Pareigos bendradarbiauti principo aiškinimas ir turinys šiuolaikinėje sutarčių teisėje
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The authors of the present article analyze the principle of the duty to cooperate. Firstly, the authors focus on the analysis of the relation of the duty to cooperate principle with other principles such as the fundamental principle of good faith, pacta sunt servanda, the freedom of contracts, etc. Further, the rules of the implementation and interpretation of the duty to cooperate are analyzed. The following sources of law are examined: the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts, the Principles of European Contract Law, the Draft Common Frame of Reference prepared by the Study Group on a European Civil Code and the Research Group on EC Private Law (Acquis Group), the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania, the judgements of The Supreme Court of Lithuania, etc. The relational contract theory made the major impact on the development of this principle in the modern contract law. The duty to cooperate (as a common principle of contract law) rises from the principles of good faith, common sense; the duty to cooperate has also a tight relation with the principle of pacta sunt servanda. Nevertheless, the duty to cooperate cannot be considered as the expression of these principles only. The duty to cooperate consists of two dimensions: (i) each party is under a duty to remain passive if a particular action might hinder the performance of the other party; (ii) each party is under a duty to engage in actions if such actions are required to enable or facilitate the other party’s performance. The content of the duty to cooperate includes: (i) different obligations which not necessarily should be clearly defined in legal acts or in the court and (ii) obligations that are supposed to be fulfilled in good faith and following the regulations under the contract law. The following key elements of the duty to cooperate can be distinguished: the duty to inform, the duty to provide directions, the duty to provide help, the duty to coordinate actions, etc. Though the content of the principle of the duty to cooperate is very wide, the limits of its application can be indentified: each of the parties should duly fulfil its obligations. The duty to cooperate cannot be extended to such a level that the other party would be obliged to sacrifice its interests for the single purpose—to fulfil the duty to cooperate. Therefore, the framework of the duty to cooperate is determined by the criteria of reasonable expectations. Proper implementation of the duty to cooperate can be estimated by analyzing the balance of the obligations of the parties, the factual situation and the final result, and then by deciding whether or not it was reached due to the lack of cooperation by one of the parties.
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