1st Edition

Contract Law in Changing Times Asian Perspectives on Pacta Sunt Servanda

Edited By Normann Witzleb Copyright 2023
    282 Pages
    by Routledge

    282 Pages
    by Routledge

    This collection of essays provides a rich and contemporary discussion of the principle of pacta sunt servanda. This principle, which requires that valid agreements are to be honoured, is a cornerstone of contract law. Focusing on contributions from Asia, this book shows that, despite its natural and universal appeal, the pacta sunt servanda principle is neither absolute nor immutable. Exceptions to the binding force of contract must be available in limited circumstances to avoid hardship and unfairness.

    This book offers readers new comparative perspectives on the appropriate balance between contractual certainty and flexibility in an era of social instability. Expert authors, mostly from East and Southeast Asia, explore when their domestic legal systems allow exceptions from the binding force of contracts. Doctrines discussed include impossibility, frustration, change of circumstance, force majeure, illegality as well as rights of withdrawal. Other chapters consider the importance of the pacta principle in international law. The challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic feature strongly in the majority of contributions.

    Part A. Pacta sunt servanda in changing times

    1 Pacta sunt servanda, the common law, and Hong Kong

    Stephen Hall

    2 Exceptions to pacta sunt servanda in the Chinese Civil Code

    Siyi Lin

    3 In a Bubble by the Sea: COVID-19, Time and Contract Law in the Macau S.A.R.
    Célia F. Matias and Monica Chan

    4 Contracts in the time of COVID-19: common law and statutory solutions in Singapore

    Wayne Courtney

    5 The principle of pacta sunt servanda and its exceptions under Japanese contract law

    Tomohiro Yoshimasa

    6 Change of circumstances in Korean contract law: An exception to pacta sunt servanda

    Boeun Chang


    Part B. Pacta sunt servanda in specific contexts


    7 The property management service contract with Chinese characteristics: An exception to pacta sunt servanda?

    Jianbo Lou and Yimeng Ye

    8 Pacta sunt servanda in the age of cryptocurrency: The case of China

    Chao Xi

    9 Post-employment non-compete agreements under the Taiwan Labour Standards Act and pacta sunt servanda

    Yalun Yen


    10 Pacta sunt servanda and the consumer’s right of withdrawal

    Geraint Howells

    11 Contract enforcement during the Global Financial Crisis: Lessons for the coming tsunami

    Kingsley Ong


    Part C. Pacta sunt servanda in international law


    12 Invoking COVID-19 to suspend or terminate the operation of a treaty

    Hanh Hong Pham and Huong Thi Thu Phung

    13 Treaties and pacta sunt servanda: A shared concept for the PRC?

    Noble Po-kan Lo

    14 Pacta sunt servanda: Comfort letters in an age of instability and strategic rivalry

    Joel Slawotsky


    Part D. Conclusion

    15 Pacta sunt servanda – a maxim and its exceptions in comparative perspective

    Normann Witzleb


    Normann Witzleb is an associate professor at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Law, where he chairs the Obligations Lab Asia in the Centre for Comparative and Transnational Law. He is also an adjunct associate professor at Monash University Australia, Faculty of Law.

    Professor Witzleb has published widely on private law, in particular torts and remedies, as well as on privacy and data protection law.