عنوان مقاله [English]
The contract theory is divided into two sub-projects: the descriptive project, which explains the structure of contract law, including regulations, rules, and principles, as well as the fundamental values in a legal system; and the normative project, which focuses on the goal of this field of law and the criteria for legislation. This philosophical study of law is of scientific importance as it provides a deeper understanding of existing law and guides lawyers and legislators in evaluating and reforming the legal system.
This article addresses a specific question within the descriptive field of contract theory: Can a fundamental principle or value be found in Iran's contract law system that rationalizes and justifies the contractual structure? The general rules of contracts consist of legal principles, rules, and regulations, which are systematically described by legal doctrine to present a coherent account of the contract system. This article takes a more fundamental step by proposing a specific interpretation that forms the foundation of this system. It assumes that a coherent structure of contract law can be based on a specific principle, which, in turn, is grounded in a higher value.
The article introduces a theory called "interpretive autonomy theory" by describing the contractual system as a coherent and interconnected whole. In response to the raised question, four related claims are proposed: 1. The fundamental principle of "enforcing the cooperative will" justifies the general principles of Iranian contract law. 2. The value or right of autonomy can be considered the fundamental value of Iran's contract law and serves as the justifying criterion for the fundamental principle of enforcing the cooperative will, as well as certain exceptions to this principle. 3. Public interest justifies exceptions to autonomy in the contractual system. 4. The value of efficiency, which is closely related to autonomy, can be utilized in designing and justifying the details of the contractual system, particularly in financial contracts.
The first part of the article discusses interpretive theory, the criteria for evaluating theories, and the nature of the contract within interpretive theory. Interpretive theory is a type of descriptive theory that introduces a basic principle or value to organize and improve the understanding of the contract system. The evaluation criteria include fit, internal coherence, morality, and transparency. In interpretive theory, the contract is viewed as the common or cooperative will of the parties, creating a legally binding relationship between them.
The second part examines the general principles of Iranian contract law, proposing seven principles: freedom of contracts, validity of contract, pacta sunt servanda, irrevocability of contracts, ability to invoke the contract against third parties, equilibrium, and la zarar (no harm).
The central part of the article demonstrates how all the aforementioned principles can be based on the fundamental principle of "enforcing the cooperative will." The legislator aims to support the will of the parties and ensure the validity and irrevocability of the created legal relationship. Violation of the common will leads to damages or rescission. Additionally, the principle of enforcing the cooperative will is grounded in the value of autonomy, which guarantees human dignity and moral agency. The regulations based on the general principles of contracts serve to support the cooperative will and protect the value of autonomy.
The fourth part reviews exceptions to the principle of enforcing the cooperative will and explains that autonomy also justifies many contractual rules that may appear exceptional. However, there are some provisions in contract law that can be solely justified by public interest or the common good. Although rare, such cases exist, considering that contract law primarily falls within the realm of private law. Even in fields like employment law or consumer contracts, many rules are applied to support the will and autonomy of the weaker party, enabling them to evaluate the necessary conditions for autonomy. According to the theory presented, certain values such as distributive justice lie outside the scope of contract law, while values such as individual welfare, efficiency, or the development of interpersonal relationships can be considered constituent elements of autonomy or ordered in a hierarchical manner. principle, but also the justification of exceptions can be based on autonomy.