Good faith in domestic sales law

AuthorEmanuela Iftime
PositionFaculty of Law, Private Law Department, 'Alexandru Ioan Cuza' University of Iasi, Romania
AGORA International Journal of Juridical Sciences, www.
ISSN 1843-570X, E-ISSN 2067-7677
No. 4 (2014), pp. 68-81
E. Iftime
Emanuela Iftime
Faculty of Law, Private Law Department
“Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iai, Romania
*Correspondence: Emanuela Iftime, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iai, 11 Carol I St.,
Iai, Romania
Good faith is a true principle widely e stablished by the positive law. But how does this
principle operate? How is the connection made between an undetermined legal standard,
such as good faith, and the practical operations by which contractual obligations are
fulfilled? The essay will answer to these questions by providing a comprehensive analysis of
how the concept of good faith operates in a variety of national law systems.
Keywords: good faith, sales law, contract law, Romanian law, national legal
Lord Mansfield was referring, in the 18th century, to good faith as a general principle
applicable to all contracts
. The uniform application of the concept of good faith must be
based on the idea that good faith is not a moral obligation. It is true that good faith originates
from honesty, which is nothing but a sum of virtues, but it can be presumptuous to claim that
good faith is the same as morality. In thi s way, consistency would remain a goal, since
morality is a social duty based on cultural norms. Good faith becomes a self-contained
concept when it becomes a legal concept, entering the legal field.
Good faith in Romanian law
In most civil legislations, the postulate of good faith is established as a legal relative
presumption, which can be overturned by a ny evidence, including simple presumptions. In
this regard, the Romanian Civil Code provides in art. 14 that any natural or legal person shall
exercise their rights and perform their civil obligations in good faith, in accordance with the
public order and good morals, good faith being presumed until proven otherwise. There was
no text in the Civil Code of 1864 that would establish the concept and the presumption of
good faith.
The concept of exercising rights and obligations in good faith, in accordance with the
public order and good morals represents an element of novelty brought by the Romanian Civil
Code which i s also consistent with the provisions of the Constitution (art. 57- the
constitutional rights and freedoms shall be exercise in good faith, without violating the rights
and freedoms of others).
In the Civil Code we can find different applications of the concept of good faith. Good
faith is a fundamental principle of the civil law and art. 1170 singularizes this solution in
terms of the contract, covering the contractual period in which negotiations are performed, the
This work was supported by the strategic grant POSDRU/159/1.5/S/141699, Project ID
141699, co-financed by the European Social Fund within the Sectorial Operational Program
Human Resourses Development 2007-2013.
Pelly v Royal Exchange Assurance Co. [1757] Burr. 341, 347.

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