Civil Law (Mainly Turkish and Swiss Law) Approaches to the Prohibition of Pactum Commissorium and a Brief Overview to Implementation of the Pactum Commissorium under Common Law
Kıta Avrupası Hukukunun Lex Commissoria Yasağına Yaklaşımı (Ağırlıklı Olarak Türk ve İsviçre Hukuku) ve Anglo-Sakson Hukuku Nezdinde “Pactum Commissorium” Prensibinin Uygulamasına Dair Kısa Bir Bakış
Lex commissoria is a deep-rooted tradition originating from the Roman Empire, and since its birth, its purpose has never changed; protecting the debtor by keeping the creditor from taking over the property set as collateral in its entirety, and instead, ensuring the sale of the assets in the event of a payment default so that any difference in value exceeding the debt can be returned to the debtor. Since, in a pledge contract, the creditor could easily overwhelm the pledger due to the imbalance of power, the law needed to protect the weaker party. This balance was ensured through the lex commissoria prohibition. Although today’s business life is substantially different in all aspects, with commercial transactions much more complicated and sophisticated, this critical legal tool retains its importance even as new systems and rules have been introduced. This article aims to first explain the application of the lex commissoria prohibition under civil and common law, and then analyze more recent amendments made to loosen the inherently restrictive nature of this ancient protectionary device.
Lex Commissoria Prohibition, Chattel Mortgages, Commercial Transactions, Security, Pledge, Turkish Law, Swiss Law, Common Law.
Lex commissoria yasağı, çok derin bir geçmişe sahip olan, Roma Imparatorluğu döneminden gelen bir gelenek olmakla beraber, uygulama amacını-rehin kurulmuş taşınır mal üzerinde doğrudan mülkiyet sahibi olunabilmesi yerine nakde çevrilmesi-tarih boyunca korumuştur. Basit bir rehin sözleşmesine baktığımızda, rehin alanın, rehin verene göre daha iyi ve güçlü bir konumda olduğunu söyleyebiliriz. Bu sebepten ötürü, kanun yapıcı, sözleşme içerisinde zayıf olan tarafı güçlü olan tarafa karşı olarak koruma ihtiyacı duymuştur. Bu amaçla, taraflar arası bozulan hak dengesizliğini düzeltebilmek için, lex commissoria yasağı düzenlenmiştir. Günümüzün iş dünyası ve gerçekleşen her ticari işlem her ne kadar ciddi ölçüde değiştiyse ve geçmişe nazaran çok daha karışık unsur ve ek işlemler içermekteyse de, son derece kritik öneme sahip olan bu hukuk aracı, yeni kurallar ve sistemler arasında kendi önemini korumaya çalışmaktadır. Dolayısıyla bu makale ilk bölümünde lex commissoria yasağının günümüzde hem Anglosakson hukuk sistemi hem de Kıta Avrupası hukuk sistemi tarafından nasıl dikkate alındığını açıklamayı amaçlamaktadır. Makalenin ikinci bölümünde, bu koruyucu etkiye sahip hukuk aracının uygulamasının sınırlamaları üzerinde geçmişten günümüze meydana gelen değişiklerin analizi ele alınacaktır.
Lex Commissoria Yasağı, Taşınır Rehini, Ticari İşlemler, Teminat, Rehin Etmek, Türk Hukuku, İsviçre Hukuku.
A deeper understanding of the application of the lex commissoria prohibition and its scope first calls for a discussion of its underlying reasoning and its main aims. In legal literature, a pledge, which represents a legal relationship between a creditor and debtor-pledger over a security and credit-line, can be called various terms depending on the country and the legal system. Hence, this article will employ several synonyms.
Although there are quite a few circumstances in which a conflict may arise between a creditor and a debtor, the prohibition of lex commissoria remains distinct. Lex commissoria inherently concerns the secured interests of the parties. Secured interest is a lifeline for commercial businesses and is, as such, a common business tool around the world. Today, companies and their operations extend much farther than their country of origin, if not around the globe, and their business activities involve international commercial transactions to a much greater extent than ever before. While this article focuses on the implementation methods of the prohibition of lex commissoria under different legal systems, providing examples from various countries, in particular, it will focus on the Turkish Code of Obligations numbered 60981 along with Turkish Civil Code numbered 4721,2 Code of Pledges on Movables in the Commercial Transactions numbered 67503 along with the ordinances and circulars if necessary, and Swiss law, along with the other civil law countries’ regulations referring to the said prohibition, its general understanding, and its implementation under common law.
The prohibition of lex commissoria in Turkey is regulated under Turkish Civil Code, Article 949. The main goal of the prohibition is to prevent a creditor from confiscating an asset that has been offered as a security by the pledger. In particular, the lex commissoria prohibition is important for bailment/chattel mortgage agreements, which force the pledger to directly hand over the asset to the creditor, in order to establish a valid relationship. In such a pledge, any agreement between the parties to convert the secured asset into cash is considered void as long as the debt is still due, and afterwards parties will have the right to circumvent the prohibition by reaching a consensus on the transfer of the property related to the secured asset. Until then, any attempt to sell the asset is also void.