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吉林省律師協會對外投資與貿易法律專業委員會資訊速遞(二 )

信息來源: | 責任編輯: 發布時間:2014-02-27

Outline to the Contract Lawof CHINA

Chunli He

Section1 Development of Contract Law in China

On March 15, 1999, the Contract Law of the People’sRepublic of China was adopted by the Second Session of the Ninth NationalPeople’s Congress and scheduled to take effect on October.

The Contract Law contains general provisions ,applicable to all contracts in chapters 1-8,as well as specific provisionrelating to 15 types of contracts.

The Contract Law unifies and improve upon China ‘sthree previous Contract Laws, i.e. The Economic Contract Law , the ForeignEconomic Contract Law ,the Technology Contract law . The Contract Law seeks toestablish a more advanced, systematic, and comprehensive contract law to suitthe particular needs of China ‘s transitional economy. The contract lawdemonstrated a desire to progress towards a market-driven economy and away fromstate control.

Compared to the three former contract laws, the scopeof application of the unified contract law has been appropriately widened tocover a broader range of the contracts.

Section 2 Concept of Contract

When the Common Law and Continental Civil lawdefinitions of contract are compared, the definition of contract in Continental Civil Law is more abstract. It isbased on expression of the parties’ intent (or translated as “expression ofwill”)

Article 2 of the 1999 Contract Law defines contract asan agreement establishing, modifying and terminating the relations of civilrights and obligations between natural persons, legal persons or otherorganizations of equal status.

The seemingly plain and straightforward definition ofcontract in article 2 includes the following element.

Firstly, contract is an agreement. The notion ofagreement means that the legal effect of contract arises from the will of theparties , rather than from operation of state law or policy. The essence ofcontract is the autonomy of parties and freedom of contract.

Secondly, the parties that can enter into a contractare natural persons, legal person or other organizations. Natural person refersto Chinese citizens, foreigners as well as stateless person. Legal person is anassociation that has capacity for civil rights and civil conducts , independentenjoys civil rights and assumes civil obligations in accordance with the law.Other organizations  would mean toinclude those organizations that are formed under the law with certain assetsand organizational structure, but have no independent civil ability and capacity.legal person is different from other organizations in that a legal personindependently bears civil responsibilities while an other organization doesnot.

Thirdly, the parties to a contract are equal parties.The reference to equal parties serves to exclude from the concept of contractthose agreement that arise from administrative relationships.

Fourthly contract is an agreement establishing, modifyingand terminating relationship of civil rights and duties.

Section 3 FundamentalPrinciples of China’s Contract Law

The fundamental doctrines of Chinese Contract law areset out in articles 3 to 7 of the contract law. They are the principles ofequality, freedom of contract, good faith, pacta sunt servanda, public policyand fostering transactions.

Freedom of Contract

The essential elements of the doctrine of freedom ofcontract under Chinese Law includethefreedom to make a contract or not to make any contract; the freedom to choosewith whom one should contract; the freedom to decide the contents of thecontract; the freedom to decide the mode in which the contract is to be made;the freedom to stipulate the remedies for a breach, and the freedom to decidethe dispute resolution mechanism to be stipulated into the contract. Theprinciple of freedom of contract governs every stage of the contracting processand is in many ways the most crucial of all contract law principles.

A major reflections of the contract law adoption offreedom of contract is that it has limited the mandatory provision in theprevious contract laws and, at the same time, broadened the scope of electiveprovision.  many articles of the contractlaw include the important qualifier “except where the parties have otherwiseagreed”, indicating the law’s respect for the parties’ free will.

Doctrine of good faith

“Good faith” isthe highest principle in Continental Civil Law System. Article 6 of the ChineseContract Law provides that the parties shall observe the principle of honestyand good faith in exercising their rights and performing their obligations.

This doctrine aims to balance the interests betweenthe parties, as well as interests of the parties and the society at large. Whenapplied between the parties ,it requires them to respect each other. As regardsthe society at large, it prevents the parties from prejudicing public interest.It not only balance the interest between the parties, but also safeguards thesocial interest, such that the market can operate in an orderly manner. Thedoctrine of good faith is considered in line with the highest ideals of humansociety.

In China , the Contract Law requires the contractingparties to exercise their rights and fulfill their duties in strict accordancewith the principle of good faith, not only at the stages of contract formation,performance, modification and termination, but also after the contractualrelationship is terminated.

Pacta sunt servanda

Once a contract is formed, the parties must strictlyobserve and comply with the contract. This doctrine is known as pacta suntservanda. article 8(1)the contract law provides that a lawfully establishedcontract shall be legally binding on the parties thereto, who shall eachperform its own obligations in accordance with the terms of the contract, andno party shall unilaterally modify or terminate the contract.

The principle of fostering transactions

A transaction is an exchange of property or otherforms of interest between independent entities or individuals in themarketplace. Transaction must be encouraged so that economic efficiency and theoverall wealth of society can be increased. Voluntary transactions can allowresources to go to the party who valued them the most. This party can in turnuse the resources to produce the greatest value. Thus , although, contract lawitself can not create social wealth, it can foster efficient transactions.

The China‘s Contract Law has embodied the principle offostering transactions in the following major respects:

iRuleson contract  formation

The contract law’s rules on offer and acceptance aredesigned to facilitate formation of contracts and transactions. for instance,according to the traditional continental theory, offer and acceptance must beidentical in their contents. A reply that adds to , limits or modifies theoriginal offer is equal to a refusal of the offer, this traditional view hascome to be regarded as unfavorable to the fostering of transactions. The UniteNations Convention on the International Immaterial contents of the offer andthe offeror does not promptly manifest her objection, the contract shall bedeemed as formed, the same rule has been adopted by article 31of the ChinaContract Law.

iiForm of a contract

In the spirit of fostering transactions, China’sContract Law has adopted the view that the form of a contract is evidence forthe contract’s existence, rather than a criterion in deciding whether thecontract has been formed. article 10 of the Contract Law provides that “forparties to form their contract, there are written, oral, and other forms”

iiiContract formation and validity are different,contract formation refers to the completion of the process whereby the partiesthrough equal consultation come to agree on the terms of their contemplatedtransaction. However, a contract does not automatically become valid as it isformed . contract validity largely depends on the states’ attitude to the contractin question. In other words , contract formation is mainly governed by theparties’ free will .in contrast, contract validity chiefly reflects the state’sevaluation of and intervention in contractual relationships.

China ‘s Contract Law follows the principle offostering transactions in designing its rules on contract validity. Forinstance, the law allows various ways to validate a contract despite itsdeficiencies.In addition to listing four special types of invalid contracts ,the contract law explicitly provides that invalid contract are those thatviolate mandatory provisions of a law or administrative regulation.

The principle of public policy

The doctrine denotes good customs and public order ,meaning that juristic acts must conform to the mainstream moral and ethicalstandard of the society. Civil acts that are contrary to the doctrine of publicpolicy are legally void. In the field of juristic acts, it restricts theautonomous space of individuals and prohibits any attempt to attain individualachievement by sacrificing social morality.


中國合同法概要

何春麗

第一部分  中國合同法的發展

1999年3月5日第九屆全國人大第二次會議通過了中華人民共和國合同法,該法于1999年10月1日生效。

合同法包括總則和分則,總則適用于全部合同,分則適用于15種典型合同(有名合同)。合同法統一和完善了中國之前的三部合同法即經濟合同法、涉外經濟合同法、技術合同法。合同法具有先進性、系統性、綜合性,更適合中國經濟的需求。合同法表明了促進交易、減少國家干預的愿望。

與前三部合同法相比,合同法的適用范圍適當寬泛。

第二部分  合同的概念

   對比普通法和大陸法的合同概念,大陸法中合同的概念更加抽象,其以當事人的意思表示為基礎。

   合同法第二條定義合同是自然人、法人、其他組織之間建立、修改、終止民事權利和義務關系的協議。看似樸素、直接的定義包含下列因素:

   1、合同是一個協議,協議意味著合同的效力來源于雙方的意思,而不是國家法律或政策,合同的本質是當事人意思自治。

   2、簽訂合同的當事人是自然人、法人或其他組織。自然人指公中國公民、外國人和無國籍人。法人是具有民事權利能力和民事行為能力的組織、獨立享有民事權利、獨立承擔民事義務。其他組織是依法設立、擁有一定資產、擁有組織結構的組織,其他組織不具有獨立的民事能力。

   3、合同當事人之間的地位是平等的,這一點區別于源于行政管理關系的協議。

   4、合同是建立、修改、終止民事權利和義務的協議。

第三部分  中國合同法的基本原則

   中國合同法的基本原則在合同法第三條到第七條規定,這些原則是平等原則、自由原則、誠實守信原則、條約必須遵守原則、公共政策原則、鼓勵交易原則

  合同自由原則

   中國合同法合同自由原則包括:簽訂或不簽訂合同的自由、選擇與誰簽訂合同的自由、決定合同內容的自由、決定合同形式的自由、違約救濟自由、爭議解決機制的自由。合同自由原則貫穿合同全過程,是最重要的合同法原則。

   合同自由原則限制了以前合同法的強制性規定,同時,拓寬了生效規定的范圍。合同法中的“當事人另有約定的除外”就是當事人意思自治的體現

   誠實守信原則

   誠實守信是大陸民法體系中最高原則。中國合同法第六條規定當事人遵循誠實守信原則履行權利和義務。

   誠實守信原則的目的是平衡當事人之間、當事人與社會之間的利益。它阻止當事人偏離公共利益。它不僅保護當事人之間的利益還保護社會利益以便市場有序進行。

   中國合同法不僅要求當事人在合同訂立、履行、修改、終止時要遵守誠實信用原則,還要求在合同終止后也要遵守誠實守信原則。

   條約必須遵守原則

   合同一旦成立,當事人必須嚴格遵守。合同法第八條規定合法成立的合同對各方當事人均具有約束力,每方當事人按照合同約定履行各自的義務。任何一方當事人不得單方修改、終止該合同。

   鼓勵交易原則

   交易是市場上財產或其他利益在獨立實體或個人之間的交換。鼓勵交易有利于提高經濟效用和社會整體財富。自愿的交易允許資源流向能夠增加其價值的當事人。合同法本身不創造社會財富,但它可以促進有效的交易。中國合同法主要在下列方面體現鼓勵原則

   1、合同成立的規則

   合同法關于要約、承諾的原則便于合同的成立。例如:按照傳統大陸法理論,要約和承諾的內容必須完全一致,任何對要約的增加、限制、修改都等于對要約的拒絕。聯合國公約規定受要約人對要約進行非實質性修改,如要約人沒有迅速反對,合同視為成立。我國合同法采用了聯合國公約的規定。

   2、合同的形式

    體現鼓勵交易原則,中國合同法采納了“合同的形式是合同是否存在的證據而不決定合同是否成立”。中國合同法第十條規定設立合同的形式,有書面、口頭或其他形式。

   3、合同成立與生效是不同的,合同成立是當事人通過平等協商達成的協議的過程。合同不能在成立時自動生效,合同效力主要取決于國家對該合同的態度。換言之,合同成立主要受控于當事人的自由意愿;合同生效主要反映國家對合同關系的評價和干預。

    中國合同法鼓勵合同生效,除列明的無效合同外。中國合同法明確規定違反法律、行政法規強制性規定的合同無效。

   公共政策原則

   公共政策原則表明公正的行為必須符合社會主流和道德標準。與公共政策相反的民事行為是無效的。這個原則限制了個人的意思空間、禁止犧牲社會道德達到個人利益的企圖。


ChunliHe

SeniorPartner of Beijing Yingke Law Firm Changchun Office



Emailhechunli@aliyun.com

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MajorPractice Areas

1.  Legal advicer

2.  Company recombination and M﹠A

3.  Go listing, investment and financing

4.  Foreign Law including Foreign DirectInvestment and Indirect Investment, Overseas MA,International Trade.

5.  Real Estate and Construction Law

Educationexperiences

Master of Law of RenminUniversity of China

Bachelor of Economics of Jilin University  

Socialposition

Part-time Professor in Jilin University

Languages

English ,Chinese

Qualifications

Qualification of Securities Practice ;Qualification of Independent Director.

Qualification of bankruptcy management,Qualification of advanced engineering cost management

Workingexperiences

1.     July 1987-May 1994     Lecturer of EnterpriseManagement

2.     July1994- July 1997     Manager of Car Sells Company

3.     July1997-May 2002     Lecturerof International Business Law in Changchun                                              

Industry University

4.     July 2002- Now         PracticingLawyer


何春麗







北京盈科(長春)律師事務所 高級合伙人

   

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       5、房地產與建筑工程

                           

教育經歷:

中國人民大學法學院   經濟法碩士

吉林大學              經濟學學士

社會兼職:

吉林大學兼職教授

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中文、英文

資格:

上市公司獨立董事、證券從業資格、企業破產管理人資格、高級工程成本管理師

工作經歷:

1、1987年7月至1994年5月 企業管理講師

2、1994年5月至1997年7月  汽車銷售公司經理

3、1997年7月至2002年5月 長春工業大學國際經濟法教師

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