Vladimir L. Volfson
North-West Institute of Management, Branch of RANEPA
On the issue of negative obligations in the civil law
Volfson V.L. On the issue of negative obligations in the civil law. Vestnik of Kostroma State University, 2023, vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 195–204 (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2023-29-4-195-204
DOI: https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2023-29-4-195-204
УДК: -
Publish date: 2023-11-27
Annotation: In the civil-law doctrine, there is a debate regarding the admissibility of “negative” obligations – that is, those performed by inaction. In the author’s view, this scientific problem turns out to be a semantic tangle in which conflicting ideas about the essential features of obligations are intertwined. The goal is not just to unravel the knot, but also to trace to what sources the semantic threads go, which will allow us bettering comprehension of the nature of mixed legal phenomena. Starting from the concept of obligation, the author shows the fallacy of the idea that inaction would amount to a kind of obligation on a par with action. Abstaining from action is nothing more than a way to transfer a value to another party. In order to enrich the scope of the study, the unsound objections to the recognition of such obligations are examined, one of those being the opinion of their incompatibility with the prohibition on limiting legal capacity. The article also refutes the idea that general provisions on obligations are inapplicable to obligations performed by abstaining from action. Finally, the work clarifies distinctions between such obligations and other legal phenomena with the use of case modelling. According to the author, in order to avoid institutional confusion, it is advisable to include in the Civil Code a provision indicating that obligations can be performed by abstaining from action.
Keywords: concept of obligation, performance of obligation, negative obligations, interests of parties to civil legal relation, legal capacity
Literature list: Agarkov M.M. Obiazatel'stvo po sovetskomu grazhdanskomu pravu [Obligation in the Soviet Civil Law]. Izbrannye trudy po grazhdanskomu pravu [Obligation in the Soviet Civil Law [Selected Works on the Civil Law]: in 2 vols., vol. 1. Moscow, Tsentr IurInfoR Publ., 2002, 490 p. (In Russ.) Bol'shakova A.D. Negativnye obiazatel'stva po pravu Rossii i zarubezhnykh stran [Restrictive Covenants in Russian and Foreign Legislation]. Iuridicheskaia nauka [Legal Science], 2020, No. 5, pp. 20-24. (In Russ.) De la Morand'er Zh. Grazhdanskoe pravo Frantsii [French Civil Law]. Moscow, Izdatel'stvo iuridicheskoi literatury Publ., 1958, 742 p. (In Russ.) Dogovornoe i obiazatel'stvennoe pravo (obshchaia chast'): Postateinyi kommentarii k stat'iam 307–453 Grazhdanskogo kodeksa Rossiiskoi Federatsii [Contract and Obligation Law (General Part): Article-by-article commentary to the Art. 307-453 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation], V.V. Baibak, R.S. Bevzenko, O.A. Beliaeva and etc., ed. by A.G. Karapetov. Moscow, M-LOGOS Publ., 2017, 1120 p. (In Russ.) Gruzdev V.V. Osushchestvlenie sub"ektivnykh grazhdanskikh prav i ispolnenie grazhdansko-pravovykh obiazannostei [The Implementation of Subjective Civil Rights and Fulfillment of Civil Law Duties]. Zakony Rossii: opyt, analiz, praktika [Laws of Russia: Experience, Aanalysis, Practice], 2017, No. 8, pp. 91-96. (In Russ.) Ioffe O.S. Obiazatel'stvennoe pravo [Law of Obligation]. Moscow, Iuridicheskaia literatura Publ., 1975, 880 p. (In Russ.) Karapetov A.G., Savel'ev A.I. Svoboda dogovora i ee predely: v 2 t. T. 2. Predely svobody opredeleniia uslovii dogovora v zarubezhnom i rossiiskom prave [Freedom of Contract and Its Limits: in 2 vols. Vol. 2. The Limits of Freedom to Establish the Provisions of Contract in Foreign and Russian Law]. Moscow, Statut Publ., 2012, 453 p. (In Russ.) Khokhlov V.A. Obshchie polozheniia ob obiazatel'stvakh: Uchebnoe posobie [General Provisions on Obligations.Study Guide]. Moscow, Statut Publ., 2015, 288 p. (In Russ.) Molodavkin V.I. Ispolnenie negativnykh obiazatel'stv v sisteme iuridicheskikh faktov [The Fulfillment of Negative Obligations in the System of Juridical Facts]. Innovatsionnyi diskurs razvitiia sovremennoi nauki: sb. st. V Mezhdunar. nauch.-prakt. konf., Petrozavodsk, 3 iyunia 2021 goda. [The Innovational Discourse in the Development of Modern Science. Collected papers of the 5th International Scientific Practical Conference. Petrozavodsk, June 3, 2021]. Petrozavodsk, Novaia nauka Publ., 2021, pp. 129-133. (In Russ.) Molodavkin V.I. Negativnye obiazatel'stva: nekotorye problemy pravovogo regulirovaniia [Negative Obligations: Some Issues of Legal Regime]. Molodoi uchenyi [Young Scholar], 2020, No. 23 (313), pp. 266-268. (In Russ.) Pokrovskii I.A. Osnovnye problemy grazhdanskogo prava [The Main Problems of the Civil Law]. Moscow, Statut Publ., the series ‘Classic Texts of the Russian Civil Law Science’, 1998, 353 p. (In Russ.) Rozhkova M.A. K voprosu o dinamike obiazatel'stv [On the Issue of the Inner Movement in Obligations]. «SPS Konsul'tantPlius» [Legislation Assistant System ‘Consultant Plus’], 2002, p. 2. URL: https://rozhkova.com/pdf/AR19.pdf (access date: 6.10.2023). (In Russ.) Shershenevich G.F. Uchebnik russkogo grazhdanskogo prava: v 2 t. T. 2. Ossobennaya Chast’ [The Textbook on the Russian Civil Law: in 2 vols., vol. 2. Special Part]. Moscow, Iurait Publ., 2023, 450 p. (In Russ.) Vlasova A.V. Struktura sub"ektivnogo grazhdanskogo prava: avtoref. dis. … kand. iurid. nauk [The Structure of Subjective Civil-Law Right: PhD thesis, summary]. St. Petersburg, 1998, 28 p. (In Russ.) Vol'fson V.L. Teoriia zloupotrebleniia pravom [Abuse of Law as a Theory]. Moscow, Prospekt Publ., 2023, 160 p. (In Russ.) Vol'fson V.L. Nedobrosovestnost' kak diagnoz zloupotrebleniia sub’’ektivnym grazhdanskim pravom [Bad Faith as a Diagnosis of Abuse of Law in the Exercise of Subjective Right]. Moscow, Prospekt Publ., 2019, 80 p. (In Russ.) Vol'fson V.L. Ob interese avtora v rasprostranenii reputatsii ego unikal'nogo intellektual'nogo resheniia [The Author’s Interest in Disseminating Reputation of a Unique Intellectual Creation]. Zhurnal Suda po intellektual'nym pravam [The Journal of the Intellectual Property Rights Court], 2021, No. 3 (33), pp. 141-168. (In Russ.) Vozmezdnoe okazanie uslug. Poruchenie. Deistviia bez porucheniia. Ko-missiia. Agentirovanie: Post. kommentarii gl. 39, 49-52 GK RF [Paid Provision of Services. Assignment. Actions without Instructions. Commission. Agency: Article-by-article commentary to Chapters 39, 49-52 of the CC of the RF], ed. by P.V. Krasheninnikov. Moscow, Statut Publ., 2011, 192 p. (In Russ.)
Author's info: Vladimir L. Volfson, Candidate of Jural Sciences, North-West Institute of Management, Branch of RANEPA, St. Petersburg, Russia, vwolfson@mail.ru, https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9169-3161