Since their enactment in 1804 as part of the French civil Code, the provisions relating to contract law had, until recently, remained almost untouched. That is not to say that the law of contract had not altered, but rather that the text of the Code was no longer an accurate reflection of the actual state of the law as interpreted by the courts. An extensively restructured and modernized version came into force on 1st October 2016. In an attempt to map the new French law of contract, this paper first seeks to evaluate the robustness of the guiding principles set out in the Code. By analysing how these principles are applied to the formation, interpretation and enforcement of contracts, the paper concludes that freedom of contract and good faith emerge strengthened by the reforms, while the binding force of contract has become more qualified. The paper also highlights the existence of less obvious but important trends relating to the parties’ behaviour and to the role of the judge. It demonstrates how unilateralism, anticipation, and equity are implicit core ideas lying behind many of the new rules.
HELLERINGER, G. (2017). Anatomy of the New French Law of Contract. European Review of Contract Law, 13(4), pp. 355-375.