Les cinq textes qui suivent ont été présentés au 12e congrès de l'Académie internationale de droit comparé, tenu en août 1986 aux universités de Sydney et Monash en Australie.
Essayant de définir ce qu'est la traduction, ces textes font état de la variété de méthodes et de styles de la traduction, ainsi que de l'importance du contenu culturel de la langue juridique. Les embûches créées par la spécificité culturelle d'une langue juridique par rapport à une autre et par l'affinité relative des langues dans lesquelles un texte juridique doit s'exprimer sont analysées par rapport à un autre problème : celui de la réception de nouvelles institutions juridiques au sein du système juridique en place. Enfin, on propose un plus grand rôle pour les juristes et le droit comparé dans le processus d'élaboration des textes juridiques plurilingues, processus confié trop souvent aux seuls traducteurs.
Commercial credit has been given many different forms over the years and the various financial instruments are being constantly refined. By the same token, loan agreements have become increasingly complex documents. The main thrust of this paper is to examine the legal nature, legality and usefulness of a number of financial instruments and clauses usually found in a typical agreement, in the light of basic civil law rules and principles.
The first part of this paper deals with a number of financial instruments, namely the open credit agreement, the banker's acceptance, the letter of credit and the letter of guaranty. Secondly the author analyses the typical loan agreement focusing on the convenant 'sfundamentals elements and discussing its relationship with the use of sureties. In particular, two civil law mechanisms that are of some interest in connection with the loan agreement namely novation and subrogation are examined. The third and fourth parts of this paper deal with a number of standard clauses in the open credit and loan agreements.
What, if any, are the trustee for bondholder's obligations when proceeding with the sale of a debtor's property ? Section 30 of the Special Corporate Powers Act is silent on the question of third party creditors in such a situation. Must we necessarily conclude for that reason that the trustee is not obliged to disinterest privileged claims ranking above his according to the rule of C.C. article 1994 ? This paper deals with this controversial subject. More than seventy years of provincial case-law has affirmed this duty while not being very precise as to its foundation. The general principles of civil law perhaps can indicate what would be the explanation for such a rule while giving an interesting point of view on what constitutes a privilege.
Section 107 of the Bankruptcy Act of Canada establishes an order of collocation of creditors in a bankruptcy which comes in conflict with the order of collocation set out in many provincial statutes, and in particular, with that set out in the Quebec Civil Code for privileges. This has resulted in numerous court debates between creditors and trustees of the bankruptcy as between different categories of creditors who have seen their rank either lowered or elevated by the application of section 107.
In the first part of this article, the author examines the categories of creditors concerned by this inversion, being mainly : the landlords, the Crown and Workmen's Compensation Boards. The second part of this article focuses on conflicts between secured creditors under provincial law and preferred creditors under the Bankruptcy Act.
The author emphasises the differences that evolved between Quebec case law and the case law of other provinces particularily as to the scope of application of section 107 when there is a conflict between a secured lender and a lien claimant affected by section 107, on property of the bankrupt in which the trustee in bankruptcy has little or no interest.
Since the decision of the Supreme Court in Soucisse, a growing number of sureties try to obtain their liberation by invoking a fault of the creditor. This phenomenon occurs in the province of Quebec as in the other provinces of Canada. This paper relates mostly to the Quebec Law.
The sureties plead a fault in information about the nature or the consequences of their contract or about the risks and circumstances of the operation. The author writes that such a general duty of information does not exist, except if the creditor has been contractually engaged to do so. Nevertheless, if the creditor gives wrong information with bad faith, he will be held liable.
Secondly, the sureties invoke the recall of the loan. Here again, there is no fault on the creditor's part, if the term is arrived or if a reasonable notice has been given when the debt is payable on demand. But if the creditor has promised that he would not recall his loan for a certain period, he must do so.
Thirdly, the sureties invoke a fault in the realization of the securities for a low price. The courts will ascertain whether the sale has been held in accordance with prescriptions of the law for this type of security. If the creditor sells privatly, the courts do not hold him liable if the price obtained is justified within the economic context.
In case of a fault in the realization of the securities, an action on liability belongs to the principal, the company, and not to the surety, the shareholder, a victim by ricochet, except if the goods are his own. Nevertheless if the surety is sued, he may oppose a fin denon-recevoir.
The burden of the proof of the fault will be more or less easy according to the circumstances of the case. Most often, an exoneration clause will deny liability except in the case of bad faith. In the absence of such a clause, the criterium is that of a reasonable man. Sureties must also prove the amount of the prejudice. Recent amendments to the Bank Act and to the Act respecting Bills of lading, Receipts and Transferts of property in stock impose new standards of conduct on the creditor and will offer more protection to sureties.
References to the "Prime Rate" or to the "Base Rate" of lending institutions are of frequent use in commercial loan agreements relating to the interest payable by the borrower. The concept of "Prime Rate" as a valid contractual arrangement has been challenged on the grounds of vagueness or on the basis that discretionary rights were given to one party, the lender ; the scope of its meaning as well as the extent of the duties of a lender lending at prime rate has been reviewed by various judicial decisions. The author reviews such decisions, Canadian, American, and French, and measures the impact of various requirements of the Civil Code, the Interest Act, the Bills of Exchange Act, the Code of Civil Procedure on agreements whereby the variable rate of interest payable by the borrower is related to "Prime Rate".
The confusion reigning between superficies ownership and real servitude is tenacious. There is one case that illustrates this state of uncertainty better than any other: it involves the difficulty of qualifying networks made up of electric lines, telephone lines and water, gas and drainage conduits.
This paper examines a case in which the qualifying of a telephone line was the main point at issue. Both the Superior Court and the Court of Appeal qualified the said line as being a servitude. This author does not accept such qualification. For him, the telephone line is apiece of surface property to which attach accessorily various servitudes.