Issue 2 (20) 2013

Kuznetsova CORRELATION BETWEEN THE ILLEGALITY, GUILT AND FORCE MAJEURE THROUGH THE EXAMPLE OF THE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCER LIABILITY

CORRELATION BETWEEN THE ILLEGALITY, GUILT AND FORCE MAJEURE THROUGH THE EXAMPLE OF THE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCER LIABILITY

O.А. Kuznetsova

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 article is devoted to the analysis of the civil and legal categories of illegality, guilt and force majeure when bringing an agricultural producer to liability for non-fulfillment of the contractual agreement. The non-act behavior of the offender is viewed through its objective and subjective features. The agricultural producer guilt is analyzed behaviorally. The conclusion is proved that the objectivistic understanding of the guilt complies with the failure-to-act notion. The force majeure meaning is discovered as the circumstance that excludes the illegality of the debtor’s behavior. The civil and legal liability of the agricultural producer is excluded by two independent causes – the force majeure and the guiltlessness. With this, the force majeure excludes the illegality of the action (the objective side of the offence elements), and the guiltlessness excludes the guilt (subjective side of the offence elements). The analysis is made of the application practice of Russian Federation Civil Code Article 538 that fixes the fault-based liability of the agricultural producer. It is discovered that different situations are treated in the court as the absence of fault: taking all measures for fulfilling the obligations, other party’s guilt, unfavorable weather conditions, absence of a real opportunity to fulfill obligations, the fact of crop failure, force majeure circumstances. A conclusion is made that it is necessary to legislatively and doctrinally distinguish between the illegality, the guilt and the force majeure circumstances as civil categories. Non-taking measures for fulfilling the obligations is a behavioral process the result of which is failure to properly fulfill the obligations, and so both the process and the result should be treated as illegal behavior. Civil contract offence consists of the act of omission, and in particular – of not taking measures that led to failure to fulfill the obligation that was supposed to be fulfilled and could be fulfilled by the debtor. The force majeure circumstances exclude the illegal behavior of the person. In case there were no force majeure circumstances, the person can prove that either he was not supposed to fulfill the obligation or he could not fulfill it even having the necessary care and circumspection that was required in accordance with the obligation character and turnover circumstances. In accordance with the general rule, the real possibility to fulfill the obligations should not be taken in account for people conducting entrepreneurial activity. Thus, the behavioral guilt concept will be excluded from the civil law. A supposition is made that the person’s subjective attitude to his illegal action has no practical value in the contractual law.


Keywords: civil and legal liability; illegality; guilt; force majeure; breaking of a contract; failure to act; general intent; confutation of guilt; guilt theories; contraction; agreecultural producer liability

 

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