Duration of the Contract: Study in light of French Legislative Decree No. 131-2016 of February 10, 2016

Prof. Haider Flaih Hassan

Professor of Civil Law – College of Law – University of Baghdad – Iraq


As the Napoleon legalization of 1804 was devoid of any legal rules on the duration of the contract, referring to it only in separate legal texts, legislative decree No. 131-2016 came to lay down an integrated legal system for the duration of the contract, starting from the period of its formation, through the period of its implementation, and ending with its continuation after the expiration of its term. These specifications were presented in the third section of Chapter Four related to the effects of the contract (Articles 1210-1215), supported by judicial precedents on the one hand – which are many as will be shown through the research pages – and contractual practices on the other hand.
Perhaps the main motive that led the French legislator to this amendment, in addition to establishing an integrated legal system for the duration of the contract, is the difference between some similar concepts, especially those related to the continuation of the contract after the end of its term, represented by extension, renewal, and implied renewal.
Since civil laws affected by French civil law, such as the Egyptian civil law and the Iraqi civil law, do not have a legal system for the duration of the contract similar to that in the French legislative decree, we decided to discuss this issue. This topic is divided into three sections. The first section focuses on clarifying the legal rules regulating the duration of the contract during its formation period. The second section focuses on clarifying its rules during its implementation period, while the third explains the rules regulating the continuation of the contract after the end of its term. The research is supported by many legal texts found in French laws and the corresponding Iraqi legal texts, in addition to the judicial decisions of the French Court of Cassation, which reflects the interest of the French judiciary for many decades in the issue of the contract period. At the conclusion of the research, we reached a set of results and recommendations that the French and Iraqi legislators could take into consideration to be in line with the French amendment.

Keywords: prohibition of permanent obligations, fixed and indefinite contracts, continuation of the contract.

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