Ordinance n°2016-131 of February 10, 2016 for the reform of contract law, the general regime of obligations and proof of obligations came into force on October 1, 2016. This reform was primarily aimed at codifying established and settled case-law principles but it also introduced new legal concepts and obligations.
Law n° 2018-287 dated April 20, 2018 – which ratifies the aforementioned Ordinance – was published in the Official Journal on April 21, 2018. This Law does not only ratify the February 10, 2016 Ordinance. It also brings about a number of changes. Some of them are quite significant, others without any real impact. Most of these changes will become effective on October 1, 2018 but some others will apply retroactively as from October 1, 2016.
While it did not drastically alter the changes brought about by Ordinance n° 2016-131 of February 10, 2016, the Ratification Law n° 2018-287 of April 20, 2018 did modify some aspects of French contract law and introduced a distinction between substantive amendments that will become effective as from the entry into force of the Ratification Law, i.e. October 18, 2018, and so-called “interpretative” amendments that will apply retroactively to contracts entered into on and after October 1, 2016.
This article provides a non-exhaustive overview of the provisions of the Ratification Law which have a practical implication on business law, in particular at the formation of the contract and throughout its performance.
In a decision rendered on July 2, 2014, the First Civil Chamber of the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court) confirmed its position and reaffirmed the principle according to which “the perpetrator of a damage must remedy all the consequences and the injured party is under no obligation to mitigate his/her loss in the interests of the tortfeasor“, including when the loss is economic in nature.
The Cour de Cassation thus opposes the majority of French legal writers who, for many years, have been urging French lawmakers and courts to adopt the so-called “duty to mitigate damages” Anglo-American concept.
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