oa Fundamina : A Journal of Legal History - Wettelijke regels voor interpretatie van overeenkomsten : nodig of overbodig?

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 1021-545X
  • E-ISSN: 2411-7870



Legal rules for the interpretation of contracts have existed in the Netherlands since the codification of their civil law at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Although these rules also existed in earlier legal systems, such as Roman law, their methodological notification as part of a whole was rather new. Initial Dutch attempts to regulate the interpretation of contracts in their own particular way were not successful. Naturally they were familiar with the of Pothier and subsequently in essence copied the French Code civil in various codifications. However, in the Dutch Code of 1838 there was one unique feature: it specified that when the wording of a contract was clear, there was no basis for interpretation. Dutch lawyers are of the erroneous opinion that this was the striking difference with the French code. Nevertheless, the new Dutch Civil Code does not contain legal rules for the interpretation of contracts - it has been said that the earlier provisions were too obvious and too superficial.

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