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CONTRACT LAW Les points essentiels du droit des contrats internationaux


TABLE DES MATIÈRES

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Saliha Azzouz

CONTRACT LAW Les points essentiels du droit des contrats internationaux


TABLE DES MATIÈRES

3

Dans la même collection Tax Management, Katia Tanant L’anglais du monde politique Vol. 1 (Élections, Gouvernement, Commentaires politiques), Cathy Parc L’anglais du monde politique Vol. 2 (Immigration et négociations, Sécurité, Guerre), Cathy Parc L’anglais du management, Katia Tanant L’anglais en entreprise, Catherine Jeannot Manuel d’anglais de la bourse et de la finance, Michel Van der Yeught L’anglais de la bourse et de la finance, Michel Van der Yeught

Direction éditoriale : Alexandra Lepinay Suivi éditorial : Sarah Funel Maquette et mise en page : Philippe Catinat Couverture : Cécile Hébrard

Tous droits de traduction, de reproduction et d’adaptation réservés pour tous pays. Toute représentation, reproduction intégrale ou partielle faite par quelque procédé que ce soit, sans le consentement de l’auteur ou de ses ayants cause, est illicite et constitue une contrefaçon sanctionnée par les articles 425 et suivants du Code pénal. Par ailleurs, la loi du 11 mars 1957 interdit formellement les copies ou les reproductions destinées à une utilisation collective. © Éditions Ophrys, Paris, 2015 ISBN 978-2-7080-1423-7


Table des matières Préface ............................................................................................................ 1 Table of Abbreviations and Acronyms ......................................................... 3

PART 1 ENGLISH AND AMERICAN LAW 1. Overview ..................................................................................................... 5 2. The UK Legal System ................................................................................. 6 3. The Common Law: Origins and Development ......................................... 7 Statutory Law ........................................................................................ 9 Common Law and Civil Law Jurisdictions: Key Differences ..............10 4. The Law of Contract: a Historical Background ........................................ 11 5. American Law ...........................................................................................13 ACTIVITIES ......................................................................................................15

PART 2 CONTRACT LAW: ANGLO-SAXON AND FRENCH LAW 1. The Formation of the Contract: English vs. French Law ...........................21 2. English Contract Law ............................................................................... 22 Basic Principles ................................................................................... 22 Contract Law in England and Wales ................................................. 23 Application of Contractual Formalities .............................................. 23


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TABLE DES MATIĂˆRES

Contracting with Overseas Companies and Liability of Parent Companies ............................................................ 24 Implied Terms in Business to Business Contracts ............................ 24 3. American Contract Law ........................................................................... 25 Basic Principles ................................................................................... 25 4. Key Differences between US and UK/EU Contract Law ........................ 26 Interpretation and Mistake ................................................................ 27 Limitation Clauses .............................................................................. 28 ACTIVITIES ..................................................................................................... 29

PART 3 FORMATION OF A CONTRACT 1. Types of Contracts and Enforceability ..................................................... 33 Contractual Terms and Obligations .................................................. 33 Classification ...................................................................................... 34 Unilateral and Bilateral Contracts ..................................................... 34 Executed and Executory Contracts .................................................... 36 2. Conditions to Form a Contract ............................................................... 36 Offer .................................................................................................... 38 Acceptance ......................................................................................... 38 Invitation to Treat ................................................................................ 39 Public Transport: Timetables and Tickets .......................................... 44 3. Capacity to Form a Contract ................................................................... 46 Binding Contracts and Young People ............................................... 46 Non-Binding Contracts and Young People ....................................... 47 Written vs. Verbal Contracts .............................................................. 47 Amending an Existing Contract ......................................................... 49 Governing Law ....................................................................................51 4. Contractual Terms ....................................................................................51 Understanding Contract Verbiage .....................................................51 Commonly Used Legal Words ........................................................... 52


TABLE DES MATIÈRES

VII

5. Drafting a Contract .................................................................................. 56 Reading and Signing a Contract ....................................................... 57 General Advice Before Drafting a Contract ....................................... 58 Drafting Tips and Warnings ............................................................... 58 Ban the Legalese ................................................................................ 62 Vague Phrases ................................................................................... 62 Conclusion .......................................................................................... 66 6. Better Information and Protection for Consumers ................................. 66 CPP’s Priorities for 2015 ...................................................................... 66 Quality of Services .............................................................................. 68 The Consumer Contracts Regulations ............................................... 69 Cancellation Rights (distance and off-premises contracts only) ...... 70

PART 4 VITIATING FACTORS 1. Misrepresentation ................................................................................... 73 2. Misrepresentation by Conduct ............................................................... 75 Termination of Offers ......................................................................... 76 3. Mistakes ................................................................................................... 79 Common Mistakes ............................................................................. 79 Mutual Mistakes ................................................................................. 79 Unilateral Mistakes ............................................................................ 80 Mistakes Relating to Signed Documents − non est factum ..............81 4. Illegality .....................................................................................................81 5. Duress and Undue Influence .................................................................. 82 Duress ................................................................................................. 82 Undue Influence ................................................................................. 83 ACTIVITIES ..................................................................................................... 86


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TABLE DES MATIÈRES

PART 5 RESCISSION OF A CONTRACT AND JUDICIAL REMEDIES 1. Rescission ................................................................................................ 89 Discharge Through Performance ...................................................... 89 Discharge by Agreement ................................................................... 90 Discharge by Breach .......................................................................... 90 Anticipatory Breach ............................................................................ 90 Repudiatory Breach............................................................................ 90 Discharge by Frustration .....................................................................91 2. Damages ..................................................................................................91 Calculation of Damages .................................................................... 92 Judicial Discretion............................................................................... 92 Type of Contract ................................................................................. 93 3. Injunctions ................................................................................................ 93 Temporary Injunctions ....................................................................... 93 Preliminary Injunction ......................................................................... 94 Permanent Injunction ......................................................................... 94 ACTIVITIES ..................................................................................................... 95

PART 6 EUROPEAN UNION AND INTERNATIONAL CONTRACT LAW 1. First Steps towards Common Rules ......................................................... 97 2. Formation of European Contracts ........................................................... 99 Interpretation of Terms and Words ................................................. 100 Commercial Contracts ..................................................................... 100 3. The Principles of European Contract Law .............................................. 101 4. International Conventions and Arbitration ........................................... 102 The Vienna Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods ....................................................... 102 UNCITRAL .......................................................................................... 104


TABLE DES MATIĂˆRES

IX

Sources of Law ................................................................................. 105 5. Ten Important Legal Changes for Contract Law in the EU................... 105 Increased Price Transparency ......................................................... 106 Pre-Ticked Boxes on Websites ........................................................ 106 Fourteen Days for Customers to Change their Mind on a Purchase .................................................................................. 106 Increased Refund Rights for Customers ...........................................107 EU-Wide Model Withdrawal Form ....................................................107 Credit Cards and Hotlines Surcharges ............................................ 108 Returning Goods .............................................................................. 108 Digital Products ................................................................................ 108 Common Rules for Businesses ........................................................ 109 Selling Obligations ........................................................................... 109 6. Public International Law ........................................................................ 109 Treaties and International Conventions..................................................... 110 Customary Law ........................................................................................... 110 General Principles: Enforceability and Dispute Resolution ....................... 110 ACTIVITIES .................................................................................................... 112 KEY TO EXERCISES ....................................................................................... 117

Grammar Reminder 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

Adverbs ................................................................................................ 121 Commonly Confused Words .............................................................. 122 Countable and Uncountable Nouns ................................................. 123 Articles................................................................................................. 125 Linking Words ..................................................................................... 130 Modal Verbs ........................................................................................ 131 Numbers and Figures......................................................................... 134 Passive Voice ....................................................................................... 141 Phrasal Verbs...................................................................................... 143 Prepositions ........................................................................................ 144 Pronouns ............................................................................................. 146


TABLE DES MATIÈRES

X

12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

Tenses ..................................................................................................147 There is/There are .............................................................................. 156 Prefixes and Suffixes ...........................................................................157 Word Formation .................................................................................. 160 Table of Irregular Verbs....................................................................... 161

Annexes Legal System of the World at a Glance .................................................... 165 Employment ................................................................................................167 Bibliography ............................................................................................... 169

Bilingual Glossary 1. English – French.......................................................................................173 2. French – English ..................................................................................... 188 3. Latin Contract Terminology ................................................................... 203

Index ................................................................................................. 205


Préface Les contrats ont toujours fait partie intégrante de nos sociétés, mais, depuis quelques décennies, la mondialisation a vraiment bouleversé la donne dans différents secteurs de l’économie marchande ou de service. Il convient donc de s’adapter dans un monde où tout va très vite : échanges internationaux, rapidité des moyens de communication, concurrence. La mondialisation économique a également eu des répercussions sur le droit des contrats. Face à une harmonisation générale, les règles du droit des contrats sont amenées à devenir universelles dans la mesure où elles sont bénéfiques à toutes les sociétés et à tous les systèmes juridiques du monde. L’internationalisation du commerce et les exigences croissantes en termes de transparence, de règles anti-corruption apparaissent comme des objectifs difficilement conciliables. Sans oublier la complexité inhérente à la pratique des grands contrats. D’un côté, les entreprises sont amenées à prendre des risques considérables pour remporter des marchés ; de l’autre, elles sont soumises à des contraintes grandissantes en matière de gouvernance et de compliance, et ce, au regard de bonnes pratiques fondées sur des lois et règlements qui se complexifient et une soft law qui incite plutôt à l’autorégulation. Afin de faire face à cette nouvelle réalité, il est nécessaire d’être préparé à l’international. Quels sont les principaux risques techniques, juridiques et financiers à prendre en compte et quelles peuvent être leurs répercussions sur les acteurs concernés ? Trop souvent, les intéressés (patrons de PME, particuliers, …) se retrouvent désemparés face à un litige avec un partenaire situé dans un autre pays. En effet, les contrats, au-delà des contraintes juridiques auxquelles ils sont parfois associés, sont essentiels pour garantir les obligations et fixer leur acceptation par chacune des parties. Les clauses sont d’une grande complexité et difficiles à interpréter. Les comprendre est donc primordial. La rédaction d’un contrat commercial est une véritable stratégie car, selon les clauses insérées, le contrat imposera au partenaire commercial des obligations définies auxquelles il ne pourra pas déroger.


PRÉFACE

2

Historiquement, on recense des grandes familles de droit, dont découlent différentes coutumes et modes de pensée : • •

le droit issu du droit romain (en grande partie celui des pays du continent européen), le common law anglo-saxon propre à la Grande-Bretagne, aux États-Unis d’Amérique et aux pays du Commonwealth, anciennes colonies britanniques. Basé sur la jurisprudence et directement issu des recours royaux d’antan, ce droit est encore largement un droit orienté vers la procédure.

Dans d’autres pays, le régime juridique est basé sur des notions sans véritables liens avec la conception occidentale, comme par exemple les sociétés régies par des principes religieux (notamment hindouistes ou musulmanes), ou encore issues de traditions et coutumes anciennes (Chine et Japon). Cependant, cet ouvrage n’aborde pas ces nations. Si certains pays imposent, pour certains contrats, une rédaction dans la langue du pays, rappelons que l’anglais reste la langue des affaires. Il va de soi que cet outil est souvent privilégié pour la rédaction des contrats. Par conséquent, le contrat doit donc être rédigé dans une langue compréhensible par chacune des parties. À titre d’exemple, les rédacteurs anglais utilisent des « définitions » afin de clarifier les termes employés par les parties et faciliter la gestion du contrat. Lisez-les avec la plus grande attention, car elles permettent parfois d’aspirer à des droits de propriété intellectuelle sous couvert de prestations sans y prêter garde. Il est essentiel d’avoir une connaissance générale de l’environnement économique et culturel de son partenaire et des pratiques d’affaires du pays avant la signature ou la rédaction d’un contrat. En effet, un contrat bien compris et bien rédigé permet d’éviter une procédure souvent coûteuse et pénible ; au pire, les instances juridiques pourront facilement l’interpréter.


PART 1 ENGLISH AND AMERICAN LAW

1. Overview Several different types of legal systems operate around the world. Many countries (including Europe) resort to civil law which refers to the civil code system to avoid confusion with the other judicial branches. Common law1 systems, however, are derived from English law, and the countries that have common law systems are England, Wales, Northern Ireland, numerous Commonwealth2 countries, and most of North America. Many countries also have some elements of customary law3 existing along with their main legal system. Historically, the essential difference between the two systems is that in civilian systems the rules of law are derived from Roman law, whereas in common law systems the rules are derived from specific cases. Scots law4 has its origins in the European civilian law systems, but has gradually developed similarities to the English common law approach, particularly the acceptance of judge-made law5, or precedent, as a source of law.

1 2 3 4 5

Droit commun. 54 États en sont membres et 16 d’entre eux reconnaissent la reine Elizabeth II comme chef d’État. Droit coutumier. Législation/droit écossais. Droit jurisprudentiel, lois faites par les juges.


PART 1 ENGLISH AND AMERICAN LAW

6

2. The UK Legal System In order to avoid confusion, it is important to differentiate the British Isles and the United Kingdom (UK). Formed in 1801, the United Kingdom constitutes the greater part of the British Isles. • The British Isles consist of: the UK, Ireland and all the offshore islands (most notably the Isle of Man which has its own parliament and laws). • The United Kingdom is made up of: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. • Great Britain consists of: England, Wales and Scotland. The whole of Ireland is not in the UK because before 1922 the UK included Ireland in the definition, but when the Irish Free State was no longer part of the Union the title changed to include “Northern Ireland”. Therefore, some laws apply6 throughout the UK, and some apply in only one, two or three countries. The legal system of England and Wales is a common law one, so it means that the decisions of the senior appellate courts7 become part of the law. The UK legal system includes England, Wales and Scotland. Its main sources are:

Statutes

Common Law

European Union law

Legislation from the UK Parliament and devolved parliaments8.

Law made through principles established in cases over the centuries during the standardization of law throughout England and Wales from the 11th century onwards.

Law from the EU and the European Convention on Human Rights.

For example, each Act has a chapter number: ERA 1996 is ch.18: Employment Rights Act (ERA) 1996.

No single series of documents that contains the whole of the law of the UK exists. As a member State of the European Union, EU law takes precedence over9 UK law.

6 7 8 9

S’appliquent. Les Hautes Cours d’appel. Parlements régionaux. Le droit prime sur…/l’emporte sur…


PART 1 ENGLISH AND AMERICAN LAW

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ACTIVITIES 1. Overview Complete each definition with words in the box. precedent; customary law; Commonwealth; civil law; common law a) unwritten law based on custom and precedent .................................................. b) a federation of states ............................................................................................ c) a previous case taken as an example for subsequent cases or as a justification ............................................................................................................ d) traditional common rule or practice or that has become an intrinsic part of the accepted and expected conduct in a community, profession, or trade and is treated as a legal requirement ............................................................................ e) the law governing the right of individuals and their relationships with each other .......................................................................................................................

2. The UK Legal System Multiple Choice Questions. Choose the most appropriate answer: a, b, c or d. A.

The expression “English legal system� refers to... a) The legal system of England and Wales. b) The legal system of England only. c) The legal system of England, Wales and Scotland. d) The legal system of the United Kingdom.

B.

Which source does not apply to UK law? a) statutes

b) common law

c) Napoleonic code

d) EU and European Convention on Human Rights


PART 2 CONTRACT LAW: ANGLO-SAXON AND FRENCH LAW

1. The Formation of the Contract: English vs. French Law French and English contract law differ considerably. For a contract to exist under English law, three main conditions are required: • an offer and an acceptance; • a consideration68; • an intention to enter into a legal relationship. Although the effects may be different, the concepts of offer and acceptance in Common Law are not radically different from those found in French contract law. In modern English law, a promise becomes binding in two cases. The first consists of a written promise with a deed69. What is necessary for a promise to become binding70 is “something” in return: the consideration. The contract is defined as an exchange, a “bargain”71. Even though, this element of consideration exists, English Courts can refuse to enforce a promise.72 They may examine the intention of the parties. Basically, French contract law is much more based on the consent73 and English contract law has the particularity of the consideration. In accordance with article 1108 of the code civil there are four essential conditions for a contract to be valid: 68 69 70 71 72 73

Contrepartie. Acte notarié. Obligatoire, qui lie/engage. Négociation. Faire respecter une promesse. Consentement.


PART 2 CONTRACT LAW: ANGLO-SAXON AND FRENCH LAW

22 • • •

free and informed consent of the parties; the parties’ capacity to contract; a certain and determined object and a lawful74 clause.

This theory is based on the fact that the binding force of the contract has for only source the will75 of the parties. The law does not create this binding; it protects only the expression of the will and if needed its execution. It comes from Canon Law76 (also called ecclesiastical laws), the law of Christian Churches, particularly the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Orthodox Churches. However the use of Canon Law in government decisions is not well documented. It relies upon the respect of the word77. In France, parties are free to enter into a contract and to determine its contents, subject to the requirement of good faith78, fair dealing, and the mandatory79 rule. Art 1156 states that a contract is to be interpreted according to the parties’ common intention even if it differs from the literal wording. As stated in Art. 1108, the offer must be: • precise (essential elements should appear clearly); • firm (with no reservation); • sale contract: agreement on item80 and price. What’s more contracting parties are not bound.

2. English Contract Law Basic Principles English contract law is undoubtedly based on the liberal ideal of the individual’s autonomy. The parties’ determination of their personal interests and the resulting consequences are respected by the legal system even if this should be to the detriment of justice or reasonableness81. An English judge is very reluctant to

74 75

Légal, légitime. Volonté.

76 77 78 79 80 81

Droit canon. La parole. Traitement équitable. Obligatoire. Article, marchandise. Raisonnabilité.


PART 3 FORMATION OF A CONTRACT

1. Types of Contracts and Enforceability Contractual Terms and Obligations The main body of a contract is its terms (also known as clauses). Even the simplest forms of contract have terms. While the majority of these are expressly agreed by the parties themselves (express terms), some terms are implied to give effect to the intentions, or can be implied by the court or by statute. During the course of negotiations, the statements made may be part of the contract, so it is essential to distinguish between contractual terms and other statements. Therefore terms, representation and “puffs131” should be taken into account: • a term is a promise or undertaking132 which becomes part of the contract itself; • a representation is a statement which incites a party to enter into a contract (but does not form part of it); • not all representations will necessarily be terms of the contract; • a “puff”: is a boastful statement made in advertisement but with no legal effect. In a written contract, the statements are usually regarded as terms rather than representations. The court, however, will still consider the intention of the parties, if a contract is partly in writing and partly verbal.

131

Réclames tapageuses.

132

Promesse, engagement.


PART 3 FORMATION OF A CONTRACT

34

Once signed, the parties are considered to have accepted everything the written agreement contains even if they have not read it. Classification Contractual terms can either be conditions, warranties or innominate terms. The terms included into a contract fall into three categories: • Conditions: A condition is a major term of the contract which goes to the root of the contract. If a condition is breached the innocent party is entitled to133 repudiate (end) the contract and claim damages. • Warranties134: They are minor terms and are not essential to the existence of a contract. If a warranty is breached the innocent party may claim damages but cannot end the contract. • Innominate terms: In English contract law an innominate term is an intermediate term which can be neither a condition nor a warranty. An innominate term is more flexible than a condition and, generally speaking, may be more favoured. Whether a breach of an intermediate term is a repudiatory breach135 is a question of fact. If the breach is serious enough then it will be a repudiatory breach, otherwise it will not be. The remedy for breach of an intermediate term depends on the nature of the breach. If the plaintiff has lost the whole of the benefit of the contract he will be entitled to treat the contract as repudiated and claim damages. If not, he will be entitled to damages only. Unilateral and Bilateral Contracts Contracts may be formed from only one promise, or they may contain mutual promises. Under some circumstances, a contract may be enforced by a court action even before its performance. The terms of a valid contract may be specific, or they may be implied from the conduct of the parties. In order to understand the law on offer and acceptance, it is important to master the concepts of unilateral and bilateral contracts. Most contracts are bilateral, which means that each party takes on an obligation, usually by promising the other something. The table below provides some definitions of contracts and examples.

133 134 135

A le droit de. Garanties. Rupture répudiatoire.


PART 4 VITIATING FACTORS

A vitiating factor invalidates a contract and makes it not legally binding. Vitiating factors include: misrepresentation, mistake, duress, undue influence and illegality.

1. Misrepresentation An actionable misrepresentation384 is a concept in the contract law of England and some other Commonwealth countries, referring to a false or misleading385 statement of fact made by one party to another, which has the effect of inducing386 the other party to enter the contract. Misrepresentation is a tort, or a civil wrong and as a result it makes the contract voidable, and gives the innocent party the right to rescind the contract and/or claim damages. Misrepresentations can be: • “innocent” (not intentionally deceptive); • “fraudulent” (made with the knowledge of falsity and intent to deceive); • negligent. Innocent misrepresentation occurs when the representation is made with an honest belief that it is true. This type of representation only allows for a remedy of rescission. Fraudulent misrepresentation is a representation made with intent to deceive and with the knowledge that it is false. Generally this type of misrepresentation is difficult to prove but it enables for a remedy of damages and rescission. An action for fraudulent misrepresentation can also be brought as a tort.

384 385 386

Fausse déclaration passible de poursuites. Trompeur. D’inciter.


PART 4 VITIATING FACTORS

74

Negligent misrepresentation is made carelessly. This class of misrepresentation is relatively new and was introduced in order to allow for a remedy of damages in situations where neither a collateral contract nor fraud could be found. There are a number of elements to a misrepresentation. However certain statements might not be considered statements of material facts: • Opinion: a false statement of opinion is not a misrepresentation as to fact. • Sales talk387: mere “sales talk” or “puffs” is not considered to be a statement of fact. They are treated by courts as idle boast388 and with no contractual significance • Statements of future intent: a statement which expresses a future intention is speculation rather than fact and cannot amount to a misrepresentation. However, if the statement of future intention falsely represents the actual intention (if it is a wifful lie389), then it may also be treated as a misrepresentation of fact. • Statements of law: usually a false statement of law cannot amount to a misrepresentation because everyone is supposed to know the law and thus it cannot be falsely stated. Nevertheless, since the distinction between fact and law is not always explicit, it can be hard to tell between a statement of fact and a statement of law. • Non-disclosure390 of information and silence: silence cannot equal to a misrepresentation. Therefore, a party who is about to enter into a contract does not have to disclose material facts known to that party but not to the other party. For example, a landlord who was letting his house did not inform the tenant that it was in ruins. The failure to communicate material information was not regarded as a misrepresentation. Nonetheless, this is a general rule, and the court might decide that in particular circumstances there is a positive duty of disclosure. What is more, there are also a number of exceptions: •

Contracts of utmost good faith391 (uberrimae fidei): there is a duty to reveal all material facts. Examples of such contracts: -

387 388 389 390 391

contracts of insurance: the insured party has also the duty to communicate all material facts relevant;

Baratin publicitaire. Vantardises futiles. Mensonge délibéré. Non divulgation. La bonne foi la plus absolue.


PART 5 RESCISSION OF A CONTRACT AND JUDICIAL REMEDIES 1. Rescission A rescission or discharge is the cancellation of a contract. It can be the result of innocent or fraudulent representation, lack of legal capacity, an impossibility to perform440 a contract, or duress and undue influence. Discharge Through Performance A contract usually comes to an end or is revoked by performance when both parties have fully performed their contractual obligations. However, in some cases, a contract may be discharged before performance is complete. If one party does not fully perform the contract this will amount to a breach of contract441 and the other party may get claim for damages unless the contract has been frustrated442. If the non-performance amounts to443 a breach of condition the other party will be released from their obligations444. For example, when a contract stipulates that the price is payable on completion, then completion is generally required in order to discharge the contract. This is often expressed as a condition precedent. Therefore, completion gives rise to445 the requirement of payment: no completion, no payment.

440 441 442 443 444 445

Exécuter. Rupture de contrat. Soit impossible à exécuter. Équivaut à. Seront libérés de leurs obligations. L’exécution (du contrat) déclenche.


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PART 5 RESCISSION OF A CONTRACT AND JUDICIAL REMEDIES

Discharge by Agreement The contracting parties can agree at any time to end it. Of course, such an agreement is itself a contract, so there must be consideration. If both parties have obligations under the contract which have not yet been carried out446, release from those obligations is seen as consideration, then nothing more is required. Where one party has already fully performed their part of the contract, they may ask the other party to give value in exchange for release from the remaining obligation. The party promising to release447 the other party may change their mind before the value is paid. However, if the party in breach has relied on the agreement and has changed their situation in some way, a court may force the party promising release to respect the agreement. Discharge by Breach A contract may, in some circumstances, be discharged by a breach of contract. Where there exists a breach of condition (as opposed to breach of warranty448) this will enable the innocent party the right to repudiate the contract449 in addition to claiming damages. A contract cannot be discharged by a breach of warranty. Anticipatory Breach Where a party indicates their intention not to perform their contractual obligations, the aggrieved party is not compelled to wait for the breach to actually occur before they bring their action for breach. Repudiatory Breach Repudiatory breaches are serious and give the aggrieved party the right to either end the contract or to affirm it (and continue with the contract). In either case, the innocent party may also claim damages. A breach of condition is normally repudiatory, as is breach of an intermediate term that deprives the other party of substantially the whole benefit of the contract. A contract may also be repudiated before its performance.

446 447 448 449

N’ont pas encore été exécutées. Libérer. Rupture de garantie. Refuser d’honorer le contrat.


PART 6 EUROPEAN UNION AND INTERNATIONAL CONTRACT LAW 1. First Steps towards Common Rules The two essential sources of contract law are the common law as developed in the state courts and the Uniform Commercial Code for the sale of goods (UCC). By enlarge; the UCC is more liberal than the common law in supporting the existence of a contract. As underlined in Part 2, contracts can be distinguished by the following criteria: • express and implied, including quasi-contracts implied by law; • bilateral and unilateral; • enforceable and unenforceable; • completed (executed) and uncompleted (executory). When the European Economic Community (EEC) was founded in 1957, the members of the common market were mainly interested in opening cross-border trade478 and increasing economic growth479. However, things began to change in the late 1970s, when the Member States recognized the need to develop a more comprehensive social policy480 at the European level. Then, these members wanted the European Community institutions to become involved in issues481 like public health and consumer protection. As far as contract law was concerned, this recognition led essentially to the gradual emergence of European consumer protection law. Specific measures

478 479 480 481

Commerce transfrontalier. Croissance économique. Politique social plus globale. Questions.


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PART 6 EU AND INTERNATIONAL CONTRACT LAW

included legislation on issues such as liability for defective482 products, door-to-door selling483, or consumer credit arrangements. However, social policies and globalization trends not only generated activity by European legislators on the national and supranational levels; but they also promoted efforts to establish uniform rules for contractual relations. In that context, the Rome Convention on law applicable to contractual obligations, the UN Convention on the international sale of goods (CISG), and the UNIDROIT principles of international commercial contracts represent landmarks484 on the way towards common contract law rules. The European Commission released its Proposal for a Regulation on a Common European Sales Law (CESL) in October 2011. The proposal was aimed at harmonizing contract law across the European Union and would, if enacted485, enable parties to sales contracts to select CESL as the law governing their relationship. A three-year project on European contract law was eventually concluded successfully in September 2012. It analyzed the interaction of a (potential) optional European instrument establishing a uniform legal framework486 for cross-border contracts with the laws, particularly the contract laws of England and Germany. Laws on contracts are set487 by each member state in the European Union (EU). However, the EU harmonized some aspects of contract law across the whole of the European Community. Additionally, some EU legislation affects contract law because it takes precedence over national laws. When dealing with a business in another EU country, there is a choice about where the contract is made − i.e., under which jurisdiction the terms are agreed. Alternatively, the EU produced a standard contract488 −called the “Principles of European Contract Law” (PECL)− the terms of which can be included in any EU contract if both sides agree to it. It explains about contracts and the EU single market, and discusses in detail the Principles of European Contract Law as defined by the European Commission.

482 483 484 485 486 487 488

Responsabilité du fait de produits défectueux. Le démarchage. Repères. Promulgué. Cadre. Établies, définies. Un contrat type.


BILINGUAL GLOSSARY Abbreviations English

French

AE : American English

pers. : personne

BE : British English fin. : finance Scot. Jur. : Scottish Jurisdiction adv. : adverb comm. : commerce

1. English - French

A absolute undertaking

engagement de responsabilité absolue

acceleration clause, acceleration covenant (mortgage & real estate loans)

clause de remboursement anticipé (hypothèque, contrat de prêt)

acceptance of goods

acceptation des marchandises

acceptor

accepteur

accredited agent

agent accrédité

accessory contract, ancillary contract

contrat accessoire

action (at law), lawsuit

action en justice, procès

action for damages

action en dommages-intérêts

actionable (claim)

recevable, (pers.) passible de poursuites


BILINGUAL GLOSSARY

174 actionable (person)

passible de poursuites

adjudicate (upon) (claim)

juger, décider, se prononcer (sur)

adjudication

jugement

administration

administration

administrator

administrateur

administrative tribunal

tribunal administratif

advocate (Scot. Jur.)

avocat (plaidant)

affidavit

déclaration sous serment

affirmation

affirmation

aggravated damages

dommages aggravés

agreement to sell

compromis de vente

(party) aggrieved

(partie) lésée, victime

allow (claim)

reconnaître la recevabilité de

allow (times, damages)

accorder

annuity contract

contrat de rente

anticipatory breach

rupture de contrat par anticipation

anti-trust legislation

loi anti-trust

appeal

appel

appeal

interjeter (appel), se pourvoir en appel

Appeal Court

cour d’appel

senior appellate court

haute cour d’appel

appellant

appelant

apprenticeship contract

contrat d'apprentissage

arbitration clause

clause compromissoire

arbitrator

arbitre

arm’s length agreement

contrat conclu dans les conditions normales du commerce

article (in contract)

article (contrat)

articles of association

statuts d’une société

assessment (of damages)

évaluation (des dégâts)

assign

assigner

(non) assignable contract

contrat (non) cessible

assignee

cessionnaire


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Contract Law Les points essentiels du droit des contrats internationaux - Editions Ophrys  

Entièrement rédigé en anglais, cet ouvrage s’adresse en priorité aux étudiants de Master en droit qui suivent un cursus consacré au droit de...

Contract Law Les points essentiels du droit des contrats internationaux - Editions Ophrys  

Entièrement rédigé en anglais, cet ouvrage s’adresse en priorité aux étudiants de Master en droit qui suivent un cursus consacré au droit de...

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