魏长庚船长专栏/船舶买卖合同的订立(一)
日期:2017-10-06 阅读:1443

  合同的订立(一)

  4.1 INTRODUCTION 4.1简介

  The aim of this chapter is to outline some of the key considerations that parties should keep in mind when entering into discussions which may (or may not) culminate in a legally binding contract for the sale and purchase of a ship.

  本章的主要目的是,概述在商谈阶段的合同双方可能(或可能没有)达成具有法律约束力的船舶买卖合同时,应当注意的一些关键的考虑因素。

  4.2 FORMATION OF CONTRACT 4.2合同的形成

  4.2.1 Introduction 4.2.1简介

  In most cases the three basic requirements for a valid contract under English law will be:
  
  • an intention to create a legally binding relationship;
      
  • a concluded agreement on the essential terms of the contract; and
      
  • consideration.

  在大多数情况下,根据英国法律,有效合同的三个基本要求是:

  (1). 意图产生具有法律约束力的关系;

  (2). 最终达成合同根本性的条款;

  (3). 对价或者约因。

  First, the parties must intend to create a legally binding relationship. In the case of commercial transactions there is a strong presumption that the parties intend their relationship to be legally binding, and will consider it so, given that the negotiations have been successfully concluded. Although this presumption may be rebutted by evidence to the contrary, the burden of proving that there was no such intention is a heavy one. In this situation, arbitral tribunals and the courts will try to determine the parties' objective intentions by reference to what they said and did during the negotiations.

  首先,合同双方必须有意图产生具有法律约束力的合同关系。在商业交易的背景下,假设谈判最终成功完成,这有强烈的理由推定,合同双方有意图使他们之间的关系产生法律性的约束力,并将认为会达到这种效果。[1] 虽然这一推定可能会被合同中相反的证据推翻,[2] 但,证明不存在这种意图是一个繁重的责任。[3] 在这种情况下,仲裁庭和法院将试图通过参考合同双方在谈判中的言行来确定他们客观的意图。

  Second, there must be a concluded agreement on the essential terms of the contract. This will usually involve two pivotal elements — offer and acceptance — and in relation to these, the following basic rules typically apply.

  第二,合同双方必须最终同意根本性的合同条款。这通常会涉及到两个关键的要素——发盘和受盘——以及与之相关的通常适用的一些基本原则,下文所述。

  There must be an offer by one person (the “offeror”) that he is willing to contract on specific terms with the recipient of the offer (the “offeree”). The offer must set out the terms on which the offeror is willing to contract. It may also indicate the manner in which and the time within which the offer may be accepted. An offer must be sufficiently clear and detailed to be capable of acceptance. Arbitral tribunals and courts will generally apply an objective test to ascertain whether or not an offer has been made.

  这必须有一个愿意与要约接受人(受盘人)以特定的条款签订合同的发出要约的人(发盘人)。发盘要约必须载明该发盘人愿意订约的条款。它也可以显示要约可能被接受的方式与时间期限。发盘要约必须是足够清晰明确和详细丰富以至于能够被接受。仲裁庭和法院一般会采用一个客观的测试标准,以确定要约是否已经作出。

  An offer which is capable of immediate acceptance must be distinguished from what in contract law is referred to as “an invitation to treat”. When a person makes an invitation to treat, he does not himself make an offer but he invites the recipient of the invitation to make an offer.

  一个能够被明确接受的发盘必须与合同中所谓的‘邀盘’区分开来,如果某人做出邀请进行谈判,他本身不是发盘,而是(针对某项标的)邀请‘接受邀盘的人’提出要约。

  An offer may generally be withdrawn by the offeror giving notice to that effect at any time before the offer is accepted. This may be so even where the offeror has indicated that it will remain open for a specified period unless that indication itself gives rise to a binding contractual undertaking, supported by consideration, to keep the offer open for that period.

  发盘,在要约被接受之前的任何时间,通常是由发盘人发出撤销的通知后进行撤销。[4] 甚至有可能是发盘人已经显示发盘将在规定的时期内保持有效,除非发盘本身产生一个具有约束力的合同的承诺,并由对价支持,那么,该要约将一直在此期间保持有效。

  A contract will not be concluded until the offer which has been made is accepted by the offeree, and that acceptance is communicated to the offeror. Such an acceptance must be both final and unqualified. It must also correspond to the terms of the offer.

  直到所作出的要约已被收盘人接受,并将受盘通知给发盘人,否则,不会最终缔结合同。这样的受盘必须是终局的以及无条件限制。它也必须是与发盘的条款内容相互一致。

  If the terms of the offeree's response differ from the terms of the offer (by seeking to vary the terms of the offer or to introduce new terms), the response may operate in one of two different ways, as set out below。.

  如果受盘人回复的条款不同于发盘人的条款(试图变更发盘条款或者引入新的条款),可以采用下列两种方法之一进行回复。如下所述。

  It may amount to a tentative move to see whether the offeror is willing to contract on some or all of the terms contained in the response. A tentative move of this kind, if properly worded, will not be a rejection of the original offer, with the result that if the response proves to be unacceptable to the offeror, the offeree may withdraw the response and accept the terms originally offered to him.

  这相当于试探性的行为,旨在了解发盘人是否愿意以回复函包括的部分或者全部条款订立合同。这种试探性举动,如果措辞适当,不是拒绝原来的要约,其结果是,如果回复的内容被证明是不为发盘人所接受,收盘人将撤消回复,并接受原始发盘的内容。

  Alternatively, the response may amount to a counter-offer which has the effect of terminating the original offer and which may itself then be accepted or rejected by the original offeror in the normal way.

  或者说,回复相当于还盘,其作用是终结原先的要约,而且回复本身也可能由原发盘人按正常的方式接受或拒绝。

  Of course, common sense must be used in the application of the principles described above. An acceptance does not need to use precisely the same words as the offer in order to be effective, principles always that the sense is the same. Furthermore, an acceptance may still be effective if it makes clear some term which the law would in any case imply. In addition, in some circumstances, acceptance may be inferred from conduct.

  当然,在适用上文所述的原则过程中,也必须使用一般常识。为了使受盘有效,不需要严格使用发盘中同样的词语,但原则上,要传达的意思总是相同的。此外,如果清楚表明某些条款,不管怎样,将由法律进行默示,受盘仍然是有效。此外,在某些情况下,是否受盘,可以从某些行为中推断出来。

  While the above rules are relatively easy to state, they can often give rise to difficulties, particularly where the parties are involved in complex negotiations over a lengthy period of time. It may often be hard to establish whether and, if so, when an offer has in fact been finally accepted and all the terms have been agreed. In these circumstances the arbitral tribunal or court will look at the whole course of the correspondence and negotiations and decide whether, on the available evidence, the parties have in fact reached agreement on the same terms.

  虽然表达上述原则相对容易,但,它们经常会产生很多困难,特别是合同双方涉及到漫长复杂的谈判过程。如果是这样的话,它往往是很难确定,是否以及何时,要约实际上已被最终接受和所有条款达成一致。在这种情况下,仲裁庭或法院将调查通信和谈判的全部过程,并依据现有的证据判定,合同双方是否已在事实上对相同的条款达成协议。[5]

  The third basic requirement for a valid contract under English law is that, in most cases, the contract must be supported by consideration, which means that there must be some element of bargainor reciprocity. The basic principle is that each party must give something (even if only a counter-promise) as a price for the promise they receive from the other party. An English arbitral tribunal or court will not usually look to the adequacy of consideration. In the context of a ship sale contract, the requirement for consideration is satisfied by the price payable by the buyer in return for the seller's agreement to transfer title in the ship. Alternatively, a contract may be executed as a deed, which — under English law — removes the need for there to be consideration.

  根据英国法律,有效合同的第三个基本要求是,在大多数情况下,合同必须有对价或者约因的支持,其意味着谈判方必须有相互交换的一些因素。基本原则是,每一当事方都必须给予对方某些事物(即使只是还盘保证),相当于他们收到对方承诺的价格。英国仲裁庭或法院通常不会去考虑精确的对价值。在船舶买卖合同的背景下,是通过买方支付购船价款以换取卖方同意转让船舶主权,来满足约因/对价的条件要求。另外,合同也可以作为契约加以执行——根据英国法律——这将取消对价或者约因的要求。

  [1] Edwards v. Skyways Ltd [1964] 1 WLR 349 at 355.

  [2] 例如,合约谈判明示是‘以订立合同为准’请参看下文4.3节。

  [3] Edwards v. Skyways Ltd [1964] 1 WLR 349 at 355.

  [4] Routledge v. Grant (1828) 4 Bing 653.

  [5] 请参看下文第4.3.1节。
  

 
  海运圈聚焦专栏作者 魏长庚船长(微信号CaptWei)

  

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