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Ändrade förhållanden i långvariga avtal enligt relationsorienterad kontraktsteori

Engström, Erica LU (2017) JURM02 20172
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Långvariga avtal präglas av en ökad risk för att ändrade förhållanden påverkar avtalsrelationen. Avtalen medför en utökad lojalitetsplikt, speciellt om avtalet ger uttryck för samverkan mellan parterna i det långvariga avtalet. Det inverkar på den rättsliga bedömningen när ändrade förhållanden inträffar. I svensk rätt finns det flera olika sätt att hantera ändrade förhållanden som påverkar långvariga avtal. Parterna kan själva öka flexibiliteten genom olika avtalsklausuler eller oavsett klausuler justera avtalen när situationen uppstår. Om den uppkomna situationen leder till en tvist i domstol anses 36 § AvtL vara det mest lämpliga instrumentet för att komma till rätta med problemet. Huvudregeln i svensk rätt är att avtal ska hållas.... (More)
Långvariga avtal präglas av en ökad risk för att ändrade förhållanden påverkar avtalsrelationen. Avtalen medför en utökad lojalitetsplikt, speciellt om avtalet ger uttryck för samverkan mellan parterna i det långvariga avtalet. Det inverkar på den rättsliga bedömningen när ändrade förhållanden inträffar. I svensk rätt finns det flera olika sätt att hantera ändrade förhållanden som påverkar långvariga avtal. Parterna kan själva öka flexibiliteten genom olika avtalsklausuler eller oavsett klausuler justera avtalen när situationen uppstår. Om den uppkomna situationen leder till en tvist i domstol anses 36 § AvtL vara det mest lämpliga instrumentet för att komma till rätta med problemet. Huvudregeln i svensk rätt är att avtal ska hållas. Avsteg medges endast i undantagsfall vilket tar uttryck i relativt snäva rekvisit som ska vara uppfyllda för att avtalet anses oskäligt enligt 36 § AvtL. Oskälighet är en förutsättning för att avtalet ska jämkas eller lämnas utan avseende.

Relationsorienterad avtalsteori är ett samlingsbegrepp som inkluderar olika teorier som delar den gemensamma utgångspunkten att insikter om hur avtal fungerar i verkligheten bör återspeglas i rätten. Till relationsorienterad kontraktsteori hör en grundläggande teori som i uppsatsen kallas relationell avtalsteori. Mot bakgrund av teorins syn på avtalsbundenhet, avtalets syfte och natur har teorin en öppnare syn på avtalsjustering på grund av ändrade förhållanden. Till följd av lojalitetsplikten är parterna, beroende på graden av relationalitet i avtalsförhållandet, skyldiga att justera avtalet när ändrade förhållanden oundvikligen påverkar avtalet. En annan del av relations-orienterad kontraktsteori benämns i den här uppsatsen som relationell rättsekonomi. Där ges en mer splittrad bild av hanteringen av ändrade förhållanden. En del teoretiker fokuserar på vilka styrningsmekanismer och vilken avtalsverksamhet som lämpar sig beroende på avtalsfrekvens, typ av investeringar och grad av ovisshet. Det får betydelse för hanteringen av ändrade förhållanden. Andra teoretiker fokuserar på det faktum att långvariga avtal oundvikligen är ofullständiga och hanteringen av ändrade förhållanden beror då på om avtalets luckor ska fyllas ut och i så fall med vilken regel.

Jag anser att svensk rätt överlag förhåller sig relativt väl till relationell avtalsteori även fast svensk rätt är mer restriktiv med att i domstol justera avtal till följd av ändrade förhållanden. Det beror troligen på att synen på avtalsbundenhet, avtalets syfte och natur inte överensstämmer helt och hållet. Insikter från båda teorier kan gynna parterna vid utformning av avtal. Relationell rättsekonomi bidrar även med nyttiga insikter värda att ta i beaktan vid avtalsjustering och utfyllnad av ofullständiga avtal i domstol. (Less)
Abstract
Long-term agreements are characterized by an increased risk that changed circumstances will affect the contractual relationship. The agreements entail increased obligations to act in good faith, especially if the agreement can be seen as an expression of cooperation between the parties. That affects the legal assessment when changing circumstances occur. In Swedish law, there are several different ways to handle changed circumstances that affect long-term agreements. The parties themselves can increase flexibility through different contractual clauses or, regardless of clauses, adjust their agreements when the situation arises. If the resulting situation leads to a dispute in court, article 36 of the Contracts Act is considered to be the... (More)
Long-term agreements are characterized by an increased risk that changed circumstances will affect the contractual relationship. The agreements entail increased obligations to act in good faith, especially if the agreement can be seen as an expression of cooperation between the parties. That affects the legal assessment when changing circumstances occur. In Swedish law, there are several different ways to handle changed circumstances that affect long-term agreements. The parties themselves can increase flexibility through different contractual clauses or, regardless of clauses, adjust their agreements when the situation arises. If the resulting situation leads to a dispute in court, article 36 of the Contracts Act is considered to be the most appropriate instrument for addressing the problem. The principal rule in Swedish law is that agreements will be held, regardless of changed circumstances. Adjustment is granted only in exceptional cases, which is expressed through the relatively strict prerequisites that must be met in order for the agreement to be deemed unfair pursuant to article 36 of the Contracts Act.

Relationship-oriented Contract Theory is a term that includes different theories that share the opinion that insights regarding how parties contract in reality should be reflected in contract law. Relationship-oriented Contract Theory includes a basic theory that is referred to as Relational Contract Theory in this paper. Based on the theory's view of contractual revision, along with the purpose and nature of the agreement, the theory has a more flexible view of contractual adjustment due to changed circumstances. Due to the duty to act in good faith, the parties are obliged to adjust the agreement when changed circumstances inevitably affect the agreement. The flexibility depends on the degree of relationality in the contractual relationship. Another part of Relationship-oriented Contract Theory is referred to as Relational Law-and-Economics in this paper. That theory delivers a more fragmented picture of the management of changed circumstances. Some theorists focus on which governance mechanisms and what kind of contracting theory is appropriate depending on the contractual frequency, type of investment and degree of uncertainty. The categorization implies how to manage changed circumstances. Other theorists focus on the fact that long-term contracts are inevitably incomplete and the management of changed conditions depends on whether the contractual gaps are to be filled in and, if so, by which default rule.

Swedish contract law complies rather well with Relational Contract Law over all, although Swedish contract law is not quite as flexible when it comes to contractual adjustment due to changed circumstances. This is probably a result of the different views of the purpose and nature of the contract. Both versions of Relationship-oriented contract theory can be useful for parties when drafting agreements. Relational law-and-economics provides helpful insights to be considered then a contract is to be interpreted or filled out by court. (Less)
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author
Engström, Erica LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Changed circumstances in long-term agreements according to relationship-oriented contract theory
course
JURM02 20172
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
avtalsrätt, förmögenhetsrätt, rättsekonomi
language
Swedish
id
8930101
date added to LUP
2018-01-22 13:36:04
date last changed
2018-01-22 13:36:04
@misc{8930101,
  abstract     = {Long-term agreements are characterized by an increased risk that changed circumstances will affect the contractual relationship. The agreements entail increased obligations to act in good faith, especially if the agreement can be seen as an expression of cooperation between the parties. That affects the legal assessment when changing circumstances occur. In Swedish law, there are several different ways to handle changed circumstances that affect long-term agreements. The parties themselves can increase flexibility through different contractual clauses or, regardless of clauses, adjust their agreements when the situation arises. If the resulting situation leads to a dispute in court, article 36 of the Contracts Act is considered to be the most appropriate instrument for addressing the problem. The principal rule in Swedish law is that agreements will be held, regardless of changed circumstances. Adjustment is granted only in exceptional cases, which is expressed through the relatively strict prerequisites that must be met in order for the agreement to be deemed unfair pursuant to article 36 of the Contracts Act. 

Relationship-oriented Contract Theory is a term that includes different theories that share the opinion that insights regarding how parties contract in reality should be reflected in contract law. Relationship-oriented Contract Theory includes a basic theory that is referred to as Relational Contract Theory in this paper. Based on the theory's view of contractual revision, along with the purpose and nature of the agreement, the theory has a more flexible view of contractual adjustment due to changed circumstances. Due to the duty to act in good faith, the parties are obliged to adjust the agreement when changed circumstances inevitably affect the agreement. The flexibility depends on the degree of relationality in the contractual relationship. Another part of Relationship-oriented Contract Theory is referred to as Relational Law-and-Economics in this paper. That theory delivers a more fragmented picture of the management of changed circumstances. Some theorists focus on which governance mechanisms and what kind of contracting theory is appropriate depending on the contractual frequency, type of investment and degree of uncertainty. The categorization implies how to manage changed circumstances. Other theorists focus on the fact that long-term contracts are inevitably incomplete and the management of changed conditions depends on whether the contractual gaps are to be filled in and, if so, by which default rule. 

Swedish contract law complies rather well with Relational Contract Law over all, although Swedish contract law is not quite as flexible when it comes to contractual adjustment due to changed circumstances. This is probably a result of the different views of the purpose and nature of the contract. Both versions of Relationship-oriented contract theory can be useful for parties when drafting agreements. Relational law-and-economics provides helpful insights to be considered then a contract is to be interpreted or filled out by court.},
  author       = {Engström, Erica},
  keyword      = {avtalsrätt,förmögenhetsrätt,rättsekonomi},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Ändrade förhållanden i långvariga avtal enligt relationsorienterad kontraktsteori},
  year         = {2017},
}