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Integrationsklausuler i svensk, engelsk och amerikansk avtalsrätt

Åkesson, Johan LU (2010) JURM01 20102
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
I detta examensarbete behandlas integrationsklausuler i svensk, engelsk och amerikansk rätt. Syftet är dels att utreda vilken rättsverkan integrationsklausuler är avsedda att medföra och i vilken grad de fyller sin funktion i engelsk respektive amerikansk rätt, dels att undersöka i vilken utsträckning samma rättsverkan kan tillerkännas integrationsklausuler i avtal på vilka svensk rätt är tillämplig.
Integrationsklausulen har ett nära samband med ”the parol evidence rule”, som gäller i såväl engelsk som amerikansk common law. Enligt denna regel får utanförliggande muntlig och skriftlig bevisning inte föras för att motsäga, ändra eller lägga till avtalsförpliktelser till ett skriftligt avtalsdokument, förutsatt att avtalet är... (More)
I detta examensarbete behandlas integrationsklausuler i svensk, engelsk och amerikansk rätt. Syftet är dels att utreda vilken rättsverkan integrationsklausuler är avsedda att medföra och i vilken grad de fyller sin funktion i engelsk respektive amerikansk rätt, dels att undersöka i vilken utsträckning samma rättsverkan kan tillerkännas integrationsklausuler i avtal på vilka svensk rätt är tillämplig.
Integrationsklausulen har ett nära samband med ”the parol evidence rule”, som gäller i såväl engelsk som amerikansk common law. Enligt denna regel får utanförliggande muntlig och skriftlig bevisning inte föras för att motsäga, ändra eller lägga till avtalsförpliktelser till ett skriftligt avtalsdokument, förutsatt att avtalet är ”integrerat” i dokumentet. Ett avtal är ”integrerat” om det skriftliga dokumentet ger intryck av att vara avsett som en fullständig och slutgiltig reglering av parternas avtalsförhållande. Det finns emellertid en rad undantag vilka inskränker regelns tillämpningsområde.
En integrationsklausul stadgar typiskt sett att det skriftliga avtalet utgör parternas fullständiga och slutgiltiga avtal, och ersätter alla tidigare muntliga och skriftliga överenskommelser dem emellan. Integrationsklausulen har i princip samma syfte som ”the parol evidence rule”, men fyller en viktig självständig funktion genom att explicit visa parternas intention att det skriftliga avtalet ska vara fullständigt integrerat. Detta är en nödvändig förutsättning för att regeln ska vara tillämplig fullt ut. Klausulen syftar till att skapa förutsebarhet. Den söker förhindra att vissa tolkningsdata, särskilt avtalspreliminärerna och tidigare avtal, ska beaktas och tillmätas relevans vid fastställandet av avtalets innehåll. Vidare avses klausulen få samma effekt i förhållande till sidoavtal. Klausulen har även en riskfördelande funktion, då den reglerar sådant som inträffat före avtalstidpunkten eller samtidigt därmed. Att bidra till ökad processekonomisk effektivitet är ett viktigt syfte.
Det framgår av undersökningen att en integrationsklausul får betydande rättsverkningar i engelsk och amerikansk rätt. I engelsk rätt och i vissa amerikanska delstater avgör klausulen i princip integrationsfrågan, medan den i majoriteten av delstaterna ställer upp en presumtion. Vidare utesluter klausulen kontraktsrättsligt ansvar för sidoavtal i engelsk rätt, medan den i amerikansk rätt endast får indirekt betydelse genom att visa att avtalet är fullständigt integrerat. Detta kompenseras dock av att ”the parol evidence rule” generellt sett har en starkare ställning i amerikansk rätt. Klausulen inverkar inte på ”interpretation” i angloamerikansk rätt, utan endast ”determination of terms” faller inom dess tillämpningsområde. Den utesluter inte utfyllning med ”terms implied in fact”, men den kan möjligen få denna effekt i förhållande till övriga typer av ”implied terms” förutsatt att ett adekvat formulerat tillägg finns. Ansvar för ”misrepresentations” påverkas inte av klausulen.
I svensk rätt blir klausulens rättsverkningar något mindre långtgående. Den fråga som ”the parol evidence rule” syftar till att reglera är i svensk rätt materiell och avgörs genom avtalstolkning. Integrationsklausulen får således inte processrättslig verkan, utan avgörande är i vilken mån det är möjligt att göra avsteg från gällande tolkningsprinciper med avseende på vilken vikt som ska tillmätas olika kategorier av tolkningsdata. Om en gemensam partsavsikt vilken avviker från ordalydelsen kan bevisas får klausulen ingen verkan. Efterföljande omständigheter omfattas inte av klausulen. Vidare innebär en integrationsklausul inte att dispositiv rätt generellt avtalats bort. Klausulens generella lydelse medför att den i vissa fall kan och bör tolkas restriktivt. När det gäller precisering får klausulen inte någon rättsverkan. Däremot kan klausulen förhindra korrigering om tolkningsalternativet grundar sig på omständigheter från förhandlingsstadiet. Den förhindrar dock inte korrigering generellt. Klausulen kan inte heller förhindra utfyllning generellt, men den kan hindra att avtalspreliminärerna tillmäts betydelse vid utfyllning och tala för konkret utfyllning med stöd av tolkningsdata vilka är förankrade i avtalsdokumentet. Dessutom talar den för att ett avtal som är operativt trots en lucka som huvudregel ska tolkas antitetiskt och inte analogiskt. Slutligen kan en integrationsklausul möjligen påverka relevansbedömningen enligt förutsättningsläran, särskilt med avseende på individuella förutsättningar. Det torde endast i undantagsfall bli aktuellt att jämka eller ogiltigförklara en integrationsklausul i ett kommersiellt avtal med tillämpning av 36 § AvtL. (Less)
Abstract
This thesis deals with merger clauses, also known as integration clauses or entire agreement clauses, in Swedish, English and US law. The purpose is firstly to examine what legal effect merger clauses are designed to achieve and to what extent they are recognized as having that legal effect in English and US law respectively, and secondly to examine to what extent merger clauses can achieve the same legal effect in Swedish law.
There is a close connection between merger clauses and the common law rule known as the parol evidence rule. According to this rule oral or written extrinsic evidence cannot be admitted to contradict, vary or add to the terms of a completely integrated written contract. The rule is, however, subject to a number... (More)
This thesis deals with merger clauses, also known as integration clauses or entire agreement clauses, in Swedish, English and US law. The purpose is firstly to examine what legal effect merger clauses are designed to achieve and to what extent they are recognized as having that legal effect in English and US law respectively, and secondly to examine to what extent merger clauses can achieve the same legal effect in Swedish law.
There is a close connection between merger clauses and the common law rule known as the parol evidence rule. According to this rule oral or written extrinsic evidence cannot be admitted to contradict, vary or add to the terms of a completely integrated written contract. The rule is, however, subject to a number of exceptions that significantly reduce its impact.
A merger clause typically states that the written contract contains the entire agreement between the parties, and supersedes all oral or written agreements, representations, understandings etc. The merger clause and the parol evidence rule essentially share the same purpose, but the clause has an important independent function in that it explicitly shows the parties intention that the written contract is completely integrated. Such an intention is necessary in order for the parol evidence rule to be applicable to its full extent. Merger clauses are designed to achieve contractual certainty. The clauses seek to bar extrinsic evidence, especially the prior negotiations and earlier agreements, from consideration by the courts in order to prevent such evidence having any influence on the determination of terms. A merger clause is also intended to deprive collateral contracts of legal effect. Merger clauses regulate commercial risks. From an economic perspective they promote procedural efficiency.
Merger clauses have significant legal effects in English and US law. In English law and in some American states a merger clause has literally conclusive effect regarding the question of integration, while in the majority of American states it merely establishes a presumption. The merger clause will be effective to denude collateral contracts of legal effect in English law, while in US law it will only have the indirect effect of showing that the contract is completely integrated. It should be noted, however, that the parol evidence rule is generally more strictly applied in US law. A merger clause does not have any effect on interpretation. It only affects the determination of terms. The clause cannot exclude terms implied in fact, but it could possibly exclude other types of implied terms provided that there is an adequately phrased addition to it. Merger clauses cannot exclude liability for misrepresentations.
In Swedish law the legal effects of the merger clause will be somewhat less far reaching. The question that the parol evidence rule seeks to regulate is part of the substantive law of contracts and is determined according to the rules of interpretation of contracts. Merger clauses have no effect on the Swedish rules of legal procedure. The deciding factor, regarding the legal effect of the clause, is to what extent it is possible to contractually agree to different principles of interpretation regarding what weight is to be attached to different types of fact. If it is proved that the parties had a mutual intention that is different from the objective meaning of the contract, then the merger clause will have no effect. The clause has no effect on subsequent conduct. It is not possible to contract out of all dispositive rules of law simply by the inclusion of a merger clause. Because of the vague wording of the clause, in some cases it can and should be interpreted restrictively. A merger clause has no effect on the interpretation of words in order to ascertain their meaning. The clause will, however, have the legal effect of preventing a court from rectifying the terms of the contract based on the prior negotiations. This practice is not equivalent to the doctrine of rectification, but rather a consequence of the more liberal Swedish method of contract interpretation. Merger clauses will also prevent a court from supplying omitted terms to the contract, in a way that is reminiscent of the use of implied terms in English and US law, based on the prior negotiations. The clauses could possibly have an effect on the Swedish doctrine of fundamental assumptions. While a merger clause in a commercial contract can be invalidated by the application of 36 § of the Swedish Contract Act, it will probably only occur in rare cases. (Less)
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author
Åkesson, Johan LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Merger clauses in Swedish, English and U.S. contract law
course
JURM01 20102
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Civilrätt, Private Law, Förmögenhetsrätt, Commercial Law, Avtalsrätt, Contract Law
language
Swedish
id
1693754
date added to LUP
2010-10-20 16:23:12
date last changed
2010-10-20 16:23:12
@misc{1693754,
  abstract     = {This thesis deals with merger clauses, also known as integration clauses or entire agreement clauses, in Swedish, English and US law. The purpose is firstly to examine what legal effect merger clauses are designed to achieve and to what extent they are recognized as having that legal effect in English and US law respectively, and secondly to examine to what extent merger clauses can achieve the same legal effect in Swedish law.
    There is a close connection between merger clauses and the common law rule known as the parol evidence rule. According to this rule oral or written extrinsic evidence cannot be admitted to contradict, vary or add to the terms of a completely integrated written contract. The rule is, however, subject to a number of exceptions that significantly reduce its impact.
    A merger clause typically states that the written contract contains the entire agreement between the parties, and supersedes all oral or written agreements, representations, understandings etc. The merger clause and the parol evidence rule essentially share the same purpose, but the clause has an important independent function in that it explicitly shows the parties intention that the written contract is completely integrated. Such an intention is necessary in order for the parol evidence rule to be applicable to its full extent. Merger clauses are designed to achieve contractual certainty. The clauses seek to bar extrinsic evidence, especially the prior negotiations and earlier agreements, from consideration by the courts in order to prevent such evidence having any influence on the determination of terms. A merger clause is also intended to deprive collateral contracts of legal effect. Merger clauses regulate commercial risks. From an economic perspective they promote procedural efficiency.
    Merger clauses have significant legal effects in English and US law. In English law and in some American states a merger clause has literally conclusive effect regarding the question of integration, while in the majority of American states it merely establishes a presumption. The merger clause will be effective to denude collateral contracts of legal effect in English law, while in US law it will only have the indirect effect of showing that the contract is completely integrated. It should be noted, however, that the parol evidence rule is generally more strictly applied in US law. A merger clause does not have any effect on interpretation. It only affects the determination of terms. The clause cannot exclude terms implied in fact, but it could possibly exclude other types of implied terms provided that there is an adequately phrased addition to it. Merger clauses cannot exclude liability for misrepresentations.
    In Swedish law the legal effects of the merger clause will be somewhat less far reaching. The question that the parol evidence rule seeks to regulate is part of the substantive law of contracts and is determined according to the rules of interpretation of contracts. Merger clauses have no effect on the Swedish rules of legal procedure. The deciding factor, regarding the legal effect of the clause, is to what extent it is possible to contractually agree to different principles of interpretation regarding what weight is to be attached to different types of fact. If it is proved that the parties had a mutual intention that is different from the objective meaning of the contract, then the merger clause will have no effect. The clause has no effect on subsequent conduct. It is not possible to contract out of all dispositive rules of law simply by the inclusion of a merger clause. Because of the vague wording of the clause, in some cases it can and should be interpreted restrictively. A merger clause has no effect on the interpretation of words in order to ascertain their meaning. The clause will, however, have the legal effect of preventing a court from rectifying the terms of the contract based on the prior negotiations. This practice is not equivalent to the doctrine of rectification, but rather a consequence of the more liberal Swedish method of contract interpretation. Merger clauses will also prevent a court from supplying omitted terms to the contract, in a way that is reminiscent of the use of implied terms in English and US law, based on the prior negotiations. The clauses could possibly have an effect on the Swedish doctrine of fundamental assumptions. While a merger clause in a commercial contract can be invalidated by the application of 36 § of the Swedish Contract Act, it will probably only occur in rare cases.},
  author       = {Åkesson, Johan},
  keyword      = {Civilrätt,Private Law,Förmögenhetsrätt,Commercial Law,Avtalsrätt,Contract Law},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Integrationsklausuler i svensk, engelsk och amerikansk avtalsrätt},
  year         = {2010},
}