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合同英语(转)  

2008-09-17 17:23:26|  分类: 知识共享 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Contract 与 Agreement的有无区别
在英语中,合同一般称为Contract,协议一般称为Agreement。

何谓“Contract”?

1999年中国《合同法》第二条对contract定义为:A contact in t his Law refers to an agreement establishing, modifying and terminating the civil rights and obligations between subjects of equal footing, that is ,between natural persons, legal persons or other organizations. 根据这一定义,合同平等主体之间设立的确定民事权利和义务的协议。

Steven H. Gifts编著的“Law Dictionary”中将contract 定义为“contract is a promise, or a set of promises, for breach of which the law gives remedy, or the performance of the which the law in some way recognize as a duty.”根据这一定义,合同是一种承诺,违反承诺可以得到法律救助,某种意义上法律将履行该承诺看做是一种补偿。

L.B Curzon 在其编撰的字典“A Dictionary of Law”给contract的定义:“Contract is a legally binding agreement”根据这一定义,合同就是有法律约束力的协议。

综合起来,有一个相同点,就是“Contract is an agreement”,即可将事同说成是“An agreement which binds the parties concerned”或者说成是“An agreement which is enforceable by law”,也可以说:Contracts are promises that the law will enforce。

何谓“Agreement”?

L.B “A consensus of mind, or evidence of such consensus, in spoke or written form, relating to anything done or to be done.”根据这一定义,协议是对已经做或准备做的相关事宜,经过谈判、协商后取得一致意见,以口头或书面形式做出的约定。

Black “Law Dictionary”有两个定义。一个是:“A concord of understanding and intention between two or more parties with respect to the effect upon their relative rights and duties, of certain past or future facts or performance”根据这一定义,协议即双方或多方京某些过去或将来某些事实的相关权利、义务或相关权利、义务的履行而达成的一致理解和愿望。

另一个是:The consent of two or more persons concurring respecting the transmission of some property, right or benefits, with the view of contacting an obligation, a mutual obligation.根据这一定义,协议即两个或多个当事人,为了约定单方责任或相互责任,就财产权利、利益的转移取得的一致同意。

Contract(合同)和Agreement(协议)是不是可以互换呢?

合同的成立必须具备几个主要因素。它们(要约和承诺构成的)协议、约因、设立法律关系的愿望和缔约能力四大部分组成。

L.B Curzon编著的“A Diction of Law”提到“Contract generally involves”
1. offer and absolute and unqualified acceptance (要约和绝对接受)
2. consensus ad idem (意思表示一致,也叫meeting of minds)
3. intention to create legal relations (建立合同关系的意愿)
4. genuineness of consent (同意的真实性)
5. contractual capacity of the parties (合同当事人的缔约能力)
6. legality of object(标的物的合法性)
7. possibility of performance (履行的可能性)
8. certainty of terms(条款的确定性)
9. valuable consideration(等价有偿)

Black “Law Dictionary” 中解释道:Although often used as synonyms with "contract", agreement is a broader term, e.g. an agreement might lack an essential element of a contact." 即“协议”和“合同”经常用作同义词,但“协议”这一术语含义更广,例如协议可能缺乏合同的必备条款(essential clauses/provisions)。

实际使用当中,协议可不受必备条款的限制,而称为合同的文体肯定少不了必备条款,有的合同将其单列,称为一般条款(General provisions)。

1999中国《合同法》第十二条规定了八项一般条款,分别是:

1. title or name and domicile of the parities(当事人的名称或姓名和住址)
2. contract object(标的)
3. quantity(数量)
4. quality(质量)
5. price or remuneration(价款或者报酬)
6. time limit, place and method of performance (履行期限、地点和方式)
7. liability for breach of contract(违约责任)
8. methods to settle disputes (解决争议的方法)

上述解释说明,contract(合同)和agreement(协议)的概念虽然接近,但使用范围不同,不能互换使用。合同是协议的重要组成部分,所有合同一定是协议,而协议不见得都是合同。可以说具备合同成立要求的具有强制执行力的协议才是合同。

结构特点

合同类法律文件用以规定当事人的权利与义务,是预防与解决争议的依据。合同英语行文慎密而准确,历史悠久,深含法律文化底蕴。

中文的合同开头一般先罗列当事人的名称、姓名、住所或营业场所,然后是合同正文,结尾是当事人印章、授权代表签字、职务及签字日期。而英语合同一般以下面这类句式为开头:

This agreement/contract is made and entered in to this ____ day of _____(month), _______ (year) by and between Party A (hereinafter called " Party A ")and Party B(hereinafter called " Party B ")

然后是开始陈述:

WHEREAS...THEREFORE
… It is hereby agreed as follows:

或以:

WITNESSETH, WHEREAS…
NOW THEREFORE, for and in consideration of the mutual covenants and agreements contained herein, the parties hereby covenant and agree as follows:

接着是正文,最后是证明部分,:

IN WITNESS WHEREOF,the parties hereto have hereunto set their hands the day and years first above written.

随后还包括当事人和见证人的签字。签字日期一般在英文合同最搬弄是非是找不到的。

下面列出新加坡、美国、香港和日本的合同格式。

A. 新加坡

Agreement

THIS AGREEMENT is made the 9th day of August, 2001 between LUCKY INTERNATIONAL LTD, a company incorporated in Singapore and having its registered office at Telek Blongar Rise, Singapore 19569 (hereinfater called "The Company") of the part and JACK Wong (NRIC No._________ /A) of 108 Orchar Road, Singapore 01688 (hereinfater called "The Mangager") of the other part.

WHEREAS:

1. The company is engaged in IT business and requires a person with the necessary qualifications and experience to manage its business.
2.
….
NOW IT IS HEREBY AGREED as follows:

1. The company shall employ the Manager and the Manager shall serve the Company as manager of the Company's IT business for a period of two years commencing on 1st day of September
2.
….

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have set their hand the day and year first above written.

THE SCHEDULE ABOVE REFERRED TO

Duties of Manger

1. To manage, maintain and promote the business of the Company.

SIGNED by Roger Tan
For and on behalf of LUCKY INTERANTIONAL LTD
In the presence of

SIGNED by TERESA WONG
In the presence of

新加坡的通用合同分五部分:

第一部分:称为parties,主要介绍合同各方的姓名或名称,注册地国及地址、邮编及各自在合同的简称。开头框架一般为:

THIS AGREEMENT is made the ---------__________ day of _____ (month),____ (year) between A _______ (hereinafter called "The Company") of the part and B______, (hereinafter called "The Manager") of the other part.

句子开头THIS AGREEMENT 或CONTRACT和当事人的姓名和名称,都应大写。当事人是自然人的,用“of”和其后的住址相连;是法人或非法人单位的,用“having its registered office at”和其后注册地址相连。

第二部分:称为recital。以WHEREAS开头,进入叙述部分,用陈述正式说明当事人订立合同的原因。

第三部分:称为habendum 具体约定当事人的权利和义务。正文部分的结束段为:

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have set their hand the day and year first above written.

这段作用相当于中文合同的“双方签字盖章,特此为证”。

第四部分:称为schedule或addendum,附录。是对前述合同部分条款的必要补充。不是所有合同都有这一项。

第五部分:称为attestation,证明部分。当事人如果自然人,用“SIGNED by __”
;连接后填写见证姓名的表达部分“In the presence of ____”;当事人是法人或非法人单位时,授权代表后接的是“SIGNED for and on behalf _____ of____”,然后才是In the presence of _______。与中文合同的显著不同是签章处除当事人外,多了一个In the presence of _______供证人签字之处。另一不同的是合同订立日期没有放在合同最后,而是出现在开头段的当事人介绍部分。

第五部分在新加坡还有另一种表达

As Witness our Hands this _____day of _____,in the year of our Lord Tow Thousand and One.
Signed, sealed, and delivered by the above named
In the presence of
Signature
Address
Occupation

上述合同的格式很有代表性,其它英文格式与之相比大同大异,有的合同中不含附录。

B. 美国

APPOINTMENT AS CONTRACT FULL-TIME SENIOR CUSTOMS ADMINISTRATOR

AN AGREEMENT FOR SERVICES made the 1st day of September, 2000 between ______ of _____ (address)(hereinafter referred to as "the Company") as one part and Mr._______ of _______(address) (hereinafter referred to as the Contractor) of the other part.

WHEREBY IT IS AGREED AND DECLARED AS FOLLOWS:

1. THAT the Company shall …
2. This agreement shall commence on ….
3.
4.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, both parties set their hands on the date herein mentioned

SIGNED BY
Name :
Designation :
For and on behalf of : (signature)


Contractor :
Designation :
For and on behalf of : (signature)

本合同分为四个大部分(缺附录,schedule)。与上一合同基本相同,但第一段没有谓语,不是个完整的句子。个别用词与前一合同有差别。最后落款处还多了了“职务”,即designation(有的合同还惯用position).

C. 香港

CONTRACT
CONTACT NO.
SIGNING DATE/PLACE

THE BUYER: Name
Legal Address
Contact

THE SELLER: Name
Legal Address
Contact

This contract is made by and between the Buyer and the Seller. Whereby the Buyer agrees o buy and the Seller agrees to sell the under-mentioned commodity according to the terms and conditions.

1. NAME OF COMMODITY AND SCOPE OF THE CONTRACT
2. PRICE
3. PAYMENT
4. PACKING
5.

IN WITHNESS WHEREOF, this contract has been executed effective as of the date first above written.

THE BUYER THE SELLER
___________ ___________
By:__________ By:__________
Date:------------_________ Date:------------_________

THE END USER
___________
By: __________
Date: --------____-_________

比起前两个合同,该买卖合同的不同之处于在于,合同开头出现了合同编号和签署日期,当事人名称或姓名采用简单列举式。证明部分用完成时被动态,最后落款处SIGNED BY项目,但增加了最终用户一项。

D. 日本

SERVICE AGREEMENT

This agreement is made and entered into on March 1st ,2001, by and between______ LTD (hereinafter referred to as "PARTY A"), and ________CO., LTD. ((hereinafter referred to as "PARTY B") WITNESSTH:

WHEREAS, PARTY B has requested by PARTY A to dispatch its personal for the purpose of _______ to PARTY b; and

WHEREAS, (PARTY A is willing to dispatch its personnel t PARTY B in response to such PARTY B's request)

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual promises and covenants herein contained , the parties hereto agree as follows:

1.
2.
3.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have caused this Agreement to be executed by their respective duly authorized officers as of the date first herinabove written.

______ Ltd. ________ Co., Ltd.

(signature) (signature)
MANAGING DIRECTOR MANAGING DIRECTOR

  该合同也由四大部分构成,与上述合同最大的不同在于,在叙述部分上端加了一个WITNESSETH(鉴于),最后落款处也没有SIGNED BY 项目,但授权签字代表的职位真接打出来,放在签字的下一行。别外,当事人的简称部分用的都是大写。

  相比之下,英文合同除个别地方外,整个合同的段落排列,句式和用词大同小异。在草拟英文合同时,只要仿用上述任何一个,都算是地道的英文表达。
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