntoeconomists.ThefirstoneisthesocalledmainstreamParetianapproachandunderlinesmostoftheexistingeconomicanalysisoflaw.3Thesecondone,stressingtheproblemofknowledge,isfarlessdeveloped.4Wewillcallitthesafetyofexpectationsapproach,ortheAustrianapproachtolawandeconomics,becauseitcanbefoundprimarilyintheworkoftheAustrianschoolofeconomicthought,andespeciallyinHayeksstudies.Therationale,saysHayek,ofsecuringtoeachindividualaknownrangewithinwhichhecandecideonhisactionsistoenablehimtomakethefullestuseofhisknowledge,especiallyofhisconcreteandoftenuniqueknowledgeoftheparticularcircumstancesoftimeandplace.Thelawtellshimwhatfactshemaycountonandtherebyextendstherangewithinwhichhecanpredicttheconsequencesofhisactions.Atthesametimeittellshimwhatpossibleconsequencesofhisactionshemusttakeintoaccountorwhathewillbeheldresponsiblefor.5Thereasonwhythesetwoapproachesarementionedattheoutsetisthat,whenonestudiesFrenchcontractlaw,itisdifficulttoreconcileallofitwithasingleapproach.True,themainstream,neoclassicalapproach,basedontheassumptionthatrulesbechosenthatmaximizesocialwealthor,atothertimes,thatleadtoaParetoefficientoutcome,canhelpustounderstandanimportantpartofthatbodyoflaw.But,aswillbeshown,certainFrenchdoctrinescannotbereconciledwithneitheraParetianapproach,norawealthmaximizingapproach.Insomeinstances,thelawseemstobemoreconcernedwiththesafetyofexpectations.InthenexttwosectionswewillexaminethemaindoctrinesandrulesofFrenchcontractlawtryingtoidentifythosethatarecompatiblewithbothprinciplesandthosethatarecompatiblewithonlyone.Ifnoneofthosesetsareempty,itwillmeanthattheFrenchlawofcontractisnottotallycoherentitcannotbebroughtunderauniqueunifyingprincipleofexplanation.ThenextnaturalquestionwouldthenbewhetherFrenchlawismovingtowardsone4principleandawayfromtheother.However,thispaperwillnotaddressthisquestion.Thepaperisorganizedintwoparts.Indeed,forreasonsbrieflymentionedabove,itisimportanttounderlineinafirstpartthemanythingsthelawdoesinordertoavoidbreachofcontractwhatcanbedoneinordertosaveacontractwhenthepartiesarehavingdifficultiesperforming,andwhatisforbiddenThesecondpartdealsdirectlywiththebreachofcontract.ItwillbeshownthatFrenchlawdiffersinsomeimportantrespectsfromothercontractlaws.2.Savingthecontract6WewillstudythevariousattemptstosavethecontractbylookingfirstattheconditionsforinvaliditySection2.1,thenatthevariouspossibilitieslefttothejudgetointerpretthetermsofthecontractSection2.2andendwiththestudyofthecaseswherethejudgeisauthorizedtochangethetermsofthecontractSection2.3.2.1.InvalidcontractsOnewaytosavethecontractistoprovethattherewasnovalidcontractinthefirstplaceFormationdefensesasdefinedintheFrenchlawareroughlyidenticaltothosefoundinthecontractlawsofothercountries.Themaindefensesareincompetencyincapacité,mistakeserreur,frauddol,duressviolence,absenceofcauseremindingusofthedoctrineofconsiderationinthebargainingtheory,failuretodiscloseinformation,lésionadefenseclosetounconscionability,7or,maybemorespecifictoFrenchlaw,aconflictbetweentheprivateagreementandordrepublic,i.e.publicpolicy,orlawandorderseeart.6and1134oftheFrenchCivilCode,henceforthC.civ..Inalltheseinstances,anactionmaybetakenforannulmentofthecontract,thejudgebeingtheonlyoneentitledtoinvalidateacontract.But,whatexactlyismeantbyinvalidityintheFrenchlawWhataretheconsequencesTheFrenchlawdistinguishesbetweenabsoluteinvaliditynullitéabsolueandrelativeinvaliditynullitérelative.Thefirstcategoryincludesallthecontractsthatareagainstwhatiscalledordrepublicdedirection,thatistosay,contractsthatviolateapublicpolicyjudgedtobebeneficialtothesocietyasawholeandnotonlytothoseindividualsinvolvedinthatparticularcontract.Forsuchcontractsnothingcanbedoneandcompletenullitycannotbeavoided.Thesecondcategoryismadeofcontractsthatviolatetheordrepublicdeprotection,thatis,contractsinwhichonepartydoesnotrespectapublicpolicydesignedtoprotectweakerparties.Inthosecircumstances,thevictimwhothelawistryingtoprotectmaychoosetoletthecontractstandaftermodificationstothecontract.8Inbothcases,however,theresultisasifthecontracthadneverexisted,andretroactivitywithrestitutionisthegeneralprincipleoneissupposedtogobacktothesituationthatprevailedbeforethecontractwascreatedthestatusquoante.Partiesarerelievedoftheirobligations,anddamagescannolongerbeawarded,butitisstillpossibletobringatortlawaction.9Fromaneconomicpointofview,mostoftheformationdefensesmentionedhavealready

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