Issue 1 (19) 2013

Golovin THE POSITION OF the Force Majeure Category in Conceptual Apparatus of Civil Law

THE POSITION OF the Force Majeure Category in Conceptual Apparatus of Civil Law

N.M. Golovin

Perm State National Research University
15, Bukirev st., Perm, 614990
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The paper is devoted to the legal nature of insurmountable force. (I.e., ascertain what kind of circumstance it is: exemption from liability or excluding liability).

The paper concludes that the insurmountable force eliminates element of civil-law offense of «failure to take appropriate measures». Paragraph 1 of art. 401 of the Civil Code understands by this guilt, but the phrase «failure to take measures» reflects only the fact of the objectified result of action, but not the subjective aspect of an intellectual relationship of a person, and therefore ex-presses no guilt, and wrongfulness. Consequently, insurmountable force precludes the wrongfulness of the action.

The author demonstrates that the legal concept of guilt leads to the serious contradiction in theory and in practice. First, if determine the guilt as the failure to take appropriate measures, it becomes impossible enshrined in the Civil Code liability regardless of guilt, as in the study of argument to an insurmountable force courts resolve the matter of whether all measures are taken to prevent the force majeure or its consequences, i.e. about the guilt, which understood by objectivist. In practice, this creates the risk that courts may revoked lower court decisions on the grounds that the latter investigate matter the defendant's guilt, although the liability of merchants occurs irrespective of this. But the problem is that dispute can not be resolved without an investigation of the matter of adoption of the measures (i.e., the guilt in accordance with paragraph 1 of Art. 401 of the Russian Civil Code).

Secondly, there are situations where the same act in conditions of the Criminal Code is recognized as the perfect and lawful, but in line with the Civil Code - guilty. As a result of the above proposed abandoning the objectivist understanding of guilt, and in art. "Foundations of responsibility" instead definition of guilt should be fixed the presumption of wrongfulness.

Third, the objectivist definition of guilt leads to what the courts consider an insurmountable force as a criterion of innocence, so investigate it in the last part of the litigation - after establishing the existence of other elements of the offense. This leads to the fact that the courts are forced to explore the many debilitating issues, which often do not have legal sense to resolve the dispute. Proposed in order to overcome this tendency to integrate into the Civil Code the institution of "circumstances precluding wrongfulness" (by analogy with the Criminal Code). Establishing the presence of these circumstances, including force majeure, will testify to the lawfulness actions of a person, and as a consequence, the loss of value in the investigation of other elements of the offense and the automatic failure to satisfy the claims.


Keywords: insurmountable force; civil-law liability; exemption from liability; excluding liability; guilt; wrongfulness

 

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