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DAMAGE--履约指令
2011-2-23 11:42:39 来源: 作者:杨良宜 浏览次数:7470次

导读:《DAMAGE》一书为杨良宜先生新作,本网站获准刊载其已完成之部分章节以飨读者,在此,谨代表本律所全体同仁与广大读者向杨先生致以深深谢意和拳拳敬意!

 

履约指令

 

1.概述

 

合约的一方当事人拒绝、延迟或者不履行合约的时候,无辜的另一方主要会从以下两方面寻求救济:

(一)无辜方会迫使或是促使另一方履行合约;

(二)无辜方会希望可以从金钱上得到相应的赔偿。

 

无辜方会有不少情况希望迫使或是促使另一方要求履行合约的情况下,而不满足于将来可能是时间较长与胜算难卜的金钱上的索赔,而且还有危险是赔偿会是不足够,因为部分的损失会是无法预见、因果关系中断与其他原因。在某一些违约例如是很难证明实际损失或是被告不履行会导致原告无法去履行他与其他人的合约而严重影响他的商誉等的情况下尤其是显著,可以说金钱赔偿的救济是十分不完善与不完整。这种情况随手举例The “Anwar Al Sabar” (1980) 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 261,案情涉及装货后船长拒绝签发提单,这会产生一连串的连锁反应包括信用证无法结汇,买卖合约无法履行等。另是在股票的买卖,也是在金钱损失索赔的计算会是太麻烦,所以尽量去避免这种救济办法。这就会导致了无辜方(在The “Anwar Al Sabar”先例就是承租人)可以考虑用另一个特殊的途径去寻求救济,这就是衡平法上的履约指令(specific performance)或是禁令(injunction)。

 

在理论上,履约指令应该是最完善与令人满意的救济。道理很简单,违约方拒绝履行或错误履行(甚至只是做出威胁将会不履约),去迫使他按照合约履行应该就是完全说的通,无辜方也得到他所要的结果。但由于有其他的更重要的原因(后详),导致了履约指令并不被视为是主要的救济(primary remedy)。而事实上,英国以前的普通法院针对违约的救济是只有去做出金钱的赔偿,没有履约指令的做法。这导致了衡平法院(当时是独立的法院)在普通法下作出金钱补偿是不足够的情况才会插手进来给无辜方一个针对违约/毁约方履行合约的指令。而且,给不给这种救济还要是看衡平法院的裁量权,而不像普通法院只要是证明违约所导致的损失就一定可以取得救济。

 

在这里可以去介绍一下履约指令与禁令的分别,它们在本质上都是为了去迫使违约方履行合约。它们的分别只是在履约指令是迫使违约方去履行他在合约中作出的作为的承诺(positive promise),而禁令是去迫使违约方履行合约,特别其中有不作为的承诺(negative pledge/covenant)。而衡平法法院去强制违约方严格执行的主要甚至唯一的武器就是如果不遵守就构成藐视法院(contempt of court)的刑事罪行。这一来,就演变出一个情况是向法院申请履约指令会比申请禁令困难得多。这是因为法院在作出前者的命令,总先要想想被命令的被告是否真的可以履行。如果是做不到(例如被告没有钱去履行),向他作出履约指令就等于是将他逼上梁山,法院显然是不应该这样做。早在Forrer v. Nash (1865) 35 Beav 167法院就明确说:“The court does not compel a person to do what is impossible”。但这种考虑在去对违约方作出禁令就可以去漠视了,因为法院的命令只是要求被告不准去做什么。这表示即使是没有钱或者没有能力,也不会影响被告不做什么的能力。所以有一个说法是申请一个禁令的成功机会比一个履约指令高得多。但这里也要是去注意就是禁令有时候在本质上就是一个履约指令,在面对该类禁令的申请时,批准与否所要考虑的因素就要与履约指令类似了。以笔者熟悉的航运为例,在一个期租合约,如果船东撤船(在航运市场好的时候通常的一个原因就是承租人晚了支付租金),承租人会去法院申请禁令阻止船东撤船。但在本质上它是一个履约指令,因为不准撤船也就是要船东去履行租约。毕竟,船东也没有在租约内作出任何不作为的承诺,就是不会在租约期内撤船。反正是,法院通常是不会去作出这种禁令与履约指令:The “Scaptrade” (1983) 2 Lloyd’s Rep 253。但针对租约,法院会愿意作出一种不同措辞的禁令,稍后在本章7.2段有详及。

 

英国通过1875年《Supreme Court of Judicature Act》将普通法院与衡平法院进行合并。这样一来,原先以普通法院的救济为首而衡平法院的救济为辅的区分就不再存在。但是同一法院在判决的时候仍会首先考虑普通法下的救济,而只在普通法下的救济不足够补偿无辜方时才会考虑衡平法下的救济手段,如履约指令。这带来了一些问题,就是历史上把普通法下的救济作为优先,而衡平法的救济只是为了补救普通法救济的不足,是由于衡平法院本来就是为了弥补普通法院的不足而产生。但是两个法院合并之后就不再存在这种区分,那为什么能够最完整弥补无辜方损失的履约指令仍然不能作为首选的救济方式(primary remedy)呢?这里可以去节录一本权威书籍的说法,就是Fry大法官在《Specific Performance》第六版之21页所说如下:“If a contract be made and one party to it make default in performance, there appears to result to the other party a right at his election either to insist on the actual performance of the contract, or to obtain satisfaction for the non-performance of it. It may be suggested from this that it follows … that it ought to be assumed that every contract is specifically enforceable until the contrary be shown. But so broad proposition has never, it is believed, being asserted by the judges of the Court of Chancery or their successors in the High Court of Justice, though if prophecy were the function of law writer, it might be suggested that they will more and more approximate to such a rule.”。

 

另也可去节录Andrew BurrowsRemedies on Tort and Breach of Contract》(1994年第二版)中第336页也提到了这方面,就是履约指令被英国法院更宽松的去做出,看来有一点与大陆法接近(大陆法的国家也有履约指令的做法,并把它当做是一般性的违约救济),说:“Finally, a commonly drawn contrast is between English law’s regard of specific performance as secondary remedy to damages and the allegedly reverse situation on the civil law systems. What does this mean? It cannot mean that specific performance is as freely available in civil law systems as damages for this plainly not true. It could mean that the bars to specific performance as primary remedy. It seems rather that the contrast is based on the fact that, deriving from the historical role of equitable remedies as supplementary to those of the common law, a plaintiff in English law will not be awarded specific performance unless he has shown that damages are inadequate whereas in civil law systems there is no such major hurdle. Some recent cases indicate a weakening of this bar, and it has even been argued that specific performance is now the primary remedy in England. This seems exaggerated, but a fascinating theme throughout this chapter is the recent apparent weakening not only of this, but of several other of the traditional bars, so that specific performance may be more freely available now than it was in the past.

 

但以上的期望或者说法,到了贵族院的Co-operative Insurance Society Ltd v. Argyll Stores (Holdings) Ltd (1998) A.C.1先例,明显是受到了打击。在该先例,贵族院推翻了上诉庭的大多数意见,拒绝去做出履约指令。案情涉及了一个35年的商场店铺租约,被告是租客,经营一间食品超市,其面积占整间商场的30%。在经营了16年后因为亏本而感觉难以经营下去。于是该租客决定停止超市的营业并终止租约。但对于商场的业主而言,光是对租客作出金钱上的索赔是一个很不如意的救济办法,因为其中有很多损失是没办法估计也更没办法向租客提出的。其中,商场的人流将会由于该食品超市的关门而受到很大影响。业主也会因为这一原因无法向其他租客提高租金,而这一切都不可能向超市的租客进行索赔。所以商场的业主向法院申请要求该租客继续该租约的履约指令。贵族院平衡了各种利弊之后拒绝作出履约指令,其中最重要的原因是衡平法的原因,如不能逼使被告去继续一个亏本的生意,被告亏本的损失或许会超过商场业主的损失。这里就涉及了一个很重要的原则:不可以漠视违约方选择违约的自由,毕竟履约指令是一种“heavy handed nature of the enforcement mechanism”,会造成不公正。还有一个很重要的原因则是法院难以监督该履约指令的执行,难以监督也包括很难将这样一个履约指令写的清楚详细,例如在余下的19年,该超市应该如何去履约才不构成藐视法院。相比另一种违约救济的金钱赔偿,处理起来就干净利落得多。不论是已经产生的损失或是估计将来的损失,反正就一次过作出判决了事。在这一先例中,也表示了不可以要求被告去继续活动(to carry on an activity),而只能是去要求达到一个结果(to achieve a result)。在这一个重要的贵族院先例后,可以看到履约指令这一救济还是有很多的局限,谈不上可以把它视为一种首选的违约救济。

 

2.履约指令的阻吓力

 

已经是简单地提到过,履约指令或禁令的主要甚至是唯一的阻吓力就是藐视法院(contempt of court)的刑事后果。这相比金钱损失的赔偿,虽然会有各种执行办法(这些办法可去看笔者所著的《仲裁法——从开庭审理到裁决书的作出与执行》之第十四章)去把“判决债务人”(judgment debtor)的金钱或是资产榨出来,但至少不会涉及刑事后果。顺带一提,即使法院针对被告明显欠下一笔固定金额的索赔(例如是交货后买方欠下了货款,雇主欠下建筑商工程费用或是承租人欠下船东运费),通常会去很快作出一个即时判决,但这也不是一个履约指令,被告不去支付也不涉及刑事的后果。除了藐视法院,也有其他的后果,例如Sequestration Order,这是去把被告的财产扣押,因为被告没有依照法院命令与藐视法院。

 

针对被告没有严格去按照法院作出的履约指令或禁令的藐视法院后果,可去节录Hoffmann勋爵在Co-operative Insurance Society Ltd v. Argyll Stores (Holdings) Ltd (1998) A.C. 1所说如下:“…the only means available to the court to enforce its order is the quasi-criminal procedure of punishment for contempt. This is a powerful weapon; so powerful, in fact, as often to be unsuitable as a instrument for adjudicating upon the disputes which may arise over whether a business is being run in accordance with the terms of the court’s order. The heavy-handed nature of the enforcement mechanism is a consideration which may go to the exercise of the court’s discretion in other cases as well, but its use is to compel the running of the business is perhaps the paradigm case of its disadvantages and it is in this context then I shall discuss them.

 

The prospect of a committal or even a fine, with the damage to commercial reputation which will be caused by a finding of contempt of court, is likely to have at least two undesirable consequences. First, the defendant who ex hypothesi did not think that it was in his economic interest to run the business at all, now has to make decisions under a sword of Damocles which may descend if the way the business is run does not conform to the terms of the order. This, as one might say, no way to run a business. In this case, the court of appeal made light of the point because it assumed that, once the defendant had been ordered to run the business, self-interest and compliance with the order would thereafter go hand-in-hand. But, as I shall explain, this is not necessarily true.

 

Secondly, the seriousness of a finding of contempt for the defendant means that any application to enforce the order is likely to be a heavy and expensive piece of litigation. The possibility of repeated applications over a period of time means that, in comparison with a once-and-for-all inquiry as to damages, the enforcement of the remedy is likely to be expensive in terms of cost to the parties and the resources of the judicial system.

 

以上Hoffmann勋爵所讲的是法院去作出履约指令,唯一的阻吓力就是违反该命令会构成藐视法院,而这是一个非常强而有力的阻吓,甚至是对于商业社会来说制裁的强度过大。其中,去以履约指令强制继续做生意就是一个典型例子看到这方面的不妥之处。

 

对商业人士犯了刑事罪会对他的商业信誉带来重大的损害,Hoffmann勋爵还没有提到有刑事记录会导致的其他伤害,包括像一些社会地位崇高的职位会被排斥,或是会被拒绝进入美国或澳大利亚的境内,等。但Hoffmann勋爵接下去提到两个方面对被告有很大的影响。第一个就是假设被告是不想继续做生意或营运,因为亏本。但有了这个履约指令就等于有一把剑抵着他的喉咙迫使他必须样按照法院的命令去继续营运。上诉庭(多数意见是作出了履约指令)认为被告的自身利益与按照法院的命令是一致的,但Hoffmann勋爵不认为这一个假设是正确。第二个方面是整个去按照法院命令继续营运会是十分昂贵,双方当事人会不断要回来法院作出各种申请与争辩,这对双方当事人与法院都造成了庞大的浪费。

 

例如在Co-operative Insurance Society Ltd v. Argyll Stores (Holdings) Ltd,上诉庭的履约指令的式样如下:“Keep the demised premises open for retail trade during the usual hours of business in the locality and the display windows properly dressed in a suitable manner, in keeping with a good class parade of shops.”。在履约指令的期限(还有19年),会有各式各样的争议。例如被告因为家里有丧事或者喜事需要停业一天,就为了去避免藐视法院,是要委任律师向法院取得批准去改变该履约指令不需要在该天的营业时间开业。或是,双方会有争议是橱窗没有好好地摆设,特别是圣诞假期马上就要到了,原告业主不满意,认为是没有严格按照履约指令,这就会涉及法院要去解释什么是“properly dressed in a suitable manner”。

 

去总结这一个小段,可以说履约指令的阻吓力也是这种救济的缺点,这迫使法院在作出履约指令的时候必须格外小心去考虑不要失去平衡作出把被告逼上梁山的阻吓,毕竟,在一个商业合约中发生各式各样的违约是常见的,这也导致履约指令无法实现其作为首要的救济方式(primary remedy)。而且,履约指令或禁令通常是被称为是例外的救济(exceptional remedy),纯粹让法院或仲裁庭根据裁量权(discretionary)去作出或拒绝作出履约指令,而且是要考虑去作出履约指令的利弊以及对被告的影响,并且要考虑整体的公平与否(这毕竟是衡平法的救济)。履约指令也可以在法院加上附带或先决条件下去作出:Langen & Wind Ltd v. Bell (1972) Ch 685Harvela Investments Ltd v. Royal Trust Company of Canada Ltd (1985) 2 All ER 966 (HL)

 

以上简单地介绍是可以看到履约指令与金钱损失赔偿的救济是截然不同。在下文会去进一步介绍一些英国法院会拒绝或不善待一个履约指令申请的情况。

 

3  履约指令不针对没有约束力的承诺,不肯定的合约或已经终止的合约

 

3.1  没有约因或对价的合约不会去作出履约指令

 

针对一些没有约束力的承诺或所谓的单方面自愿的协议(voluntary agreement),法院是不愿意去作出履约指令。这种承诺或者协议另一种角度去看待就是没有对价或者约因(consideration),在法律上是不被承认的。这种承诺或者合约大量存在,特别是在家庭成员之间,或是一个富商向慈善机构承诺捐赠多少钱。这种违约既没有金钱赔偿的救济,也不会有履约指令的救济:Morris v. Burrough (1737) 1 Atk 399 at 401Wycherley v. Wycherley (1763) 2 Eden 175 at 177Mountford v. Scott (1975) Ch 258

 

在同样的道理下,如果对价或者约因是已经过去(past consideration),这种合约也等于是没有对价或者约因,同样不存在去作出履约指令:Robertson v. St John (1786) 2 Bro CC 140

 

但在一个对价或者约因完全是不成比例或只是象征式,这种合约还是可以取得履约指令,毕竟这本来就是一个法律上承认的有效合约。在Mountford v. Scott一案中,上诉庭作出了履约指令,案情是有关一个选择权去让买方以1英镑的对价买下一栋价值10,000英镑的房子。但是在这种情况下会有更大可能履约指令的申请会被拒绝,例如是有迹象这一个约定以1英镑这么低的代价去买下其中有古怪或有鬼。比方说拣到这一个便宜是涉及了误述(即使是误述不足以让被告终止合约)、取巧或不大公平之处,这都会导致衡平法下不予协助。这是在《Chitty on Contracts》(200830版)之27-033段所说:

 

The best view seems to be that specific performance may be refused where inadequacy of consideration is coupled with some other factors not necessarily amounting to fraud or other invalidating cause at law - for example, surprise or unfair advantage taken by the claimant of his superior knowledge or bargaining position, even though such other circumstances do not justify rescission of the contract.”。

 

3.2  不肯定或太含糊的合约条文不会去作出履约指令

 

接下去讲的是另一种情况,就是在一个法律有效的合约下,有关的条文会太含糊。这导致了无辜方可以去请求其他违约的救济,例如去索赔金钱上的损失,但就是没有办法去成功申请一个履约指令。毕竟会有情况是法院在这种条文下根本没有办法去明确说明怎样履约才不会构成藐视法院,法院想去作出履约指令也不知道如何去写,而写得含糊就导致被告不知道则样去做才不会犯法。一个简单的例子就是条文说双方必须“尽可能”或“善意”去履行某一个合约责任,正如在C.H. Giles Co v. Morris (1972) 1 WLR 307先例中Megarry大法官所说:

 

It is true that the ground on which specific performance was resisted in that case was… that it was too indefinite in its obligations, requiring a contracting party to use a particular railway ‘in preference to all others’, ‘whenever reasonably practicable’, and ‘for the longest distance it is reasonably capable of use.

 

这方面的先例有很多,随便举一个有关价格的不肯定或难以去肯定,导致无法去作出履约指令的例子,是Courtney and Fairbairn Ltd v. Tolaini Bros (Hotels) Ltd (1975) 1 WLR 297, 有关价格条文是说:“based upon agreed estimates of the net cost of works, and general overheads with the margin for profit of 5% ”。

 

在另一个较近期的先例Posner v. Scott-Lewis19863 All ER 513中,Mervyn Davies大法官在谈到是否去作出履约指令的3个考虑因素的第一个就是法院的履约指令可否明确与足够说明要被告做什么,说:

 

Whether or not an order for specific performance should be made seems to me to depend on the following considerations: (a) is there a sufficient definition of what has to be done in order to comply with the order of the court; (b) will enforcing compliance involve superintendence by the court to an unacceptable degree and (c) what are the respective prejudices or hardships that will be suffered by the parties if the order is made or not made?”。

 

这方面最后可去节录《Chitty on Contracts》(30版)之27-042段:

 

An agreement may be so vague that it cannot be enforced at all, even by an action for damages. But although an agreement is definite enough to be enforced in some form of legal proceedings, it may still be too vague to be enforced specifically. Thus specific performance has been refused of a contract to publish an article as to the exact text of which the parties disagreed. The reason for refusing specific performance in these cases appears to be that the court would find it difficult or impossible to state in its order precisely what the defendant was bound to do in obedience to the order; and precision is essential since failure to comply with the court’s order may lead to attachment for contempt.”。

 

3.3  允许被告选择终止的合约不会去作出履约指令

 

一个法律有效的合约,如果是有明示说明可去让被告选择终止,在这种情况下,法院也是不应该去向被告作出履约指令。毕竟去作出履约指令也不能去剥夺被告在合约中所拥有的权利。这可去节录《Chitty on Contracts》(30版)之27-038段:

 

If a contract is expressed to be revocable by the party against whom an order of specific performance is sought, the order will be refused as the defendant could render it nugatory by exercising his power to terminate. On this ground a contract to enter into a partnership at will is not specifically enforceable. The same is true of a contract for a lease which by virtue of the contract itself would contain a stipulation enabling the defendant to determine the lease as soon as it was executed, but a tenancy from year to year, determinable by either party by half a year’s notice to quit, is specifically enforceable.”。

 

3.4  毁约或预期毁约,合约受阻或轻微违约下的履约指令

 

如果涉及了一方当事人毁约(repudiation)或预期毁约(anticipatory breach),无辜方有两个选择,他可以去坚持毁约方必须去履行,或可以去接受毁约并终止有关的合约,并去向毁约方索赔金钱损失。无辜方可以维持这一个选择权直到法院作出判决的一天,在做法上就是去申请一个履约指令(这显然是去坚持毁约方必须去履行),另去作出一个替代请求要求金钱损失的赔偿(这显然是去接受毁约)。在这个期间,是有危险毁约方改变主意或情况有变,导致了无辜方失去这个选择。例如是卖方在有关商品的市场猛涨的时候拒绝交货,这是毁约行为,而卖方一直拒绝也属于是一种持续性的毁约。但在买方不去作出选择,并等待法院作出判决的期间,市场突然改变方向,从猛涨变为猛跌。这一来,如果改变主意的卖方反应比无辜的买方快,马上表示愿意履行,买方就会失去了这个选择的机会,例如去接受毁约终止合约,并去向卖方提出索赔。另外,在合约已经被无辜方接受毁约而去终止,事后就再也不会存在可去向法院申请履约指令,要求毁约方履行。道理很简单,因为去这样做无辜方已经是作出了选择,再也没有回头。另是,无辜方的行动或语言去终止合约后,就不存在法院可以通过履约指令去令一个已经不存在的合约获得重生。以下可去节录JonesGoodhart的《Specific Performance》(第二版)一书之14页:

 

The plaintiff may then claim either that the contract is terminated or ask for specific performance. But he must elect between them at the trial if he has not done so previously. A person pursuing a claim for specific performance is treating the contract as still on foot, despite the existence of his alternative claim. Hence, the plaintiff cannot elect to terminate the contract after the defendant has remedied his breach and has become able and willing to perform his part of the contract. A plaintiff having the right to terminate the contract may of course do so at any time prior to the trial by communicating his election to the defendant or by other acts demonstrating an unequivocal election to terminate, such as a demand for repayment of a despite or (in the case of repudiation by the purchaser) a sale of the property by the vendor to a third party. However, it appears that the right to elect can only be kept open if the repudiatory breach is a continuing one (such as a failure or refusal to complete). If the breach is not a continuing nature, the innocent party will be treated as having affirmed the contract if after acquiring full knowledge of the breach he takes steps which indicate an intention to proceed with the contract, or delays in exercising the right to terminate the contract.

 

Where a claim that a contract is terminated (or ‘rescinded’) is included in the prayer for relief, the claimant is in fact asking for a declaration that the contracts has been effectively terminated by him. It is not the order of the court which terminates the contract but the act of the innocent party in accepting the repudiation…

 

在同样的道理下,如果遇上了合约受阻(frustration),也表示有关的合约已经没有办法履行,法院是不会去作出履约指令。而即使是还没有达到合约受阻的程度,但情况有了重大的改变,导致履行非常困难,法院也会认为去作出履约指令会是对被告太苛刻与压迫,而去拒绝。这方面可以节录JonesGoodhart的《Specific Performance》(第二版)一书之15页:

 

A radical change of circumstances, making performance very difficult but not impossible, may not be enough to discharge at law a contract but the same circumstances may persuade a court that it would be too harsh and oppressive to grant specific performance.

 

如果涉及了一些轻微的违约,法院会是不愿意去作出履约指令。但如果是连续性的违反,即使都涉及了轻微的违约,法院还是有可能去作出履约指令:Mehmet v. Benson (1965) 113 CLR 295

 

4. 履约指令不针对金钱损失赔偿已经是足够的救济

 

这是一个对履约指令最主要的限制,也等于把金钱补偿的救济视为是首要救济(primary remedy),只要法院认为金钱赔偿可去让无辜方回到合约被履行的同样经济地位。这一个限制以前更加是绝对,特别在普通法院与衡平法院是分开操作的年代。但即使到了近期,说是履约指令的救济已经宽松得多,但这一个限制还是被重视,就是金钱损失补偿看来是足够的救济,法院通常是不愿意去作出履约指令。这里首先可去节录Flake v. Gray (1859) 4 Drew 651Kindersley大法官是说:“Upon what principle does the court decree specific performance of a contract whatever? A Court of law gives damages from non-performance, but a Court of Equity says ‘that is not sufficient – justice is not satisfied by that remedy’, and therefore a Court of Equity will decree specific performance, because a mere compensation in damages is not a sufficient remedy and satisfaction for the loss of the performance of the contract.

 

Price v. Strange (1987) Ch 337,上诉庭的Buckley大法官提到了法院面对履约指令的申请是应该分四个步骤去按部就班地作出考虑,其中第二个就是看金钱损失赔偿是否是足够的救济。如果是,法院就不需要进一步去考虑第三与第四步。他是这样说的:“…it would seem that the questions which should be asked by any court which is invited to enforce specific performance of a contractual obligation should be: (1) Is the plaintiff entitled to a remedy of some kind in respect of the alleged breach of contract? (2) If so, would damages be an adequate remedy? (3) If not, would specific performance be a more adequate remedy for the plaintiff? (4) If so, would it be fair to the defendant to order him to perform his part of the contract specifically? The first question goes to the validity and enforceability of the contract. Only if it is answered affirmatively do the subsequent questions arise. If the second question is answered affirmatively there is no occasion for equity to interfere, so that again the subsequent questions do not arise. If the second question is answered in the negative it will not necessarily follow that the third question must be answered affirmatively. For instance, the circumstances may not be such as to admit of specific performance, as where the subject matter of the contract no longer exists. Only in the event of the third question arising and being answered in the affirmative can the fourth question arise. It is here, as it seems to me that the alleged principle of mutuality comes in.

 

但近年来,针对这一方面是有一定程度的放宽,毕竟在今天都是由一个法院去处理普通法的损失赔偿以及衡平法的履约指令。现在的法院是更倾向去考虑在选择金钱损失赔偿的救济或履约指令的救济,哪一种会是更完善与公平,而再也不是只去问到底金钱损失赔偿是否已是足够。这方面可去节录《Chitty on Contracts》(30版)之27-005段,所说如下:“The historical foundation of the equitable jurisdiction to order specific performance of a contract is that the claimant cannot obtain a sufficient remedy by the common law judgment for damages. Hence the traditional view was that specific performance would not be ordered where damages were an ‘adequate’ remedy. Typically, this would be the case where the claimant could readily make a substitute contract for performance equivalent to that promised by the defendant: the claimant would than be adequately compensated by damages based on the difference between the cost (or market price) of the substitute, and the contract price. Indeed, an award of specific performance in such a case would conflict with the mitigation requirement and be oppressive to the defendant. Some of the earlier authorities approach this problem by asking whether damages would in fact adequately compensate the claimant. At latest days in the development of the subject, the courts tend rather to ask whether damages were likely to be an adequate remedy for breach of the type of contract before the court. But more recently the courts had reverted to the earlier approach, by asking whether specific performance was the most appropriate remedy in the circumstances of each case. The position is not whether damages are an ‘adequate’ remedy, whether specific performance will ‘do more perfect and complete justice than an award of damages’. The point was well put in a case (Evans Marshall & Co. Ltd v. Bertola [1973] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 453) in which an interim injunction was sought: The standard question ‘Are damages an adequate remedy?’ might perhaps, in light of the authorities in recent years, be rewritten: ‘Is it just, in all the circumstances, that a plaintiff should be confined to his remedy in damages?’

 

以下去进一步分析较早前所提到或涉及的一贯的说法是如果无辜方可以在其他渠道例如在市场上找到替代的履行(substitute performance),就不应该去命令被告履行合约。因为既然有替代,无辜方的损失就可以通过金钱的赔偿作出救济。这种赔偿通常就是替代履行所付出的代价(通常会比较高)相比合约的价格之间的差别。其中在货物买卖就可以给一个很典型的例子,如果是卖方没有或不想去履约交货,而有关的货物是到处都买得到。这就表示根本没有必要去强制卖方履行合约(毕竟他可能有其他的困难导致毁约),买方大可以接受毁约终止买卖合约后,尽快从其他渠道购买替代货物,然后向毁约的卖方索赔差价的金钱损失。可以说,在以前法院的考虑,由于在这种情况金钱赔偿是完全足够的救济,所以根本不会考虑履约指令的救济。即使是到了今天,法院会去更加注意整个案件的公平与恰当,而不是只去考虑金钱赔偿是否足够的因素,恐怕在这种情况下还是会认为向毁约的卖方索赔差价还是会比履约指令更加公平与恰当。这是因为去要求买方购买替代货物,会同时要求买方去减少损失(mitigation of loss),否则多出来的损失部分是不能向卖方成功索赔。另外,也会考虑到卖方会有情况是一种有效益违约(efficient breach)。反正是这两方面的考虑都会带来经济效益,整体的是值得鼓励,而不应该以履约指令去干预。

 

4.1有效益违约(efficient breach

 

违约/毁约会在有些情况下是值得鼓励的,因为是整体而言更加有效益或节省。举一个简单的例子,也是笔者经历过,就是一家大的国内船公司因为内部协调出了问题,导致了同一艘船舶出租了给两个不同的承租人,租期一长一短。显然该船公司是必须对其中一个租约去毁约(除非其中一个承租人愿意放船东一马去同意终止租约,而且不会乱敲竹竿),因为不能一船两用。而有效的违约显然是应该拒绝履行租期短的租约,因为造成的损失较少,赔偿也赔得较少。但如果很容易去取得履约指令的救济,就会导致该承租人通过这个途径去逼使该船公司不能作出有效益的选择。而且,如果两位一长一短租约的承租人都能够在他们不同的仲裁庭或法院取得履约指令的救济,就会逼使该船公司非要犯法不可,这正是逼上梁山。可见,金钱赔偿的救济会是对船公司合理得多了。这种“乌龙”的事也不止中国船公司会发生,西方船公司也会发生这种情况:The “Stena Nautica” (1982) 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 336。针对上诉的货物买卖例子,卖方不想去履约交货,也可能会涉及了有效益违约,他宁可去赔钱也比履行合约更划算。一种情况会是与上述的租船一样,卖方把同样一批货一货两卖。另一种情况会是卖方自己也需要这种货物,突然发生了货物短缺而导致了自己主要的业务因为没有这种货物的供应而要蒙受庞大的损失,所以他决定不去履约交货,宁可赔货物的差价。这种千变万化的例子可以不断数下去,反正就可以看到了违约/毁约的合理性与有效性。

 

有关有效益违约(efficient breach)的课题可去节录我所著的《国际商务游戏规则­­——英国合约法》第十四章之第12.7段,如下:

 

减少损失原则在经济上的意义

 

前面已略讲了,对受害方应当合理减少损失的要求实质上是从损害必须与违约有因果关系才可获赔这一原则滋生出来的。但从其产生的实际效用,亦即受害方如采取合理行动本不应该发生的损失不可获赔这一角度来看,减少损失说法的运用也可以视为是一种经济上的防止资源浪费的有效手段。在这个意义上看,减少损失甚至可以说是对‘有效益违约’的鼓励,是符合发挥社会或全世界(对航运而言)总体经济效益所需要的,实际上,如果违约或毁约方在依法赔偿对方损失后,尚能从另一项生意中获取比原合约可获取的更大效益(a greater benefit),或是可去避免比赔偿对方损失更大的损失,那么经济活动等于是发挥了更好的效益。毕竟,在无损对方的前提下,(指受害方可通过损害赔偿的救济获得如同违约毁约未发生一样的收益),一方为追求更大的利益而抛弃原合约也没什么大不了的。正是由于有受害方应当合理减少损失这一对损害赔偿的限制,使得我们在实务中不必太墨守合约严格不可破坏的信条,为获得更大利益,在可行的情况下违约、毁约也无妨。绝大多数事情实际上没有黑白之分,而只有轻重掌握之分。轻重掌握得好,就能立于不败之地。要轻重掌握好,这是要关系到当事人的素质,特别是他的知识与全面的了解程度。在对待违约/毁约问题上也一样。由于损害赔偿是补偿性的,受害方如无实际损失:只能获得象征性赔偿(nominal damage),同时,在适当的情况下违约/毁约对某一方来说并不失为一种好的选择。

 

‘有效益违约’例子之一

 

为求详尽来表达这‘有效益违约’的应有与恰当考虑,以下去多举几个例子,多数是在本段提过的违约/毁约的情况。第一个例子是:

 

船东与一家巴拿马公司的承租人签了一份2年的期租租约,事后有一家信誉很好的大公司要来租这条船,一租5年,租金等各方面的条件都很优厚。这时如果船东考虑过取消已订租约可能承担的赔偿责任后,仍然认为将船期租5年大大有利,那么他大可以与后一家大公司签是了。如果市场同类船多,而且租金下跌,那么原承租人根本不会有什么损失,因他可以找到更便宜的船替代,要索赔也只能拿象征性赔偿。即使市场租金涨了,比租约价高,要赔偿承租人的差价损失也已是船东另订5年租约前已考虑进去了。而且,承租人有合理减少损失的义务,他不能闲坐一旁听任市场租金一路上涨而不尽快租回替代船,否则租金再上涨的损失船东也不用赔。在同样的情况下可以举一个更好的例子,就是船东在2年的租约期间,有机会可以高价把船舶出售,加上船东的公司也需要这笔资金。船东当然是可以去与承租人接触要求解除租约,并作出合理赔偿。但如果遇上承租人敲竹杠或其他理由不肯放船,船东就会考虑有效益违约,顶多将来面对金钱的赔偿,但还是比失去了一个黄金出售船舶的机会好得多。

 

‘有效益违约’例子之二

 

又比如期租中最后航次卸港离租约规定的还船地点很远,卸港在波斯湾,还船地订在日本,而且船舶在卸港一带也不难找到生意的话(可是去日本方向的没有),那么承租人大可以不理租约,卸完货就还船,等于故意毁约。船东这时往往要接受租约毁约,因船东坚持不接受并无“合法利益”(legitimate interest),然后合理尽速地减少损失, 比如就近找其他租船生意,而船东下一航次的目的地就不会像承租人一样局限要去日本还船,所以比较容易找到生意。这样一来,承租人或只需赔船东按约定交船点交船应得租金收入(主要是船空放至交船点期间)减去船东在这段时间找到其它生意的利润收入。同时,承租人将船空放回交船点的航次费用(燃油、港口费等)也省掉了。否则如承租人循规蹈矩,他就要支付空放航次的费用及期间的租金,负担显然是太多了。所以违约/毁约有时并不是什么坏事情,如一方根据当时情况权衡利弊后,确定承担的损害赔偿比继续履约所承受的花费要少时,那毁约对他来说根本是上策,完全值得去做。故意违约又何妨?能省的为何不省,等于能赚的为何不赚一样。而对整个航运效益,能省去省也是好事。

 

‘有效益违约’例子之三

 

再举一个期租的例子。租约规定租期至少(minimum)一年,至多(maximum)一年零10天,租金$10,000/天,结果离租期届满前10天,承租人已完成了计划的最后航次。当时租金市场跌得很厉害,这类船租金只有$5,000/天,这样承租人就很为难了,一方面船东当然坚持要承租人至少在租期届满时才还船,能拖长一点更好,毕竟按租约租金高很多。而另一方面,承租人不可能这么巧找到刚好在短短10天就能完成的航次,能找到的最短航次至少也要30天,而且实际往往会比估计更长。这等于超出(overlap)至少的一年租期20天,租金仍按合约的1万元/天计算(不论是否超过约定的最长maximum租期),这20天等于比当时市场要多付5,000/天,总数即多付10万元,但如果让船闲置10天专门等租约到期就还船,也就是要白给10天租金的10万元。这时承租人最好的办法就是毁约,跟船东说:‘我现在正式还船给你,终止租约。’甚至这话去早讲以免浪费去找下一笔生意的时间。船东对承租人的毁约往往也只能接受,因为不接受也不见得有合法利益坚持下去。与其让船干等10天,还不如尽快替她找其它生意,否则就有可能因为没有合理减少损失,日后连损失都索赔不回来,更何况打官司本身已是劳民伤财,也不稳定。这样一来,船东就会尽快把船再租出去,除非他这10天一直不能把船租出去,而且没有不合理的成分,租价要赔的只是10天租金减少船东这10天找到替代租约的收入(也会有5,000/天)。而且对船东来讲,这10天内他的选择余地比承租人多得多了,他可以找1年,3个月的期租,程租又或是航次期租(Time Charter Trip),这些选择都是考虑船东有否合理减损的因素。船东如果说他只会找1年的租约就不合理。

 

‘有效益违约’例子之四

 

还有,期租中承租人常常会遇到要将船舶在还船前修妥的问题。一个期租下来,有时难免会有一些小损坏,或是承租人的小工造成,或是不安全泊位造成。但根据租约,船舶交还的状态要如同当初交船时一样良好(正常损耗除外)因此按理承租人应把船修好后再还,但这一来,无疑承租人要多付修理期间的租金。而且,如果还船地点是美国、西欧等地,会是安排不易,或修理费比起其它地方高出很多,这样承租人就更头痛。对此,承租人也可以用故意毁约这一招。如果作为承租人还船,船东说:‘不行,根据租约,你必须把船修理好再还’。你就可说:‘船就在……时间还船,修是肯定不修了’。如果船东坚持不接受你的毁约,你则可讲:‘你再没有合法利益去拒绝接船,你必须减少损失,这些损坏并不严重,根本不影响船舶的适航性,你完全可以日后选择更便宜的地方修,或者进干坞才修。现在你坚持不接船等于是不合理扩大损失,因此一切后果你自己承担,日后就算打官司你也肯定会输。你不信可去看看The “Puerto Buitrago” (1976) 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 250的先例,它就是同样情况。’然后你就可以不必再理会船东了,根本不用怕他抗议、威胁,让他去仲裁告好了,你日后要赔偿的总应该比在还船港修妥船舶再交还(redelivery)的损失(修船期的租金+昂贵的修理费)要少。

 

“有效益违约”例子之五

 

同样理论也用在还船时不够约定的燃油数量,我记得看过一事件是希腊船东在还船时成功迫使国内承租人先去另一附近港口多加20吨柴油才还船,但这多花了不少钱,而且延误两三天(当时市场下跌,这也是希腊船东能拖就拖的理由)。还有风险问题,如果船在加油港遇上领航员或拖轮罢工等意外开不出来去还船地点,租价一直去付昂贵租金可会要破产了。显然,该承租人应该的做法还是坚持去还船,即使燃油数量不足,也顶多赔偿燃油差价。

 

‘有效益违约’的总结

 

可见,实务中如果违约对你来说是有赚无亏的选择。那么就违约好了,根本不必害怕,因为对方只有蒙受实际损失,才能向你索赔到实质性的赔偿,何况他自己也有合理减少损失的‘责任’。到头来你违约/毁约要赔的比起你履行合约所付出的要少,岂不是很好的事。商场如战场,各人为自己的利益在适度的范围内采取一些非正统的灵活做法实在无可厚非,当然凡事都有个度,关键是要掌握好轻重。其实日常生活中也有这样的简单例子,比如你租了一所房子,租期2年,但过了1年你有了自己的房子住,或你要移民出国,那你就应提前退租,毁约是毁约了,总归比你不住而白交1年的房租要好得多。房东不能强行阻拦你搬走,那是要触犯刑法的。他只能接受你的毁约,然后重新招租以减少损失。在房价飞涨的今天,房东往往不会有什么实际损失。他很可能以更贵的租价把房子再租出去。当然也有房价跌的时候,但你赔的租金差价损失也比白交1年租金要少得多,毕竟房东也要合理尽速重新租出房子以减少损失。”

 

4.2 减少损失(mitigation of loss

      

无辜方如果向违约方索赔损失,他是有一个“责任”去减少损失或减损。如果他没有这样做,并不代表他是违反了他的责任,只代表他不能把本来可以通过合理减损而省回的损失部分去成功向违约方索赔。有关这一个课题,在本书另章会详述。在上一小段也已经多处提到了减损与有效益违约之间的关系。因为对违约方没有去强加减损的义务,就不会有有效益的违约。等于在较早时介绍的例子有关租房子2年在1年后毁约,如果房东没有减损的责任,让房子空置一年,反正可以去向违约方索赔,这就不会带来有效益违约的说法。

 

为了不去重复,在这里只会去探讨这个减损与履约指令之间的关系。这两个说法之间也是有一定的矛盾,因为履约指令就是无辜方拒绝接受以金钱作为赔偿的救济办法,而是要求违约方履行合约。如果这是毁约(特别是预期违约),也表示无辜方拒绝接受毁约,坚持毁约方必须履行的做法。这一来,是有一个说法,在这个期间无辜方是没有减损的责任。毕竟,这种矛盾是显然可见。因为无辜方如果能够在市场上找到其他合理的替代(假设是商品),并去这样做为减少损失,岂非与拒绝接受违约方的毁约或去申请履约指令有严重的矛盾?试想,如果违约方真的去履行并去交出合约中约定的商品,无辜方岂非是会有两批同样的商品,而他只需要一批。这一个说法可看Oliver大法官在Radford v. De Froberville (1978) 1 All ER 33所说:“It is difficult to see how, assuming that it is reasonable for a plaintiff to seek specific performance, he can be under a duty to mitigate by acquiring equivalent property until he knows whether or not the court is going to give him his decree.”。

 

另也可看贵族院的先例Carter (Councils) Ltd v. McGregor (1962) A.C. 413,它的概述可去节录《Chitty on Contracts》(30版)之26-122段:“…the plaintiff refused to accept defendant’s anticipatory repudiation of the contract and was able thereafter to complete the performance of his side of the contract without the co-operation of the defendant; the majority of their Lordships held that the plaintiff could recover the full amount due for his performance: he was under no obligation to terminate the contract on the ground of the defendant’s anticipatory breach and sue for damages.  The two of their Lordships in the minority thought the plaintiff should have mitigated his loss by discontinuing his performance of the contract, but the majority held (by implication) that in the special circumstances of the case there was no such duty on the plaintiff to act reasonably.”。(最后的一句显示了贵族院的多数与少数意见,他们的分歧显然就是在原告是否有合法利益去拒绝接受被告的预期违约,这里涉及了原告在做法与说法的合理性。)

 

由于减损的责任只是与无辜方索赔金钱损失作为救济才有关系,这就涉及了损失计算(assess damage)应该是以哪一天为准。在普通法,计算损失是以违约/毁约的一天为准,所以在货物买卖就表示无辜方必须在该天去在市场试图减损。而如果在后来开庭审理的时候,无辜方索赔更大的一笔金钱损失,就会存在多出来的部分损失可能是他没有去减损而造成的。但如果涉及了履约指令,就会带来了不明朗的地方。这里首先要说明在1858年《Lord Cairns Act》,是给了当时的衡平法院去给予损失的赔偿,这本来就是普通法院的事务。该立法在损失计算是给了衡平法院看来是颇大的权力,在section 2说:“may be assessed in such manner as the court shall direct”。这就带来了一个说法与做法,就是衡平法的损失计算日子与普通法不一致。在衡平法院,如果拒绝作出履约指令,就会在拒绝的同时去计算损失,并给予无辜方的救济。显然这一天会是与普通法根据违约的一天不一样,甚至会相隔一段时间,而由于市场的急剧变化,最后的数字会带来很不一样的结果。

 

这一方面在贵族院的Johnson v. Agnew (1980) A.C. 367有了明确,就是选择衡平法或是普通法索赔损失,计算应该是一致的。该先例的案情涉及了被告没有去完成买房子的交易,最后的限期是在1974121日。在当时,房子的价格是超出了原告的抵押金额。到了19743月,原告作出告票开始向法院申请履约指令。到了1126日,法院命令去以简易判决作出。在197543 日,由于卖方的房子被银行收回而去拍卖,但价格是要比抵押金额低。反正在以上不同的时间,由于市场的变化以及做法的不同,用来计算损失肯定会有不同的结果。上诉庭判是损失计算应该以19741126日为准,也就是法院作出判决的一天。但贵族院改了是判损失计算是以197543日为准,Wilberforce勋爵认为“The day on which specific performance became aborted (not by the vendor’s fault) should logically be fixed as the day on which damages should be assessed…the same day (3 April 1975) should be used for the purpose of limiting the plaintiff’s right to interest on damages”。

 

再接下去又是另一个问题,就是无辜方的原告不合理去要求对被告作出履约指令。这一来,原告到底在期间有否减损的责任?这方面是有一些案例说是原告有这个责任,例如一种不合理的情况就是原告不断及延误地去申请履约指令,这就相等于无辜方在没有合法利益(legitimate interest)下仍拒绝去接受违约的道理一样,这会带来一个时间,法院认为原告不能这样去拖延,必须去终止合约并去减损。首先可以去节录Johnson v. Agnew (1980) A.C. 367Wilberforce勋爵说:“In cases where a breach of a contract for sale has occurred, and the innocent party reasonably continues to try to have the contract completed, it would to me appear more logical and just rather than tie him to the date of the original breach to assess damages as at the date when (otherwise by his default) the contract is lost.”。这句话显示了原告如果不合理去申请履约指令,损失计算的一天不一定会押后,也表示原告在申请的期间就已经会有减损的责任。在加拿大与新西兰都有过类似的案件。在加拿大的一些先例有Domowicz v. Orsa Investment Ltd (1994) 20 OR (3d) 722Asamera Oil Corpn Ltd v. Sea Oil & General Corpn (1979) 1 SCR 633 at 667-68Lawrie v. Gentry Developments Inc (1989) 72 OR (2d) 512,涉及买方被拒绝作出履约指令,期间由于房价急升,买方不去合理地在市场买入替代的房子(他是用来投资自用),被判是损失计算不能以开庭审理的一天为准。在另一个加拿大先例的Garbens v. Khayami (1994) 17 OR (3d) 162,涉及了卖方坚持与不合理延误的申请履约指令(违约与开庭审理相隔接近4年之久),而当时市场明显在下跌,买方应该尽早去把房子推出市场另找其他买方以减少损失,所以是没有尽到减损的责任而不能获得房子价格下跌的所有损失。看来在这种情况下,如果有十分合理与明确的减损机会,无辜方即使还在申请履约指令,也应该去考虑减损,并在法院的履约指令申请改变为金钱损失的索赔:Donb v. Isoz (1980) Ch. 548 (CA)

 

在新西兰的先例是Hickey v. Bruhns (1977) 2 NZLR 71,法院判是原告因为怠慢申请履约指令而被拒绝,金钱损失的计算日子是如果原告合理尽快作出申请(并且有机会可以取得)的一天为准,而不是在实际被拒绝的一天。

 

4.3 可以买到替代商品(substitute cargo available)通常被视为金钱赔偿是更佳的救济

 

已经解释过在无辜方可以从通过其他渠道找到替代履行(substitute performance),就表示通常可以通过金钱赔偿作为救济。由于不少商业合约涉及了货物买卖,就表示在市场上可以随时买到替代商品的货物买卖合约,法院是不会发出履约指令的:Cohen v. Roche (1927) 1 KB 169。但如果一样东西是不能在市场去另找合理的替代,法院是会下履约指令。这特别是岸上的房子与土地买卖:Meng Long Development v. Jip Hong Trading Co. Pte. Ltd (1985) AC 511Amec Properties v. Planning Research & Systems (1992) EGLR 70。还有就是像航运的船舶买卖一艘特别用途的船舶,是买方不能在市场另找合理替代的,也应会有机会成功申请法院或仲裁庭下履约指令,去迫卖方不能去转售他人:The “Oro Chief” (1983) 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 509

 

在股票买卖或转让的合约,如果在市场上随时可以买得到这种股票,履约指令也会被禁止:Cud v. Rutter (1719) 1 P Wms 570(这一个古老的先例是涉及了价值1,000英镑投机性的南海股票的转让)。但如果不是在市场上可以买到的股票,例如是私人公司,法院就会很愿意去作出履约指令:O’Neill v. Ryan (No. 3) (1992) 1 IR 166。或是合约是针对购买新股:New Brunswick & Canada Railway & Land Co Ltd v. Muggeridge (1859) 4 Drew 686ANZ Executors & Trustees Ltd v. Humes Ltd (1990) VR 6155。如果涉及上市公司的股票,虽然可以在市场上买到,但会有例外情况,例如在市场上很难买得到的一些股票:Re Schwabacher (1908) 98 LT 127;或是合约涉及了购买一家上市公司的控制性股票:Dobell v. Cowichan Copper Co. Ltd. (1967) 65 DLR (2d) 440; Chinn v. Hochstrasser (1979) CH 447

 

针对货物买卖,在1979年《英国货物销售法》是有立法的履约指令的做法,这是在section 52,如下:

 

(1) In any action for breach of contract to deliver specific or ascertained goods the court may, if it thinks fit, on the plaintiff’s application, by its judgement or decree direct that the contract shall be performed specifically, without giving the defendant the option of retaining the goods on payment of damages.

 

(2) The plaintiff’s application may be made at any time before judgement or decree.

 

(3) The judgement or decree may be unconditional, or on such terms and conditions as to damages, payment of the price and otherwise as seem just to the court. …

 

立法条文的文字上只针对“特定货物”(specific or ascertained goods)。这一个定义肯定是包括一艘双方约定船名的船舶,或一头名驹,或一幅名画等等。但这通常不包括一些“非特定货物”(unascertained goods)。这通常就是一般商品(例如是散货,如钢材或棉花),这种商品通常有市场可以去买入替代商品。如果是在订约时还没有生产或存在的货物,这也应该是非特定货物。针对前者的特定货物,立法条文规定了法院可以作出履约指令的救济,虽然条文在措辞上没有去剥夺法院的裁量权。

 

这特定货物的新定义在1995年《英国货物销售法》扩大为:“goods identified and agreed on at the time a contract of sale is made and includes an undelivered share, specified as a faction or percentage, of goods identified and agreed on as aforesaid.”。这一来,在这定义下可能带来了一些微妙的差异,例如是一般的煤炭买卖曾被枢密院拒绝去作出履约指令:Dominion Coal Co. Ltd v. Dominion Iron and Steel Co. Ltd (1990) AC 293。但如果是同样的商品(煤炭)在订立买卖合约时说明了是什么商品(例如说明是“长江轮”上所装载的15,000吨煤炭),这变了是买卖一批特定货物,在新的立法定义下可以有机会取得一个履约指令。但买卖合约换了一个稍微不同的写法,例如说是“长江轮”上所装载的其中5,000吨,就不是特定货物了。 这里在Benjamin所著的《Benjamin’s Sale of Goods》(第六版)一书之17-095段有介绍,如下:

 

But the 1995 extension of the definition means that if a bulk (such as the cargo of a ship) was identified and agreed upon when the contract was made, an order of specific performance may be made under section 52 in respect of a fraction or percentage of the bulk. But where the part sold is a specified quantity to be taken from an identified bulk (e.g. 500 tons out of a cargo of 1,000 tons) it appears that no order can be made, because the goods are not ‘specific’ in terms of the new definition, and they remain unascertained.”。

 

上述看来是非常细微的区分也不必太关注,因为;履约指令涉及了法院的裁量权,加上稍后会介绍是特定货物与非特定货物的不同对待不再明显。虽然有说法是1979年《英国货物销售法》是一套完整的法典,不应该再去加以补充:Re Wait (1927) 1 Ch 606 (CA)The “Aliakmon” (1986) 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 1。加上解释立法(或合约)条文的原则“特别去针对一件事情但不提其他同类事情”(Expessio Unius)下,既然只去针对特定货物才可以去作出履约指令,就显示了立法的意图是非特定货物(unascertained goods)就不这样做。但近年来也有了案例去针对一些非特定货物与市场上可以买到替代的商品,也会去作出履约指令强制买卖合约的执行,例如是Sky Petroleum v. VIP Petroleum (1974) 1 WLR 576的汽油与Howard E Perry Ltd v. British Railways Board (1980) 1 WLR 1375的钢材。在前一个先例,由于当时的市场汽油严重短缺,原告要去买替代的汽油不容易,法院作出禁令不允许油公司去中断汽油供应给一个车行(有关的禁令在本质上就是相等于履约指令)。在后一个先例,法院下令必须交货,除了是买方很难从市场买入替代钢材外,还有其他原因是Megarry大法官所提到的,说:“Damages will be a poor consolation if the failure of supplies forces a trader to lay off staffs and disappoint his customers (whose affections may be transferred to others) and ultimately force him into insolvency.”。

 

较近期的先例是Thames Valley Power Ltd v. Total Gas & Power Ltd (2006) 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 441,案情涉及了TotalThames Valley订了一份长达15年的提供燃气的协议。Thames Valley是一个合伙公司,其成立的目标是为了取得为期15年的为伦敦希斯罗机场提供暖气与电力的合约。在履行了10年左右,Total说是根据合约的一条不可抗力条文去终止合约。Christopher Clarke大法官判是Total不能去终止合约,并同时提到可以去对Total作出履约指令。虽然,在该先例中是不必去这样做,因为Total明确表示如果是败诉,即不能以不可抗力去终止合约,他会继续履行下去。Christopher Clarke大法官看来是有两个理由去支持履约指令。第一个理由是找不到替代履行,但照理说燃气应该在市场上买得到,但估计这么大的数量与一个肯定的供应来源就难以替代。他针对该合约的基础是这样说:“to assure a source of supply from a first-rate supplier for 15-year term ”,所以光是去作出损失赔偿就会是剥夺了“substantially the whole benefit that the contract was intended to give them”。第二个原因是认为金钱赔偿并非是一个足够的救济,去计算接下去5年的损失几乎是不可能,因为燃气市场价格的波动。

 

看来,即使有了立法规定,法院对货物买卖合约去作出履约指令或禁令在新的趋势下主要还是考虑在选择金钱损失赔偿的救济或履约指令的救济,哪一种会是更完善与公平,而再也不是只去问到底金钱损失赔偿是否已是足够:Evans Marshall & Co. Ltd v. Bertola (1973) 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 453

 

但还是有一些不明朗的先例,会否在新的趋势下法院有不同的裁量权,更愿意去作出履约指令。在Societe des Industries Metallurgiques SA v. The Bronx Engineering Co Ltd (1975) 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 465,有关的货物是一台“Bronx combined driver and pull through slitting machine”。但被告卖方拒绝提供,紧急需要这一台机器的原告向法院申请履约指令,并提供证据证明虽然在市场上可以找到替代,但需要的时间长达912个月其他的生产商才能够提供。但上诉庭拒绝作出履约指令。这判决看来是受到批评,在JonesGoodhart的《Specific Performance》(第二版)一书之145页:“This conclusion ignored the commercial reality that it was impossible to mitigate within a reasonable period of time; it was particularly harsh because the court accepted that the plaintiff would have had difficulty in calculating his loss since the machine was to be used in Tunis.”。

 

这种能够在市场找到替代的情况其实经常会有,只不过有时候不容易,例如耗时过长。照说,去考虑那一种救济办法比较说是更完善与公平,也应该去把这个因素考虑在内。毕竟它在本质上与Sky Petroleum v. VIP PetroleumHoward E Perry Ltd v. British Railways Board没有什么不同,就是在当时的市场去找替代不容易,因为有短缺。但如果再过半年会否市场就不再短缺?

 

4.4 不可以买到替代商品通常被视为金钱赔偿是不足够的救济

 

没有办法在市场上买到替代商品通常是涉及稀有商品,这种商品有说法是属于或接近独一无二(uniqueness),例如是买卖古董或名画。在这种情况下的违约,往往也表示了对无辜方而言光是将来金钱的赔偿并不足够,他无法在市场上买入替代商品或去转售给其他买家,再去向违约方索赔差价。这稀有商品也不一定需要独一无二的程度,虽然对独一无二的买卖法院几乎肯定会去作出履约指令,例如是涉及名画蒙娜丽莎(Mona Lisa)的买卖。一般而言,越是稀有的商品,就越有机会能够说服法院去作出履约指令。这表示较有名气的画家作品也很有机会能够成功取得履约指令,但一些廉价与充斥市场的一些作品,由不知名的街头艺术家所制作的就不会有机会了。同样道理下,曾经成功取得履约指令的先例有:涉及古牛角买卖的Pusey v. Pusey (1684) 1 Vern 273;涉及一个古老烛台买卖的Duke of Somerset v. Cookson (1735) 3 P Wms 390。而在Cohen v. Roche (1927) 1 KB 169中,Hepplewhite制作的椅子被认为是没有什么特别价值的商品,因此法院拒绝作出履约指令。这表示涉及了名牌商品也不会容易取得履约指令,毕竟名牌商品在今天也是大量充斥在市场。

 

如果涉及的商品有一个感情上的原因,则也会成为一个重要的因素去说服法院作出履约指令:Morris v. Sparrow 287 SW 2d 583 (1956)

 

到底是否是市场上买不到的也往往涉及了证据,例如在The “Oro Chief” (1983) 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 509,它是关于一艘油矿两用船舶的二手船买卖,这种船舶市场上不多,而在有争议的时候市场上更是没有同类船舶出售。申请履约指令的第一位买方声称他对该船舶有了特殊用途的安排,所以必须强制去交船。但他无法说服法院,因为法院认为针对同样的用途可以由一艘一般性的油轮作为替代,而当时这种油轮市场上是有在出售。Staughton大法官是这样说:

 

It is an enquiry whether the charterer of the chattel itself is such that it is unique, or cannot for the time being be replaced by the purchase of a substitute in the market.

 

That test is plainly satisfied in the present case. Oro Chief is an ore/oil carrier. She has certain advantages of flexibility in trading. Only a limited number of such vessels of similar size exist. At present none is available for sale in the market.

Eximenco (第一买方) sought to prove that they had a particular need for vessel as an ore/oil carrier. The attempt failed. An ordinary tanker would have suited them just as well for the time being. And ordinary tankers of similar size are available.

 

这一个先例去相比另一个较早的二手船买卖,法院就认为船舶是独一无二并去作出履约指令。该先例是The “City” (1927) 27 Lloyd’s Rep. 24Wright大法官是这样说:“…in the present case there is evidence that the ‘City’ was of peculiar and practically unique value to the plaintiff.  She was a cheap vessel, being old, having been built in 1892, but her engines and boilers were practically new and such as to satisfy the German regulations, and hence the plaintiff could, as a German shipowner, have her at once put on the German register.  A very experienced ship valuer has said that he knew of only one other comparable ship, but that could now have been sold.  The plaintiff wants the ship for immediate use, and I do not think damages would be an adequate compensation.

 

4.5  被视为是独一无二的土地买卖通常被视为金钱赔偿是不足够的救济

 

在英国法下,土地通常被视为是独一无二(uniqueness),换言之就是无法在市场上买到相同的替代。这是因为土地或房子会有对个别人士的不同感情、环境或独立因素。所以涉及土地买卖或有关的合约通常都可以去向法院取得履约指令,而许多在这方面的先例都涉及了土地买卖。即使所买的土地纯粹是为了投资或这买方是想尽快转售以牟利,不是为了自住,也不影响法院的做法:Pianta v. National Finance and Trustee Co Ltd (1964) 180 CLR 146 (High Ct of Australia)

 

但看来针对香港许多大厦的楼层,同类房子在市场上有大量的供应,会否是独一无二的说法站不住脚:Centex Homes Corp v. Boag 128 NJ Super 385 (New Jersey)

 

这方面的说法可去节录《Chitty on Contracts》(30版)之27-007段所说:“The law takes the view that the purchaser of a particular piece of land or of a particular house (however ordinary) cannot, on the vendor’s breach, obtain a satisfactory substitute, so that specific performance is available to the purchaser.  It seems that this is so even though the purchaser has bought for resale.  Even a contractual license to occupy land, though creating no interest in the land can be specifically enforced.  A vendor of land, too, can get specific performance; for damages will not adequately compensate him if he cannot easily find another purchaser or if he is anxious to rid himself of burdens attached to the land.  It seems to make no difference that the land is readily saleable to a third party; or even that after contract but before completion a compulsory purchase order is made in respect of it.  Yet in such cases damages (based on the difference between the contract price and the resale price, of the compensation payable on the compulsory acquisition) would seem normally to be an adequate (in the sense of an entirely appropriate) remedy.”。

 

4.6  金钱损失赔偿很难计算也通常被视为金钱赔偿是不足够的救济

 

在金钱损失很难计算导致了法院作为是考虑因素之一去作出履约指令,在较早介绍的先例Sky Petroleum v. VIP Petroleum (1974) 1 WLR 576已经有涉及。这种案例有很多,可去简单节录《Chitty on Contracts》(30版)之27-008段所说:“Difficulty of quantifying damages.  In a number of other situations damages are considered to be an inadequate remedy because of the difficulty of quantifying them.  For this reason specific performance may be ordered of a contract to execute a mortgage in consideration of money advanced at or before the time of the contract (Swiss Bank Corp. v. Lloyds Bank Ltd [1982] A.C. 584, 595), and of a term of a contract of loan giving the creditor the right to have the loan repaid out of specific property (Swiss Bank Corp. v. Lloyds Bank Ltd [1982] A.C. 548; Kingcroft Insurance Co Ltd v. H.S. Weaver [Underwriting] Agencies Ltd [1993] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 187): the value to the creditor of obtaining security for a debt cannot be precisely quantified.  For the same reason, specific performance can be ordered of a contract to pay (or to sell) an annuity (Beswick v. Beswick [1968] A.C. 58), of a contract to indemnify (Ascherson v. Tredegar Dry Dock & Wharf Co Ltd [1909] 2 Ch. 401), of a sale of debts proved in bankruptcy (Adderley v. Disxon [1824] 1 S. & S. 607) and of a promise in a letter of indemnity to secure the release of a ship in the event of her being arrested by reason of the shipowner’s delivering the goods without production of the bill of lading (The “Laemthong Glory” [2005] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 632).  Damages may also be an inadequate remedy because the claimant’s loss is difficult to prove (Thames Valley Power Ltd v. Total Gas & Power Ltd [2006] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 441) or because certain items of loss (Malik v. B.C.C.I. [1998] A.C. 20) are not or may not be, legally recoverable, because of the difficulty of enforcing a judgment for damages in a foreign country (The “Laemthong Glory”, because of the delays which may occur (even in domestic case) in securing the actual payment of damages (Thames Valley Power Ltd v. Total Gas & Power Ltd [2006] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 441), or quite simply because the defendant may not be ‘good for the money’The “Oro Chief” [1983] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 509; Themehelp Ltd v. West [1996] Q.B. 84.”。

 

以上提到了很多个先例,接下来对其中3个作进一步的介绍:Beswick v. Beswick The “Laemthong Glory”The “Oro Chief”

 

Beswick v. Beswick案例涉及的是一位老先生把他的一个商店交了给他的侄子打理(估计是老先生年事已高),作为双方约定的交换条件,他的侄子承诺在他死后照顾他的妻子(侄子的伯母),每星期给伯母5英镑作为生活费。但在该老先生死后,侄子拒绝履行合约,之后伯母以死去丈夫的遗产执行人(administratrix)的名义向法院申请履约指令,法院也作出了履约指令。当时还没有1999年《Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act》,所以不存在伯母以自己的名义去起诉她的侄子,因为合约只是老先生与侄子之间,他们才是有合约的相互关系(privity of contract)。在这个案例中,原告(作为老先生的遗产执行人)并没有实质上的损失,只是“名义上的损失”(nominal damage)。在这种情况下,履约指令是比金钱赔偿更完善与公平的救济。

 

The “Laemthong Glory”案例涉及的是航运经常面对的无单放货问题,就是船舶在卸港没有正本提单(这是代表货物的所有权)去把货物卸下并交付,根据的只是自称是拥有货物所有权的收货人所去作出的一封保函。这种保函通常在第一段就会说明会补偿船东将来因为无单放货而要去面对第三人(也就是真正的货物所有人)以误交货物索赔所导致的所有损失。有关的案例涉及了一批14,000吨的食糖去也门的亚丁港,船东无单放货。而保函是由也门的收货人签发给了承租人,承租人另签发一份给船东。收货人提取了食糖后,再也不去向他的银行赎单。这导致了货物的所有权一直没有去转让给也门的收货人,船舶也随即被持有正本提单的银行以误交货物提出索赔,并把船舶扣押,要求船东提供索赔担保才去放船。船东直接向也门的收货人提起诉讼并要求履行保函的承诺,虽然他签发的保函只是给承租人,但船东作为受益的第三人可以根据已经生效的1999年《Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act》去提出索赔。在第一审的Cooke大法官看来是同意去作出履约指令,说:

 

I turn then to the question of specific performance, if it is necessary for security to be put up in order to secure the release of the vessel.  It was contended, both by the charterers and the receivers, that damages are an adequate remedy for the owners here.  There is evidence before me that enforcement of judgments in the Yemen is a matter of some difficulty, a matter upon which I would not have required evidence in any event.  That in itself means that damages against the receivers would not be an adequate remedy.

 

So far as the charterers are concerned, they are a French company against whom any judgment is enforceable under the European Convention.  But cl.3 has a particular purpose behind it, namely to ensure the release of the vessel so that issues of damages for detention do not arise.  Whilst damages for detention are capable of evaluation by expert evidence and the like, this is never an entirely straightforward matter, and particularly so in the context of a rising market.  The point at which contracts might be made is one of some debate.

 

I consider that the owners are right here in saying that a failure to arrange the provision of security by either receivers or charterers in accordance with their letter of indemnity obligations so negates the object of the letters of indemnity that the Court ought to grant specific performance.  The very purpose of the letter of indemnity was to avoid the detention which has actually occurred.  This clause is of a different nature therefore from those which constitute the ordinary, primary obligations to be found in most contracts.

 

Whilst Mr. Lewis (承租人的代表大律师) is right in saying that contracts provide for primary obligations, and this is a primary obligation and therefore it is not right simply to look at the clause and say that it made provision for a certain result and therefore damages are not an adequate remedy (as performance of a secondary liability) this particular clause does fall into a different category from most.

 

Whereas damages may constitute an adequate remedy for failure to perform many primary obligations, the whole point of the letters of indemnity was to replace secondary liability under any suit for damages for detention by the primary performance of the obligation to ensure release of the vessel, so that such a suit was unnecessary.  It would, in such circumstances, be inequitable not to grant specific performance to require fulfilment of that obligation and then to leave the owners to a remedy in damages for detention, or even damages for the loss of the ship, which was the very thing that the letters of indemnity were intended to avoid.

 

至于在The “Oro Chief”(在本章12.1段进一步介绍),案情涉及的是另一种经常会出现的问题,就是如果很明显地被告将无力赔偿违约带来的金钱损失,会否更适合去对他(例如是一家财力不足的小公司)作出一个履约指令,迫使他不能违约。在该先例Staughton大法官是

 

…it may be that in special circumstances, such as when the seller is insolvent and can pay no damages, (the buyer) will still obtain an order for specific performance.”。

 

但这里也是有不同的看法,在Anders Utkilens Rederi A/S v. Lovisa Stevedoring Co A/B (1985) 2 All ER 669Goulding大法官说:“Commercial life would be subject to new and unjust hazards if the court were to decree specific performance of contracts normally sounding only in damages simply because of a party’s threatened insolvency.”。(如果仅凭一方当事人没有财力这个理由就以履约指令对付他,会给商业活动带来新的不公平与风险)

 

5  履约指令不针对自己违反合约或有过错的原告

 

通常作为申请人的原告在申请履约指令的时候是要向法院证明他有去履行所有的合约责任,而且也能够与愿意去履行合约下将来的责任:Measures Bros Ltd v. Measures (1910) 2 Ch 248Chappall v. Times Newspapers Ltd (1975) 1 WLR 482。通常如果原告在法院作出判决前发觉自己由于被告违约而导致他没有办法去履行自己的责任,他可以改为金钱损失的索赔:Johnson v. Agnew (1980) AC 367

 

这里有一个著名的合约解释默示条件就是假设订约方不能从他自己错误的行为中获利(请看笔者的《合约的解释》一书之197页)。所以对于自己犯错的原告,是不会针对被告去作出履约指令,毕竟在应该发下履约指令是衡平法的救济,一直有著名的说法是前来要求衡平救济的人自己必须是“手脚干净”(clean hand)。这里节录JonesGoodhart的《Specific Performance》(第二版)一书之84页:

 

Similarly there is a well-known rule of construction that a party in breach cannot be permitted to take advantage of his own wrong against the other party to the contract; as has been seen, a wrong doer will be denied an order for specific performance for the reason. ‘A party who seeks to obtain a benefit and a continuing contract on account of his breach is just as much taking advantage of his own wrong as is a party who relies on his breach to avoid a contract and thereby escape his obligations’ (Alghussein Establishment v. Eton College [1988] 1 WLR 587). That presumption is rebutted only in ‘the unlikely case that the contract contains clear express provisions to the contrary…’ (Cheall v. Association of Professional Executive Clerical and Computer Staff [1983] 2 AC 180).”。

 

6  履约指令必须考虑被告的地位(不去剥夺他个人自由,不会替他带来过度的困境)

 

一直有一个说法是针对自然人提供服务的合约是不会去作出履约指令,原因正是考虑不能去剥夺被告的个人自由。当然还有其他的原因就是这种特别是涉及特别技能的合约关系是没有办法去强制,例如在强制下提供服务的被告会去十分不情愿地作出服务,肯定是不会令原告满意。

 

这种类型的合约最明显的就是雇佣合约,这已经是在普通法十分明确,不会去作出履约指令。这方面还有了立法更明确的规定。比较近期的普通法先例是Powell v. London Borough of Brent (1987) IRLR 466Roger Ormrod大法官说:“Nobody would willingly grant an injunction forcing either an employer on an employee or an employee on an employer, simply on the basis that it would not work”。

 

至于在立法方面,可节录1992年《Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act》之section 236

 

no court shall, whether by way of

(a)    an order for specific performance…of a contract of an employment, or

(b)   an injunction…restraining a breach or threatened breach of contract,

compel an employee to do any work or attend at any place for the doing of any work.

 

另在1996年《Employment Rights Act》,也是有同样的条文。它以金钱赔偿作为被无理解雇的雇员的主要救济。

 

针对不能去剥夺被告的个人自由,在很早以前的先例,De Francesco v. Barnum (1890) 45 Ch D 430Fry大法官就已经针对这一方面说不可以将被告从一个服务合约变为奴隶合约(The courts are bound to be jealous, least they should turn contracts of service into contracts of slavery)。

 

针对去强制这种涉及了个别自然人的特殊技能(special skill and talent)的合约关系不会有好结果,可去举C.H. Giles Co v. Morris (1972) 1 WLR 307先例中Megarry大法官所说:

 

The reasons why the court is reluctant to decree specific performance of a contract for personal services (and I would regard it as a strong reluctance rather than a rule) are, I think, more complex and more firmly bottomed on human nature. If a singer contracts to sing, there could be no doubt be proceedings for committal if, ordered to sing, the singer remained obstinately dumb. But if instead the singer sang flat, or sharp, or too fast, or too slowly, or too loudly, or too quietly, or resorted to a dozen of the manifestations of temperament traditionally associated with some singers, the threat of committal would reveal itself as a most unsatisfactory weapon: for who could say whether the imperfections of performance were natural or self-induced?”。(法院抗拒去在个人服务合约作出履约指令,但这不是一成不变的硬性规定。以一个歌手签约演唱为例,对她/他去下履约指令,她/他仍不肯演唱显然是藐视法院,犯了刑法甚至导致坐牢。但如果歌手只是在演唱不卖力,唱得或平或尖、或快或慢、或过高声或过低声,又如何对策呢?毕竟,不涉及履约指令的问题,在正常情况该歌手也不是场场演出都是满意的。这一来,如何区分这种“失误”可能是歌手阳奉阴违,会构成藐视法院与正常的演出免不了有好坏的波动?)

 

针对自然人的服务合约,英国法院都是比较愿意作出禁令,只要禁令不是间接迫使被告去履行合约的“作为承诺”(positive obligation),因为这一来本质就变成了履约指令。如果有关的合约有一条所谓限制商贸/就业(restraint of trade)条文。例如雇主去申请禁令阻止离职的高级雇员马上去另一家主要竞争对手的公司就业,因为在雇佣合约有一条“不作为承诺”(negative pledge),该雇员明示同意在离职后的一段短暂的合理时间内不会去这样做。禁令等于是迫使该雇员去履行他的不作为承诺。有关这一方面的问题在笔者与杨大明律师合著的《禁令》一书之第二章有详论。

 

但如果去作出这种禁令会在实质上等同履约指令,这是不应该与必须谨慎的。这里可举两个先例作为进一步解释,第一个就是Lumley v. Wagner (1853) 21 LJ Ch 898 案情涉及Wagner女士同意了为原告的歌剧院演唱3个月,其间不去为任何其他歌剧院演唱,以免分薄观众。但Wagner女士(被告)违约,去为Covent GardenGye先生(是原告的竞争对手)演唱。St. Leonards勋爵做出最后禁令,不准被告在这3个月内去为任何人(原告除外)演唱,说:

 

It was objected that the operation of the injunction in the present case was mischievous, excluding the defendant…from performing at any other theatre while this Court had no power to compel her to perform at Her Majestic’s Theatre (原告的歌剧院).  It is true, that I complaint, ‘if I compel her to abstain from the commission of an act which she has bound herself not to do…in continuing the injunction.  I disclaim doing indirectly what I cannot do directly.”。(St. Leonards勋爵不同意他在玩手段,利用最后禁令去做他本来不应该做的事:对Wagner女士去作出一个履约指令。)

 

另一个先例是Warner Brothers Pictures Inc v. Nelson (1937) 1 KB 209,案情涉及了当时的红星比提戴维斯(Bette Davis)。她答应了为原告华纳电影公司拍片3年,并不为其他公司或人士去拍片,但她事后违约。原告成功向法院申请去作出最后禁令,不准她在3年内为其他公司或人士拍片。这显然是为了逼她履行合约,会是要向华纳电影公司委曲求全,因为其间是没有其他的生计(除非不再做演员)。Branson大法官看来是想去区分这一个禁令并不等同于履约指令,他是这样说:

 

It was also urged that the difference between what the defendant can earn as a film artist and what she might expect to earn by any other form of activity is so great that she will in effect be driven to perform her contract…but no evidence was addressed to show that, if enjoined from doing the specified acts otherwise than for the plaintiffs, she will not be able to employ herself both usefully and remuneratively in other spheres of activity…She will not be driven, although she may be tempted, to perform the contract, and the fact that she may be so tempted is no objection to the grant of an injunction.

 

上诉的两个先例看起来是相近的,但在现实中Lumley v. Wagner先例的禁令就说得过去,因为Wagner女士顶多为了遵守最后禁令,宁可去失业3个月也不去向原告委曲求全。但在Warner Brothers Pictures Inc v. Nelson先例,禁令长达3年,就有很强的感觉是等于履约指令。比提戴维斯小姐是没有办法去失业3年,除了坐吃山空外,演员生活也就此完结。这禁令就等于迫使她去向华纳电影公司求饶,在这3年内,该服务合约就有很大危险变为一个奴隶合约。所以,在后来的先例Warren v. Mendy (1989) All ER 103中(涉及一个拳手的经理人合约),Nourse大法官认为这种禁令要去考虑长短的期限,如果长过2年就会变质为履约指令。他是只要说:

 

Although it is impossible to state in general terms where the line between short and long term engagements ought to be drawn it is obvious that an injunction lasting for two years or more (the period applicable in the present case) may practically compel performance of the contract.

 

这种同类的案例最后可去一提的是较近期的Page One Records v. Britton (1968) 1 WLR 157,案情涉及一支名为“The Troggs”的流行乐队。该乐队雇用原告作为代理人及经理人,为其5年,并在合约内作出一个不作为的承诺,即在期间不会为其他人录音。但是该乐队事后违约/毁约,与他人签订了另一个经理人协议,这导致了原告去向法院申请禁令阻止乐队这样做。Stamp大法官认为去作出这种禁令等于是履约指令,所以拒绝申请,并说:

 

…it was said in this case, that if an injunction is granted, The Troggs could without employing of a different nature…I think that I can and should take judicial notice of the fact that these groups, if they are to have any great success, must have managers.  As a practical matter…I entertain no doubt that they would be compelled, if the injunction were granted, …to continue to employ the plaintiff as their manager and agent…I should if I granted the injunction, be enforcing a contract for personal services, in which personal services are to be performed by the plaintiff.”。

 

7        履约指令不针对难以监督与持续性的合约

 

7.1 持续性监督对法院带来的困难

 

一贯的说法就是法院不会对一些难以监督,特别是要持续履行的合约去作出履约指令。原因是因为这样做的话会对法院带来沉重的压力,例如在履行的期间双方当事人不断要回来法院要求去作出决定。被告或被指令的一方当事人会是要去法院申请对履约指令作出宽免或改变,例如因为身体或家庭等无法控制的原因导致他没有办法在某一段时间去严格履行法院命令。原告会是需要去法院投诉被告阳奉阴违,要求制裁,背后可能是希望对被告加压而达到某一些目的,但也有可能是被告的确是没有严格执行法院的命令。这方面的考虑早在Ryan v. Mutual Tontine Westminster Chambers Association (1893) 1 Ch 116的古老先例(案情涉及了一个酒店式公寓,被告在租约中承诺提供24小时的管家服务,但被告没有提供而导致了原告租客申请履约指令。),Esher勋爵是这样说的:

 

The contract is that these services shall be performed during the whole term of the tenancy: it is therefore a long-continuing contract to be performed from day to day and under which the circumstances of non-performance might vary from day to day. I apprehend, therefore, that the execution of it would require that constant superintendence by the court, which the court in such cases has always declined to give.

 

同样地,Lopes大法官也在同意先例说道:

 

…it is clear that it is such a contract, that, in order to give effect to it by an order for specific performance, the court would have to watch over and supervise its execution. But it is recognised rule that the court cannot enforce a contract by compelling specific performance where the execution of the contract requires such watching over and supervision by the court.”。

 

也是由于这一个理由而导致了不少先例拒绝作出履约指令:Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Co v. Taff Vale Railway (1874) L.R. 9 Ch. App. 331(指令一个铁路公司去操作信号灯与提供发动机动力);Dowty Boulton Paul Ltd v. Wolverhampton Corp. (1971) 1 W.L.R. 204(指令去履行一个60年合约让机场跑道继续开放);De Mattos v. Gibson (1858) 4 D. & J. 276(指令船东去履行航次租约);Braddon Towers Ltd v. International Stores Ltd (1987) E.G.L.R. 209 (在1959年作出判决)和Co-operative Insurance Society Ltd v. Argyll Stores (Holdings) Ltd (1998) A.C. 1(指令被告去开店营业,不管赚钱或亏本);Dominion Coal Co v. Dominion Iron & Steel Co (1909) A.C. 293(指令按期提供货物)。

 

在较近期的先例Vertex Data Science Ltd v. Powergen Retail Ltd (2006) 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 591,案情涉及了原告向被告提供所有管理账目的服务,为期7年(从20054月至20125月)。但双方的关系在合约生效后很快就恶化,导致被告在2006324日就通知原告终止合约,指称原告毁约。原告去向英国法院申请禁令,阻止被告这样做(有关的合约包括了一条仲裁条文,但明确允许双方去向法院申请履约指令或禁令)。高院的Tomlinson大法官拒绝作出禁令或履约指令,其中,最主要的原因是无法去持续地作出监督,因为该合约是需要双方紧密的合作。在双方关系变坏,这种服务合约是根本没有办法以法律准确的语言说明要求被告去做什么或不准做什么,并要去持续监督。

 

7.2  租船合约不去作出履约指令会是因为难以监督

 

以上De Mattos v. Gibson (1858) 4 D. & J. 276的古老先例提到法院是不会在航次租约作出履约指令,主要的原因是该航次租约的条文太不肯定(uncertain and indefinite)可去让法院作出履约指令并去监督它的执行。该航次是从英国装煤炭到苏伊士,在上诉庭有看法是让其他船舶去运载这票煤炭可能会更好,以金钱损失作为赔偿会是更佳的救济办法。这种考虑也包括了期租合约,除了这些合约会需要持续履行(特别是一个较长期的期租合约),笔者认为还涉及了涉外因素会让英国法院更加难以去监督。租约也涉及了只属于一个提供服务的合约,涉及了双方需要合作,通常法院不愿意去强制。以下可去节录贵族院在The “Scaptrade” (1983) 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 253,其中Diplock勋爵所说如下:

 

A time charter, unless it is a charter by demise, with which your Lordships are not here concerned, transfers to the charter no interest in or right to possession of the vessel; it is a contract for services to be rendered to the charterer by the shipowner through the use of the vessel by the shipowner’s own servants, the master and the crew, acting in accordance with such directions as to the cargoes to be loaded and the voyages to be undertaken as by the terms of charter-party the charterer is entitled to give to them. Being a contract for services it is thus the very prototype of a contract of which before the fusion of law and equity a Court would never grant specific performance, Clarke v. Price (1819) 2 Wils. Ch. 157; Lumley v. Wagner (1852) 1 De G. M. & G. 604. In the event of failure to render the promised services, the party to whom they were to be rendered would be left to pursue such remedies in damages for breach of contract as he might have at law.

 

在《Chitty on Contracts3027-028有提到Thus specific performance can be ordered of a contract to publish a piece of music, and sometimes of contracts to build. It has, indeed, been suggested that a time charterparty cannot be specifically enforced against the shipowner undertakes to provide under such a contract will often be no more personal than those to be rendered by a builder under a building contract. Denial of specific performance in the case of time charters is best explained on other ground.。(这是说期租合约应该在有些情况下可以去作出履约指令,因为它不属于自然人的个人服务合约。最后一句的脚注说到法院拒绝对期租合约去作出履约指令会是其他的原因更说得过去,该原因就是要法院太多的监督。笔者还想到一个期租合约的履行通常是在国外(英国外),这就令英国法院去持续作出监督会是更加困难。)

 

但涉及租约倒是有好几个先例法院去作出禁令,不允许船舶在租约期内做出一些与租约不一致的用途。这看来是与履约指令的本质是一致的,现实中也往往会在经济上迫使被告船东去履行原来的租约。唯一对法院的好处就是禁令的措辞会是简单,但要去拟定一份紧密的履约指令要求被告明确去履行他在租约内的所有“作为承诺”(positive obligation)就恐怕是不容易。而且,去作出这种禁令在理论上船东的被告还是有一定的选择,例如在禁令期间,不去作出与租约不一致的用途,但也不必履行原来的租约,就是把有关的船舶去短暂抛老锚,什么都不干。

 

第一个先例Lord Strathcona Streamship Co Ltd v. Dominion Coal Co Ltd (1926) A.C. 108中,枢密院作出的禁令内容如下:“employing or using or allowing to be employed or used the sail steamship…in any way inconsistent with or different from the employment and use provided for it in said time charter-party during the existence of said time charter-party.”。

 

在第二个先例The “Georgios C” (1971) 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 7中,案情涉及了长达2030个月的期租,但船东在履行了几个月之后,以承租人没有准时支付租金撤船。Donaldson大法官在承租人单方面申请下对被告船东作出了一个的禁令,内容如下:“restraining the defendants from employing the vessel in a manner which was inconsistent with the charter-party.”。

 

第三个先例The “Oakworth” (1975) 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 581,案情涉及了多个航次并持续两年的程租合约,二船东的一家挪威公司在履行了7个航次后,把他们期租进来的“Oakworth”轮以更高的运费转租给其他的承租人作其他航次的用途,但还没有开始履行。承租人紧急向法院申请禁令,这在上诉庭也去作出。Denning勋爵说:

 

It is concede that damages would be no adequate remedy. The Norwegian company has no assets and no means except insofar as the vessel can obtain freight from injunction would seem to be the proper remedy.

So the charter, being still in existence and binding, should be performed by the stances of the case, on the undertaking being given, I think the defendants should be restrained from using in any way inconsistent with or different from the employment and use provided in the charter-party.

 

第四个先例LauritzenCool A.B. v. Lady Navigation Inc. (2005) 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 260,案情涉及了一个冷藏船舶的经营集团(Operation Pool)。这就是多个不同的船东把他们拥有的一些冷藏船去期租给一个承租人,让承租人去统筹营运。至于租约的租金就是一条公式,该公式是根据承租人整个船队每个年度所赚取的利润去摊分给整个船队的个别船东。这种做法在某些船型是很普遍的,例如是冷藏船和化学品船。这导致了大量这种船舶都去租给少数几个承租人,导致了他们与货方有很强的议价能力,这也无可避免地带来如美国与欧共体反垄断机构的关注。但不去把话题扯得太远,回到这一个先例的案情,这个经营集团有其中两艘名为“Lady Racisce”与“Lady Norcula 的冷藏船的船东与承租人发生争执,船东指称承租人是非法垄断集团,并且威胁要把船舶撤走。这导致了承租人向船东开始伦敦仲裁,并去向英国法院申请禁令(是一个中间禁令)禁止船东撤船,直到仲裁完毕。显然,如果船东撤船,会对承租人带来很大的麻烦。例如,他与许多不同货方订下的合约会有困难去履行,因为船队少了两艘船舶就会带来调度上的困难,而且这两艘冷藏船是非常特殊,根本无法在市场找到类似的船舶。这会进一步损害承运人在冷藏货运输建立起来的信誉。船东的抗辩就是这种禁令等于是履约指令,不应该针对一个租约去作出。这种服务性的合约需要双方的合作与信任。Cooke大法官认为在这一个案例中去作出禁令不允许船东作出与租约不一致的用途应该是不成问题,说:

 

An order restraining a party from exercising a contractual right, whether justifiably or not, is, both in form and substance, different from an order which restrains an owner from employing the vessel outside the time charter does not in itself compel performance of the charter even though in practice, if the defendant is restrained from other gainful employment for the vessel, it is likely that performance under the charter will continue.

(4) any order which the Court might make would not be a mandatory order since it would be framed to restrain the owners from use of the vessel outside the charter-party contracts into which they freely entered; the orders would be negative in form and negative in substance and there would be no compulsion to perform the charters—only a financial incentive to do so in the absence of any other legitimate available employment; any injunction grant would perpetuate the status quo and would not require some new positive step to be done by anyone.

 

7.3  服务合约不去作出履约指令会是因为难以监督与合约本质不适合

 

在本章第6段有提到自然人的个人服务合约不去作出履约指令的原因,但即使是非个人服务合约(即一家公司为其他公司提供服务),英国法院也通常不愿意去作出履约指令。先去节录《Chitty on Contracts》(30版)之27-025段:

 

Services not of a ‘personal nature’. Specific performance is refused in the above cases because the courts are reluctant to force the parties to enter into, or to continue in, a personal relationship against the will of one of the parties. It follows that the refusal of specific performance on this ground is limited to cases in which the services are personal in nature. Specific enforcement of a contract for the supply of services which are not of this nature may, indeed, be refused on some other ground, e.g. because ‘mutual confidence [has] broken down’ between the person to whom the services were to be provided and their provider. But there is no general rule against the specific enforcement of a contract merely because one party has contracted to provide service…

 

看来提供服务合约即使是公司法人的非自然人,除了法院难以监督持续性的履行外,这种合约在本质上与本章第4段主要介绍的货物买卖合约很不一样,货物买卖合约是需要双方当事人的互信,否则是很难以法院一纸命令去把两个人的合约关系扯在一起。所以在较早前之7.1段介绍的Vertex Data Science Ltd v. Powergen Retail Ltd (2006) 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 591先例中,Tomlinson大法官说这种救济办法是不恰当(inappropriate)与不可行(unworkable)。

 

7.4  建造合约不去作出履约指令会是因为难以监督

 

一般的说法是,英国法院不愿意对建造合约作出履约指令。这在JonesGoodhart的《Specific Performance》(第二版)一书之184页有关建造合约的第一句是说明这一点:“It is commonly said that an English court will not normally grant specific performance of an ‘ordinary building or engineering contract’.”。在这一句的注脚有去说明权威来源,如下:“4(2) Halsbury’s Laws (4th edn, reissue) para 470. There are board judicial statements which deny the very possibility of specific performance; for example, Lucas v. Commerford (1790) 3 Bro CC 166 at 167, per Lord Thurlow; Merchants’ Trading Co v. Banner (1871) LR 12 Eq 18; Cubitt v. Smith (1864) 11 LT 298; Wilkinson v. Clements (1872) 8 Ch App 96. But these must be weighed against the cases cited below, nn 9 and 10 and p 185, n 2.”。

 

看来原因是与本章7.1段所讲的问题是一样,就是建造合约涉及了持续性的、繁重与细微的工程,法院是很难去监督直到工程完毕。这可以去介绍一个先例,即Gyllenhammer & Partners International Ltd v. Sour Brodogradevna Split (1989) 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 403,涉及了造船合约(这也是建造合约)的履约指令申请被法院拒绝的情况。Hirst大法官在该先例说道:

 

…a very complex contract requiring extensive co-operation between the parties on a number of matters, particularly modifications, optional variations, and, perhaps most importantly of all, matters of detail (some by no means unimportant) left undefined in the specification.”。

 

这方面的法律地位的总结可去节录《Chitty on Contracts》(30版)之27-028段所说如下:

 

Building contracts: specific enforcement against builder. The general rule is that a contract to erect a building cannot be specifically enforced against the builder. There seem to be three reasons for this rule. First, damages may be in adequate remedy if another builder can be engaged to do the work. Secondly, the contract may be too vague to be specifically enforced if it fails to describe the work to be done under it with sufficient certainty. And thirdly, specific enforcement of the contract may require more supervision than the court is willing to provide. But where the first two reasons do not apply, the third has not been allowed to prevail. Specific performance of a contract to erect or to repair buildings can therefore be ordered if (i) the work is precisely defined; (ii) damages will not adequately compensate the claimant; and (iii) the defendant is in possession of the land on which the work is to be done so that the claimant cannot get the work done by another builder.”。(建造合约:针对建筑商的履约指令。一个大原则即是一份建造合约不能针对建筑商去作出特定履行。原因有三点:第一,如果能让另一个替代建筑商去完成该项工程,则对雇主的金钱损失赔偿可以是足够的救济。第二,如果该建造合约没有足够确定地阐述建筑商的履约内容及义务,则该合约会因意思过于模糊而无法进作出履约指令。第三,对于履约指令,往往可能需要多于法院愿意承担的监督。但是,当前两个原因不适用的时候,不能仅仅靠第三个原因去作出决定性的考虑。要在建造或修葺大楼的合约下去作出履约指令,应符合以下几种情况:1. 对于合约下的工程有足够精确的定义,即有明示条文说明建造什么与去达致什么样的结果;2. 损害赔偿不足以补偿原告的损失;3. 该工程所在的土地属于被告建筑商,以致原告无法让另一个建筑商去完成该项工程。)

 

看来,一般的说法是英国法院通常不会对建造与工程合约去作出履约指令,并不完全正确或绝对。针对一些在建造合约中比较确定阐述的建筑商义务,去作出履约指令的先例还是有不少,如:Hepburn v. Leather (1884) 50 LT 660(承诺去造一堵特定高度与厚度的墙);Jeune v. Queen’s Cross Properties Ltd (1974) Ch 97(房东要求去修妥倒塌的阳台);Barrett v. Lounava (1990) 1 QB 348Tustian v. Johnson (1993) 2 All ER 675Rainbow Estates Ltd v. Tokenhold Ltd (1999) Ch 64;等。

 

在先例Wolverhampton Corpn v. Emmons (1901) 1 KB 515中,Collins大法官说:“could order specific performance in certain cases in which the works were specified by the contract in a sufficiently definite manner.”。

 

在先例Tito v. Waddell (No. 2) (1977) Ch 106Megarry大法官说:

 

The real question is whether there is a sufficient definition of what has to be done in order to comply with the order of the court. That definition may be provided by the contract itself, or it may be supplied by the terms of the order, in which case there is the further question whether the court considers that the terms of the contract sufficiently support, by implication or otherwise, the terms of the proposed order.”。

 

笔者比较少涉及岸上建造合约,但经常会涉及造船合约。这种造船合约近年来有大量的争议,也经常有买方,也就是船东向仲裁庭申请履约指令的救济。这方面在笔者所著的《造船合约》一书之352-354页也有简单提及,不重复。这一来,造船合约中是否有足够确定的条文的问题会是一个重要的考虑。如果有,比方说有条文说明买方的总管有权去参与船舶交船前的试航,但船厂拒绝让买方参与。又或是船厂拒绝按照造船合约去把建造完毕的船舶交给买方,除非提高船价。这一来,应该可以去明确与针对性地作出履约指令。但相反,如果造船合约中有条文说明买方在交船前有不受到限制的在船舶与船厂观察(unrestricted access on board the vessel and in the shipyard)或说明买方在建造期间可以参与所有的测试与工程,这看来就不够确定。即使去作出履约指令,措辞上也不好掌握。例如买方的人数、时间、不得妨碍船厂的工程、怎样观察、什么测试(例如是否包括一些船厂外的测试?)等。在《造船合约》一书之354页,笔者也有同样的说法是:“在造船合约的情况下,仅在很有限的情况才适用履约指令。如在船舶已经造好,船厂拒绝交船给船东,法院就比较愿意下令要船厂去交船。但如果船舶还没开始建造或只是建造了一半,船东向法院申请作出履约指令要求船厂完成建造该船舶,成功机会应该就是十分渺茫了。”

 

这应该是符合近期的一个重要的贵族院先例Co-operative Insurance Society Ltd v. Argyll Stores (Holdings) Ltd (1998) A.C.1Hoffmann勋爵去区分了“持续性的活动”(to carry on an activity)与“达至一个结果”(to achieve a result),前者应该避免去作出履约指令,但后者就没有问题。这可去节录《Chitty on Contracts》(30版)之27-027段部分所说如下:

 

The main reason given by the House of Lords for refusing to order specific performance was the difficulty of supervising the enforcement of the order since the question whether it was being complied with might require frequent reference to the court. For that purpose, Lord Hoffmann distinguished between orders (such as that suit here) to carry on an activity and orders to achieve a result. In the later case, ‘the court only has to examine the finished work’ so that compliance with the order could be judged ex post facto: it was on this ground that the cases in which building contracts have been specifically enforced were to be explained.。(注意最后一句话是针对建造合约。)

 

从相反的角度,去向雇主作出履约指令允许建筑商去完成一个建造合约的可能性,可去节录《Chitty on Contracts》(30版)之27-029段所说如下:

 

Building contracts: specific enforcement against owner. The converse question may also arise whether the builder can, in effect, compel the owner to allow him to complete the work.  In Hounslow (London Borough) v Twickenham Gardens Ltd (1971) Ch. 223 a building contract gave a builder a contractual licence to enter the owner’s land to execute the agreed work.  The licence was held to be irrevocable till the work had been done, but the owner wrongfully purported to terminate it and sought an injunction to restrain the builder from entering the land, and damages for trespass. These claims failed as the purported termination was wrongful and ineffective.  It seems, however, that if the licence had not been irrevocable, or if the owner’s active co-operation had been required for the completion of the work, the builder’s sole remedy would have been in damages.

 

7.5  难以监督的替代办法

 

有说法是这一个难以监督的困难会是夸大其词,特别是英国法院后来发展到可以找到其他的替代做法。在《Chitty on Contracts》(30版)之27-026段所说:

 

…This suggestion that the ‘difficult’ of supervision has been somewhat exaggerated; and various devices at the court’s disposal can be used to overcome it. The court can, for example, appoint a receiver to perform the acts specified in the order (Gibbs v. David [1870] L.R. 20 Eq 373), or appoint an expert to act as officer of the court for the purpose, or it can authorise the claimant to appoint a person to act as agent of the defendant for the purpose to be done by the defendant personally, the court can order him simply to enter into a contract to procure those acts to be done. From this point of view, Ryan v. Mutual Tontine Westminster Chambers Association (1893) 1 Ch 116 may be contrasted with Posner v. Scott-Lewis19863 All ER 513 where the lessor of a block of luxury flats covenanted, so far as lay in his power, to employ a resident porter to perform a number of specified tasks. It was held that the covenant was specifically enforceable in the sense that the lessor could be ordered to appoint a resident porter for the performance of those tasks.

 

在上述节录,可去介绍其中的一些替代办法以减轻或避免法院的监督。第一种提到的办法是法院去委任一个接管人,把被告的合约履行去接管过来。在Gibbs v. David先例,法院就委任接管人把矿场接管过来继续营运。有关委任接管人,在笔者所著的《仲裁法——从开庭准备到裁决书的作出与执行》一书之841-846页有涉及,并提到全球接管的Marsi v. Consolidated Contractors International Co SAL (2008) 2 Lloyd’s Rep 128先例。

 

第二种办法是委任一个独立专家作为是法院的官员去监督履约指令的执行,这就可以解决本章7.4段的建造合约问题。该独立专家可以每天在建造现场去监督履行,不按照他的决定就会构成藐视法院。

 

第三种办法是授权原告自己去委任一位被告的代理人去履行合约,并举了Posner v. Scott-Lewis先例。

 

其他的办法也显示在The “Messiniaki Tolmi” (1986) 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 455先例,案情涉及了一艘二手船买卖,该船是卖去台湾作为拆废钢之用。估计是由于市场下跌,台湾买方拒绝签发备妥通知书(notice of readiness),这等于是拒绝履行合约。该买卖是通过信用证支付船价,而一份有效的备妥通知书是结汇的文件。信用证是适用英国法,卖方船东向英国法院申请履约指令。英国法院除了作出履约指令外,还指示如果买方拒签,该文件就可以让英国最高院的聆案官(Master)代签(这是根据1981年《Supreme Court Act》之section 39),效力与买方自己签收一样,银行必须接受结汇。看来,这种情况本来是作出了履约指令也很难去监督,因为台湾买方根本不在英国法院的管辖权内。但通过这个做法就可以避免了这方面的困难。

 

7.6       涉外(除了欧盟国家)的服务合约或者建造合约更加难以监督

 

在本章7.2段已经有提到过在租船合约中有这个考虑导致法院不愿意作出履约指令。造船合约也是有这样的考虑,例如在本章7.4段所介绍的先例Gyllenhammer & Partners International Ltd v. Sour Brodogradevna Split (1989) 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 403Hirst大法官就有考虑着一个因素,说:

 

… a very complex contract requiring extensive co-operation between the parties on a number of matters, …. In my judgment these factors, coupled with the consideration that the work take place in a foreign yard, outside the Court’s jurisdiction, would tell strongly against an order for specific performance being in princip, le appropriate in the present case.。(造船合约是一个十分复杂的合约,需要双方大量的合作,特别是在船舶的修改,选择权下的改变,或可能是最重要的是一些没有在造船合约的规范说明中明确规定的地方。上述的因素,加上考虑外国船厂并非在本法院的管辖下,可以说是很不适宜去作出履约指令。)

 

这里的原因就是没有办法去强制完全涉外的当事人(被告)或者合约的履行。只有当被告或者合约的履行是在英国法院管辖权范围内,才有可能作出有效的履约指令。没有办法去强制的原因可介绍一个上诉庭的先例The “Sea Hawk” (1986) 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 317,案情涉及了一票C&F去罗马尼亚的黄豆粕。但船东有严重的经济问题,欠下了不少债务,导致在航次中不断延误与被其他债权人扣船。罗马尼亚的收货人为了取得这票货,

最后只能去对船东作出经济援助,为数500,000美元。该先例的原告是有关船舶的抵押权人,他与资助的收货人,也就是该案的被告,事先达成了约定,就是不在罗马尼亚卸货的时候扣船。由于船东没有办法很快的归还500,000美元,令收货人没有办法去归还这笔钱给融资给他的另一家罗马尼亚政府单位(名为TIMIS),最终导致在罗马尼亚的Constanza卸港把船舶扣押。这导致了船舶抵押权人作为原告向英国法院申请禁令(相等于履约指令要求履行不扣船的承诺),不让收货人去扣船。这被英国上诉庭拒绝,认为救济办法应该是金钱损失赔偿而不是禁令。其中,Mustill大法官就谈到其中一个主要原因是英国法院的禁令或者指令根本没有办法去执行。收货人自己不在英国,也没有任何资产在英国。Mustill大法官是这样说:“Secondly, I am oppressive by the consideration that is the injunction were allowed to stand, it is not susceptible of enforcement by this court. After all, if the evidence adduced on behalf of the defendants is true – and no application has been made to cross-examine the deponents on their affidavits – the defendants cannot pay TIMIS forthwith. What, then, is to happen if an injunction is granted? It seems that the defendants will inevitably be in breach. But this Court would then be powerless to enforce its own order; there is no official of the defendants here who could be the subject of an application to commit for contempt. On the plaintiff’s own evidence, Agroexport have no assets within the jurisdiction which could be made the subject of a sequestration order. it is a general principle of the law as to injunction that the Court should not put itself in the position of making an order which it cannot enforce, and that seems to me to be exactly the position in which may find itself if this injunction is granted.

 

今天受英国法院管辖或伦敦仲裁的涉外服务合约或建造合约为数很多,估计英国法院在今天会是更加愿意去对涉外的被告与在外国履约去作出履约指令,除非是有关的案件还涉及了其他不利作出履约指令的因素。毕竟英国法院已经在一些禁令去这样做了,例如是全球冻结令(worldwide freezing injunction):Babanaft International Co SA v. Bassatne (1990) Ch 13Republic of Haiti v. Duvalier (1990) 1 QB 202Derby v. Weldon (No. 1) (1990) Ch 48Polly Peck v. Nadir (1992) 4 All ER 769。虽然在全球冻结令,情况不同的是主要去履行的对象是银行,他们还是在英国法院的管辖范围内。另一种著名的止诉禁令(anti-suit injunction),更是大部分都是外国的被告。

 

8        履约指令不针对无法去完整履行的合约

 

在早期的一些先例,曾经有一个说法就是履约指令必须针对整个合约的履行。如果其中有部分没有办法去作出履约指令,例如有个别的合约承诺是针对自然人,就不会去作出履约指令。这里可先去举一个早期的先例:Merchants’ Trading Co v. Banner (1871) LR 12 Eq 18Romilly勋爵说:“where the stipulation sought to be enforced is really a part of the contract itself, this court cannot specifically perform the contract piecemeal, but it must be performed in its entirety if perform at all; and where the court cannot perform it in its entirety, neither can it perform any particular portion of it.”。

 

但这一个局限在后来有了放宽,其中是在C.H. Giles Co v. Morris (1972) 1 WLR 307先例,Megarry大法官说:

 

The obligation to enter into a service agreement is merely one part of a contract which deals with many other matters; and that obligation is the only part of that complex which is set not to be specifically enforceable. Now there is authority for saying that the mere presence in a contract of one provision which by itself would not be specifically enforceable (because, for example, it requires the performance of personal services) does not prevent the contract as a whole from being specifically enforced…”。

 

最后可以去节录《Chitty on Contracts》(30版)之27-044段部分所说:“This does not mean that the court cannot order specific performance of one individual obligation out of a number imposed by contract: it means only that it will not make such an order in relation to one such obligation if it cannot so enforce the rest of the contract (Odessa Tramways Co v. Mendel [1878] 8 Ch D 235; Rainbow Estates Ltd v. Tokenhold Ltd [1999] Ch 64; Internet Trading Club Ltd v. Freeserve Investments Ltd [2001] EBLR 142). Even in this restricted sense, the rule is by no means an absolute one. Does where an monetary adjustment can be made in respect of the unperformable part the court may order specific performance with compensation.”。

 

9        履约指令的申请不得怠慢

 

履约指令与禁令的申请通常都需要尽快(特别是禁令更加要动得快),因为一旦怠慢了就会被认为有可能为被告带来不公平与损害。怠慢申请也会被法院视为是原告对被告违约/合约的默许(acquiescence)。另一个说法就是原告申请履约指令,他本身就应该向法院证明他自己是准备、希望、尽快与迫切地想去履行。这可去节录JonesGoodhart的《Specific Performance》(第二版)一书之110页:

 

A party cannot call upon the court for specific performance unless he has shown himself ‘ready, desirous, prompt and eager’ to discharge his own obligations under the contract and has used ‘such diligence as the nature of the case demands’. In the case of a contract for the sale of business property with a fluctuating value, a delay of a few months may be sufficient to exclude the remedy. In other cases, whether the contract is executed or executory, a delay of a year or so will not normally exclude specific performance. In the case of exucutory contracts, unjustifiable delay for anything much more than a year is likely to be a ground for refusing an order for specific performance, though in one case specific performance of an executory contract was ordered after 12 years (partly attributable to war).

 

1980年《Limitation Act》之section 36说明6年的时效不适用在这一种救济办法。即只要原告被视为怠慢(guilty of laches),法院就会拒绝作出履约指令。虽然是不适用,但如果是超过了金钱损失索赔的6年时效,法院通常还是会拒绝作出履约指令:See Firth v. Slingsby (1888) 58 LT 481。实际上,即使是比6年时效短得多,原告也可能已经被视为是怠慢,再去作出履约指令对被告不公平而被拒绝。此类案例有:Watson v. Reid (1830) 1 Russ M 2361年的延误);Lehmann v. McArthur (1868) 3 Ch App 49615个月的延误);Rich v. Galt (1871) 24 LT 74517个月的延误);Lloyd v. Wilkes (1854) 2 Eq Rep 1081(股票买卖,21个月的延误);等。

 

但如果延误没有对双方并没有造成不公平,会有不同的判决。在Mehmet v. Benson (1965) 113 CLR 295Lazard Bros & Co Ltd v. Fairfield Properties Co (Mayfair) Ltd (1977) 121 Sol Jo 793,都涉及了2年的延误,但法院依然作出了履约指令。

 

10  履约指令对相互性原则的要求

 

相互性(mutuality)曾经是履约指令的一个非常重要的原则,就是说在双方都可以取得履约指令的前提下,法院才会给与该救济。判断是否符合相互性的原则的时间点是法院作出判决的时候。

 

这原则是去保障被告在法院的履约指令下,战战兢兢的“重新做人”,不敢在履约中有任何行差踏错。但倒过来原告不受法院任何指令/禁令约束,不必怕乱来,这对被告并不公平。所以,法院想去为被告争取一点的保障,防止将来原告会去违约/毁约的“风险”(risk)。而真的发生(例如在租约的原告/承租人不支付租金),被告的船东因有法院的履约指令在身,只能去一面倒履约。

 

这原则是Buckley大法官在Price v. Strange (1978) Ch. 337所讲的:“The court will not compel a defendant to perform his obligation specifically, if it cannot at the same time ensure that any unperformed obligations of the plaintiff will be perfectly performed, unless, perhaps, damages would be adequate remedy to the defendant for any default on the plaintiffs part.”。

 

在这说法下带来一些争议与案例,如:

 

(i)   未成年人的原告,不能去成功申请履约指令,因为被告将来无法向原告去获得同样保障:Flight v. Bolland (1828) 4 Russ. 298Lumley v. Ravenscroft (1895) 1Q.B. 683。但看来,如果原告申请时已是成年,则合约虽在小孩时订立,是一个“可令无效”(voidable 的合约,仍会去做出履约指令(因为已经提到过相互性原则是在作出判决时去考虑):Clayton v. Ashdown (1714) 9 Vin. Abr. 393 (G. 4) 1。关于“无效”(void)与“可令无效”(avoidable)合约的分别,可参阅笔者的《国际商务游戏规则——英国合约法》一书之203页。

 

(ii) 一般情况下,在一个由自然人和公司法人签订的合约下,是不可以作出履约指令的。因为通常公司法人不能以履约指令强迫自然人去提供个人服务:Stocker v. Wedderburn (1867) 3 K & J 393

 

(iii)     Treitel教授一书之965页,另举一例是:“Thus, if A agrees to grant a lease of land to B, who agrees to build on it, B cannot normally be forced to build; but if he actually does build, he can get specific performance of A’s promise to grant the lease.”。(即A答应了租借一块地给B建造房屋,A是不能向法院获得针对B的履约指令。但如果B履约建造房屋,而是A不履约,B可以从法院获得针对A的履约指令。这就变了一面倒。)

 

与国际商务有较接近关系的是Treitel教授在接下去之966页谈到另一情况时,原告自己的经济情况不稳(plaintiff was doubtful solvency),将来对被告违约/毁约会赔不出钱。这一来,如Burrows在《Remedies for Torts and Breach of Contract》一书(第二版)之370页说,“法院可去要原告提供一定数额的金钱上的担保,以交换作出履约指令”(…The court could grant it [指履约指令] on terms that insure adequate monetary security to the defendant or otherwise provide an incentive for the plaintiff to perform)。这表示履约指令可以是很灵活,例如在有条件下去作出(conditional specific performance)。总言之,这“want of mutuality”的原则有很多例外,也愈加放松,甚至有说法(在Burrows一书)是法院不必去为被告担心将来只是一个“风险”(risk)原告会违约/毁约。

 

相互性原则也是有不少例外,即有不少案件是履约指令只会去针对一方当事人的被告,而不会倒过来去作出。这可去节录《Chitty on Contracts》(30版)之27-047段所说:

 

There are, however, many cases in which specific performance can be ordered in favour of a party even though it could not at the time of contracting have been ordered against him. If A promises to grant a lease of land to B who in return undertakes to build on the land, B’s promise to build may not be specifically enforceable, but if he actually does perform that promise he can get specific performance of A’s promise to grant the lease. Specific performance cannot be ordered against a person who sells land which he does not own and cannot force the owner to convey to him, but if he becomes owner before the purchaser repudiates he can get specific performance. Conversely, a vendor with defective title may be compelled to convey at a reduced price although he could not himself have got specific performance of a voidable contract made during minority even though he could elected to repudiate the contract. And a victim of fraud or innocent misrepresentation can get specific performance although he may be entitled to rescind the contract, so that it could not be enforced against him.

 

JonesGoodhart的《Specific Performance》(第二版)一书之43页,关于担保合同(contract of guarantee)有讲到:

 

Contracts of guarantee are only enforceable against, a defendant if there is a memorandum in writing signed by him. If the defendant has signed a memorandum, the contract may be specifically enforceable against him even though the plaintiff has not sighed a memorandum and cannot be sued.”。

 

11     否去作出履约指令的其他考虑

 

涉及履约指令的其他考虑会有很多,例如在《Chitty on Contracts》(30版)之27-010段,就提到了去考虑言论自由,说:

 

Specific performance may be ordered on grounds unconnected with the question whether the claimant has suffered or is likely to suffer material or financial loss for which he could be satisfactorily compensated by damages. Specific performance has, for example, been ordered of a contract to grant a licence to use a hall for a political meeting; and one reason for making the order was said to be that this form of relief would promote freedom of speech and assembly.”。

 

另外在Channel Tunnel v. Balfour Beatty (1993) 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 291,贵族院不去作出类似履约指令的禁令是为了不去影响双方同意在布鲁塞尔仲裁的仲裁庭权力。

 

履约指令如果对被告会造成极大的困难(severe hardship),也是考虑之一。在Patel v. Ali (1984) Ch 283,被告(一个巴基斯坦女的移民)在出售他的房子时经济情况尚可,可之后急转直下:被告的丈夫抓了去坐牢、多生了2个小孩、自己生病等等。如果法院去作出履约指令,她将会是走投无路,所以拒绝了申请。但如果原告(房子的买方)只能是有金钱赔偿的救济,例如是房子涨了价的差价,这救济会是不灵光,很难相信这位赤穷的女被告会赔得出钱。这导致原告在金钱损失索赔胜诉后仍有一连串的事要去做,但求能够执行判决。例如,把被告“破产”(bankruptcy),或在她的房子下一个“抵债令”(charging order)等等做法。但这些做法都是费时失事,代价昂贵,也会经常无法收回全部欠下的债务。例如,在破产中原告即使有了胜诉判决,仍是一个“无抵押债权人”(unsecured creditor),恐怕不会分到什么钱。所以,怎比得上法院一早就去作出履约指令的救济,把女被告与2个孩子逼走,管她们沦落街头,(对原告而言)干脆利落。

 

法院拒绝作出履约指令,因为没有办法去作出履约指令中的措辞,这一个考虑在较早提到,是在7.4段有关建造合约内没有足够确定地阐述建筑商的履约内容及义务,条文过于模糊而无法去作出履约指令的措辞让被告严格执行。这一个考虑也会在其他情况出现,例如在Bozon v. Farlow (1816) 1 Mer 459,案情涉及了买卖“善意”(goodwill)。这看来是相当于今天的买卖,标的是另一家公司的商誉,反正整个买卖不涉及实质财产,例如是办公楼或货物。这一来,针对履约指令,法院感觉到没有办法去找到适当的措辞。上诉庭的William Grant MR大法官说:“In what way is the court to decree the transfer of such a business?”。

 

如果履约指令会是涉及犯罪、侵权或是不道德,这也是导致了英国法院拒绝作出履约指令,等于强制被告去作出这种事。这里有公共政策的因素,在Hope v. Hope (1857) 8 De  GM & G 731Turner大法官说:

 

The question to be considered is not merely whether the contract sought to be enforced is valid according to the laws of the country in which it was entered into, but whether it is consistent with the laws and policy of the country in which it is sought to be enforced. A contract may be good by the law of another country, but if it be in breach, fraud or evasion of the law of this country, or contrary to its policy, the courts of this country cannot…be called upon to enforce it.

 

另是在Co-operative Insurance Society Ltd v. Argyll Stores (Holdings) Ltd (1998) A.C.1,贵族院拒绝作出履约指令的许多考虑的其中一个是强制被告去继续亏本营业是不道德的,而且也不知道后果会是怎样。毕竟,会有可能的结果是被告的损失会比原告在被告违约/合约所带来的损失更加高昂,造成整体经济上的浪费。

 

去总结说,履约指令的作出与否要考虑的因素实在是数不胜数,而在个别的案件里也会是多得很。这就导致履约指令的申请本身就可能是个昂贵的诉讼,更不用说是在作出履约指令后涉及了监督合约的执行。至于在法院的考虑,就会是把所有的这些因素去平衡后作出整体的考虑。可以说这里也涉及了一定程度的不稳定,毕竟每一位法官不完全一致的裁量权。也会是这些原因,看来履约指令是没有办法替代金钱损失赔偿的救济办法作为首要救济(primary remedy)。

 

12  一个以上无辜方/原告要求履约指令的考虑

 

这种情况会出现在一货两卖或一船两租的情况,导致了有两位甚至更多的原告同时去申请履约指令。这一来,就涉及了法院或者仲裁庭怎样去作出取舍的问题。这方面可去介绍两个著名的先例。

 

12.1  案例之一The Oro Chief

 

这种情况在The “Oro Chief” (1983) 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 509中出现,就是一船两卖,前后出售给了两个买方。如果他们都是无辜方并都要求履约指令,这就涉及了法院或仲裁庭在行使裁量权的时候要去考虑应该指令去履行哪一个买卖合约。在该先例,The “Oro Chief” 是由一家挪威公司先出售给一家土耳其背景名为Eximenco的公司(第一买方)。但Eximenco被卖方指称没有在最后交接的一天支付船价,卖方于是把买卖合约中断。之后,买方把 “Oro Chief”轮转售给另一家名为Levantes的葡萄牙公司(第二买方)。但之后第一买方先是在英国法院单方面申请了禁令阻止卖方把船舶转售,并随即在葡萄牙里斯本把“Oro Chief”扣押。这导致了英国法院在3方当事方(第一买方是原告,卖方与第二买方是第一与第二被告)同意下,针对第一买方的买卖合约下卖方可否去中断合约去作为一个先决问题。如果是不可以,也就涉及了法院应否去作出履约指令强制卖方把船舶去交给第一买方。但如果去这样做,又会涉及了应否去顾及第二被告利益的考虑。注意这些行动是在3方当事方同意下进行,否则就会存在卖方与第一买方要去仲裁,因为他们之间的挪威格式买卖合约有一条伦敦仲裁条文。这一来,变了是要仲裁庭去考虑这些争议了,不论是第二买方能否加进来作为当事人之一。

 

注意是这种争议在二手船买卖经常会发生,而一种情况会是二手船市场在当时急涨,这导致了卖方借一些可能站得住脚或可能站不住脚的理由去把第一个买卖合约终止,而把船舶以更高价格转售给第二买方。而不甘损失的第一买方插手进来,要求强制卖方履行第一个买卖合约。

 

The “Oro Chief”先例,法院在先决问题判是卖方有权去终止第一个买卖合约,所以不存在卖方仍有合约责任必须去交船给第一买方Eximenco,虽然卖方无可置疑也有合约责任去交船给第二买方Levantes。这一来,法院是不需要去考虑选择把“Oro Chief”轮交给第一或者是第二买方。 Staughton大法官也去考虑了如果卖方对第一和第二买方都有合约责任交船的话,这履约指令应该怎样去考虑。看来,考虑的因素涉及了两位买方之间谁比较方便(test of convenience),其中包括了谁对该船舶更加需要,谁的手续麻烦,谁先谁后订立合约,等方面。Staughton大法官是这样说:

 

Eximenco sought to prove that they had a particular need for the vessel as an ore/oil carrier. The attempt failed. An ordinary tanker would have suited them just as well for the time being. And ordinary tankers of similar size are available. Levantes, on the other hand, made somewhat more of a case that they had a special need for this vessel. They – or rather the group of which they formed part – evidently very much wanted the vessel, for good commercial reasons.

 

Against that, the investments which Eximenco have made in the project of buying this vessel is considerable. There is not only the deposit, and similar payments which they have made, and the liabilities which they have incurred to the suppliers of goods and services. There is also the commission on the opening of a letter of credit, and the trouble and expense generally of procuring the Turkish Government machine to finance and authorize the purchase of the vessel. For all this loss and expense they will be left to prove in the liquidation of the owners, if they do not obtain an order for specific performance.

 

Levantes, on the other hand, entered the field much later. They will have incurred far less trouble and expense. Their deposit is apparently in a joint account, unlike that of Eximenco, and so may well be more easily recoverable.

 

Those factors can be taken to balance each other. What remains is that Eximenco were first in the field; and that Levantes came later with their eyes open, knowing that there was a risk that they might lose the vessel to Eximenco. If I had held that there was a subsisting contract to sell to Eximenco, I would have ordered it to be specifically performed.

 

As it is, I declare that the owners are under no obligation to deliver the vessel to Eximenco. In the event of my reaching that conclusion, no other remedy was sought, so I grant none.

 

12.2  案例之二The Stena Nautica (No.2)

 

The “Stena Nautica” (No.2) (1982) 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 336也是涉及了一个以上无辜方去作出履约指令的考虑因素。该船舶(原名“Stena Nordica”轮)的瑞典船东在19765月把船舶出租了5年给加拿大承租人(第一承租人),该租约还给了承租人2个选择权去把租约延长1年与去买下船舶(option to purchase)。事实上,第一承租人行使与打算行使这2个选择权,即在选择了把租约延长1年至1982年,并在1982年底去行使选择权把该船舶买下。

 

该租约是一个比较罕见的安排,就是它不是连续性的5年期租,而只是在每年夏季的4月至10月租用,总共是108天。而其余的时间即长达257天,是把船舶交还给瑞典船东自己去营运。所以,在这5年至6年的租约期间不断要交船还船。这种安排对于一些旅游船舶或者是行走美加大湖区的干货轮,由于只在夏季能够用得上船舶,就经常会作这种安排,例如象著名的The “Nema” (1981) 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 239就是这种安排。

 

198111月至19822月期间,当时船舶是在瑞典船东自己的营运下,他去与另一位比利时承租人(第二承租人)谈判并订立了一份2年的光船租约,而且给了他一个买下船舶的选择权。显然,这是因为第二份租约的租金与买下船舶的价钱很吸引。这个做法是严重违反了第一份租约,因为瑞典船东再也无法去在1982年的夏季开始时(4月)去把船舶交给加拿大承租人,更不用说能去让他行使买下船舶的选择权。

 

1982228日,瑞典船东把船舶交了给比利时承租人。比利时承租人为了把船舶用在横渡英伦海峡的营运而去进行了大量的改装,并把船名改为“Stena Nautica”轮。

 

两位承租人都是无辜与不知情,比利时承租人固然是不知道第一份租约,加拿大承租人也不知道第二份光船租约。到了198232日,加拿大承租人行使买下船舶的选择权,并在36日派了代表去船坞检查船舶,这才导致了整件事情曝光。之后,瑞典船东曾经想以其他船舶替代“Stena Nordica”轮(租给加拿大承租人的原名),但由于替代的船舶完全不适合导致双方谈不拢。

 

312日,加拿大承租人以“一面之词”(ex parte)向英国法院申请了一个中间禁令,禁止船东出售、出租、改装或处理掉“Stena Nautica”(或“Stena Nordica”)轮。在获得中间禁令后,加拿大承租人并送达了一份给比利时承租人,令他不敢去协助或参与藐视法院。

 

46日,上诉庭同意了“权宜安排”,是去让船舶继续在北海营运,以减少在“保持现状”(status quo)的不必要损失/不变:The “Nema” (1982) 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 323。而3位当事人中的2位(船东与加拿大承租人),也同意放弃期租中的仲裁,而去让英国法院尽快去一次过审理这个争议(包括了第3位当事人的比利时承租人各自的法律权利)。

 

总之是,争议后约2个月不到,法院便作出判决。高院的Parker大法官判加拿大承租人有权买这艘船,但比利时承租人的2年光船租约优先。换言之加拿大承租人2年后才能买得这这艘“Stena Nautica”轮,而19824月份要船舶去大湖营运,是要另外在市场租用其他船舶替代。但去了上诉庭,否定了这个好像是“和稀泥”的履约指令,如May大法官质疑:

 

I confess that where I see an order for specific performance, even in respect of a ship, made subject, as it were, to a stay for two years, I am immediately put on inquiry whether, with respect, that constitutes a proper exercise by the learned judge of his discretion.

 

关键是,既然“Stena Nautica”轮不是“真正独一无二”(actual uniqueness),表示金钱赔偿对加拿大承租人业已是足够救济。加上,船东Stena line是瑞典大公司,将来赔得起。故此,对加拿大承租人的履约指令申请被上诉庭完全拒绝。相反,作出了要去履行比利时承租人的2年光船租约(加上有选择权去多家1年租约以及“option to purchase”)的履约指令。

 

笔者去进一步探讨,在The Stena Nautica”先例,如果当时市场上或加拿大承租人没有替代船舶,这混乱情况又如何解决?笔者看来,这可见Societe Des Industries v. Bronx (1975) 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 465先例(它涉及了中间禁令),无辜方要等待612个月才会另有替代。看来,加拿大承租人总会在这么长的时间找到替代船舶吧。反正是,去对两位或以上的无辜方/原告的困境去作出一个平衡,看看谁应该获得履约指令的救济,谁只能获得金钱赔偿的救济。毕竟,只能是有一个无辜方/原告能够获得履行。

 

13  国际仲裁与履约指令

 

在这里也可以去探讨一下在国际仲裁中的履约指令。仲裁员涉及履约指令的权力一早就已经有,在1934年《英国仲裁法》就有section 7:“the arbitrators or umpire shall have the same power as the court to order specific performance of any contract other than any contract relating to land or any interest in land”。接着在1950年《英国仲裁法》,同样一条出现在section 15。而到了1996年《英国仲裁法》,类似的条文出现在section 48 (5) (b):“the tribunal has the same power as the court to order specific performance of a contract (other than any contract relating to land)”。给予仲裁员履约指令的权力是完全可以理解的,因为它是其中一种违约的救济方法。既然仲裁员的任务是去解决争议,判谁是谁非并给予救济,就没理由只是给他一半的权力去作出金钱赔偿的救济,却不给另一半的去作出履约指令的权力。毕竟在很多时候这两个救济是替代性的,在法院就会在拒绝给予履约指令的救济下去以金钱赔偿作出替代。

 

在《仲裁法——从开庭审理到仲裁书的作出与执行》之443页,有讲到在1996年《英国仲裁法》,除了section 48 (5) (b)条文外,还有其他的有关条文针对禁令以及怎样去强制执行由仲裁员作出的指令或裁决书,如下:

 

针对作出禁令裁决书(injunctive award),仲裁员的权力是来自1996年《英国仲裁法》之Section 48 (5) (a),如下:

 

       48.(5) (a) to order a party to do or refrain from doing anything;

 

13.1  怎样去强制执行仲裁员作出的指令与禁令

 

至于怎样去让仲裁员作出这一些有阻吓力的指令与禁令,这就是根据1996年《英国仲裁法》之Section 42 (1),如下:

 

       42. (1) Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the court may make an order requiring a party to comply with a peremptory order made by the tribunal.

 

另外,1996年《英国仲裁法》之section 66规定了可以把仲裁庭的命令与裁决书变为法院的命令或判决:

 

(1) An award made by the tribunal pursuant to an arbitration agreement may, by leave of the court, be enforced in the same manner as a judgment or order of the court to the same effect.

 

《香港仲裁条例》section 2GG也有与《英国仲裁法》类似条文可以把仲裁庭的命令与裁决书变为法院的命令或判决,所以仲裁员作出的履约指令或履约裁决书也就是等于法院所作出,效力是一样,违反的被告同样是有藐视法院的危险。至于在外国或中国大陆的仲裁庭所作出的履约裁决书,他们也可以前来香港或英国根据1958年《纽约公约》取得承认与执行:Xiamen Xinjingdi Group Ltd (厦门新景地集团公司) v. Eton Properties Ltd (Civil Appeal Nos 106 and 197 of 2008) (请看《仲裁法——从开庭审理到仲裁书的作出与执行》之763)。问题是国际仲裁的履约裁决书(performance award)会是在全球各地去执行,主要的执行地显然就是在被告的所在地。这会带来比金钱裁决书(monetary award)困难的多的问题,因为败诉的被告会在许多地方有资产可供执行,包括在一些金融中心。除了机会多了很多,执行起来也相对容易与有经验。

 

例如,去针对中国船厂所作出的一个履约裁决书(这在今天造船合约争议十分之多的情况下经常发生),执行就必须是通过中国法院根据《纽约公约》或与香港相互承认裁决书的协议。但有不少大陆法的国家(例如德国或者法国)虽然也有履约指令(enforced performance)的做法,但就没有藐视法院的说法,只是作为违约救济的其中一种选择。即使是有强制的做法,严厉程度也不一样。例如是德国,在Treitel爵士在《Remedies for Breach of Contract –A Comparative Account》(1991年的再版)之54-55页就提到了德国法院通常不愿意去针对债务人或被告本人,说:“The first noteworthy feature of this scheme of enforcement is the great variety of means of execution provided by the law. The exercise of physical force against the person of the debtor (which is usually considered to be an argument against enforced performance) is a comparative rarity. Generally, the method of enforcement of is specially tailored to the needs of the judgment to be enforced; the exception is the use of penal sanctions to enforce a judgment that the debtor should suffer, or forbear from doing something.

 

该书也举了很多例子,其中针对服务合约(service contract),是根本不会去强制履行,说:

“Where the judgment is for an act which cannot be vicariously performed, execution is by means of fines and imprisonment, but this method of execution is not available for the enforcement of a judgment to render services under a contract of service and in a large number of other cases…

 

… The result is that these judgments for services cannot be enforced at all; the only effective remedy is a claim for damages.”

 

与香港关系更密切的中国大陆,据闻也是同样地位,根本没有藐视法院的概念。虽然不执行法院命令也会有比如拘禁15天不等的惩罚,但据说很少会这样做。而且各地法院的做法也不一致,导致大量法院的指令或禁令不被履行或执行。反正是,相比英国或者香港地区相差很远。

 

这表示仲裁庭作出的履约指令如果是在这些国家或地区去执行,根本就没有英国或香港地区针对这种救济最严厉与最有效的威慑力,效果就会很有疑问。这一来,原告如果事后前来仲裁庭申诉,履约指令或履约裁决书被阳奉阴违,甚至被漠视,仲裁庭能够做什么,改为是金钱损失赔偿?但如果没有金钱损失或损失很难计算又怎么办,例如被漠视的履约指令是允许被告作出检查?笔者还没有答案,但手头已经有案件面对这种问题。     

 

这样看来,估计仲裁庭应该对其作出履约指令或履约裁决书要有保留。除了上述所讲的有效性问题,也包括了公平对待双方当事人的考虑。例如是针对两个来自不同地方的当事人,他们的所在地法律显示了不同严厉程度的执行。针对被告所在地的法院会去严厉执行包括了藐视法院,但作为申请人的原告所在地的法院就不会去严厉执行,甚至不会执行这种命令或者裁决书。这一来,会否是违反了相互性的原则(want of mutuality)?而且为了公平对待双方当事人,应否对可以严厉执行的一方当事人(例如是一家香港公司),也避免去作出履约指令,因为另一方当事人是一家中国大陆的公司,不能与不会去严厉执行一个香港仲裁庭的履约指令的命令或者裁决书?

 

除了执行外,国际仲裁中还会更早出现的问题就是拥有不同法律背景的仲裁员在决定是否能够作出履约指令或履约裁决书的思维过程(mental exercise)不同。如果涉及仲裁员是来自中国大陆或德国,他们只会去把履约指令视为与金钱赔偿的救济没有区分的违约救济手段,估计不会像英国或香港的仲裁员在作决定时会对所有上述介绍过的是否作出履约指令的因素衡量过之后才作出取舍。这一来,仲裁庭如果由这两种不同背景仲裁员组成,就会面对沟通上的困难。而这种由不同思维过程的仲裁庭所作出的履约裁决书在执行时应否被不同对待,在Xiamen Xinjingdi Group Ltd (厦门新景地集团公司) v. Eton Properties Ltd (Civil Appeal Nos 106 and 197 of 2008)先例中据说有争论过,但香港法院拒绝去作出区分。

 

13.2  土地例外”(land exception

 

笔者曾经感觉到奇怪的就是在英国的仲裁法的有关授权仲裁员去作出履约指令,为什么只是针对土地不能去作出。毕竟,由于土地是属于独一无二(uniqueness),通常以履约指令去迫使违约方是被视为更恰当的救济做法。这一来,等于是不鼓励土地争议去仲裁。曾经有一度,笔者怀疑一个原因是土地的转让与争议是非常本地化的,不适宜让仲裁员特别是外国的仲裁员去作出履约指令这种强制性的命令。但这也解释不了为什么早在1934年的立法就已经有了这一个“土地例外”(land exception),因为当时英国也不会有外国仲裁员与国际仲裁这种考虑。笔者这一个疑问,在2008年《Interest, Auxiliary and Alternative Remedies in International Arbitration》一书,Johnny Veeder御用大律师发表了一篇文章,其中涉及了他的猜测是在80多年前,英国普遍对仲裁员的水平与操守抱有怀疑,根本不会把他们去与法官相提并论,所以去给仲裁员作出履约指令的权力抱有怀疑。在当时的英国,绝大部分的仲裁员都不是律师,更加谈不上是资深的律师(而法官正是由国家委任的资深律师担任)。至于为什么只针对土地,该文的解释是在那个年度,土地是一个非常敏感的课题,英国议员刚通过了重要的1925年《财产法》(《Law of Property Act 1925》),带来对土地有关的法律与土地的登记一些重大的改革。这显然不是一个恰当的时机去给私人的仲裁员一个与法官同等的履约指令权利。但问题是到了今天,仲裁员已经有权而且经常在金额十分庞大的商业合约中作出履约指令,为什么偏偏去针对土地就在救济方面缺了一大块的权力。毕竟,不少土地的争议涉及的金额并非是十分庞大。唯一可以说的是,1996年《英国仲裁法》之section 48(针对履约指令的权限)并非是强制性(mandatory),允许订约自由去把它作出改变。这表示涉及土地的合约,可以去明示规定仲裁庭有权作出履约指令,但现实中会有这种警觉性的做法就从来没有听说过。

 

13.3英国仲裁是否还可以让英国法院作出履约指令或禁令?

 

这一个问题是由于1996年《英国仲裁法》生效之后,加强对仲裁的支持,排除法院对于仲裁的干涉,特别是在实质争议方面。显然履约指令针对的都是实质争议,权力是在Section 48(5)(b)明确的赋予仲裁员。另在Section 1(c),也说明法院在1996年立法没有特别规定的情况下是不能去干预仲裁。虽然Section 48是属于非强制性条文,双方可以订约自由去明确把作出履约指令或禁令的权力去同时或任由原告选择去交给英国法院,而且也确实在实践中见到过此类条文,但应该是不多。但在上诉庭Cetelem SA v. Roust Holdings Ltd (2005) 2 Lloyd’s Rep 494的先例,看来英国法院还是在这方面有一个角色。这一个先例在笔者所著的《仲裁法——从开庭准备到裁决书的作出与执行》一书第三章1.5.1段有简单介绍,但并不够详尽,在此再补充一下。该先例涉及了一个控股股权转让的买卖,合约内有一条ICC仲裁条文,仲裁地点是伦敦。重要之处是该合约有一条先决条件就是卖方必须在2005131日之前取得俄罗斯中央银行的批准。要在这个限期内取得批准就所有的文件必须在20041210日之前交给俄罗斯中央银行,虽然这一个时间表并没有在双方的合约内明确规定。有规定的明示条文只有两条,第一条是3.3条文说:“The parties will make their best efforts and provide mutual assistance so that the principal and other conditions precedent are satisfied as rapidly as practicable.”。另一条有关条文是6.8条说:“The parties hereto shall sign up and deliver all the documents, provide all information and take all reasonable and lawful measures that may be necessary or appropriate to the achievement of the purpose of this agreement.”。

 

估计是原告的Cetelem害怕被告的Roust Holdings Ltd(简称RHL)拖延向俄罗斯中央银行提出申请批准,利用先决条件把合约赖掉,所以向英国法院提出一个类似履约指令的申请。至于Cetelem为什么没有向仲裁庭申请,估计原因是仲裁庭还没有成立,而成立时需要一段时间,在紧急的情况下是等不了。申请的履约指令只要求RHL20041229日(这已经是过了1210日)前递交所有的文件给俄罗斯中央银行申请批准,文字上是如下:

A with notice application pursuant to Section 44 for an order requiring RHL by 1600 GMT on 29 Dec 2004 to procure that:

(1)   all documents to be produced by RHL or on its behalf necessary to accompany the application for the authorisation of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation of:

(a)    the transfer by RTL of all its shares in RSC to RCL; and

(b)   the acquisition by Cetelem and sale by RHL of 499,500 shares in RCL representing 49.5% of the outstanding share capital and voting rights in RCL, and deliver to the office of …

(2)   the application is signed by it or on its behalf by its duly authorised representative and also delivered to the office of … 。(上述英文中出现的RTLRSCRCL是属于同一个集团的公司)

 

Cetelem向英国法院申请是根据1996年《英国仲裁法》之Section 44(3),该条文是允许英国法院在紧急的时候去做出命令为了保存证据与财产(If the case is one of urgency, the court may, on the application of a party or proposed party to the arbitral proceedings, make such orders as it thinks necessary for the purpose of preserving evidence or assets)。

 

英国上诉庭同意去作出这一个履约指令,认为该条文的“财产”(asset)一词是包括了合约的权利。Clarke大法官是这样说:

 

“Mr DunningRHL代表律师) correctly accepts that ‘assets’ are not limited to tangible assets but include, for example, choses in action. This is evident, both because section 44(2) refers to ‘property’ and ‘goods’, so that the ‘assets’ must be wider than both …. It seems to me that, once it is accepted that ‘assets’ includes ‘choses in action’, there is no reason to limit them to particular types of chose in action. There may be some other reason for limiting the operation of section 44(3) but I do not see any reason why a contractual right should not be an ‘asset’ within the meaning of the subsection…

 

… It is evidence that the purpose of the order must be to facilitate the arbitration or the enforcement of an award and not to usurp the functions of the arbitral process. However, as I observed earlier, there is nothing in the subsection to limit the power of the court to orders which do not involve a preliminary determination of a contractual right of the parties. I see nothing in the subsection of the Act which provides that the court has no power to make an order which it thinks necessary for the purpose of preserving evidence or assets because it also involve forming a view on the merits of the dispute which the parties have agreed to submit to arbitration or because it involves directing a party to take a step which the contract provides that it must take….”

 

13.4有关履约指令仲裁案件例子之一

 

笔者在实际的仲裁业务中也经常遇到履约指令的申请,本段节与接下去的段节去介绍一些近期遇到的例子以及面对的问题。

 

这是一个中国大陆的仲裁案件,案情涉及了一个FOB买卖,买卖合约本身是涉及了多个航次的付运,其中也有条文规定在每次付运前中国买方要向外国卖方开出信用证以及派船。在前10个航次基本上都算是顺利履行,到了11个航次就开始出问题,因为刚好在那个时候碰上了2008年的金融海啸。这导致了买方不去开信用证,当然也不会派船,而买方的抗辩是不可抗力(force majeure)导致无法履行。外国卖方在多次督促买方履约不果后,去作出了一个仲裁庭看来相对奇怪的决定,就是把存放在外国产地的货物自己安排船舶付运到中国港口 ,也就是买方本来要卸货的港口。卖方的理由是外国的仓库费用很高,而中国相对便宜得多。结果该批货物在中国港口一放就放了1年之久,其间该货物的市场价格也有过很大的波动,包括在某些时间市场价格比该买卖合约的价格还要高。但由于卖方没有提供任何证据或陈述,而买方也没有去追查(例如是要求披露或盘问证人),所以仲裁庭是不会知道在这一个期间买方对这批货物做了些什么。例如是否有试图去向其他的买方出售该批货物,但没有结果。仲裁庭在开庭的时候虽然曾经主动问卖方,他的简单回复是由于存放在中国港口的货物打上了买方的唛头,所以很难去出售。加上去开始了仲裁程序,卖方认为不应该去随意动这票货。

 

在该仲裁,卖方作为原告或申诉人向仲裁庭提出唯一的一个请求就是向买方作出履约指令,要求接收存放在中国港口的该批货物,并马上支付货价以及赔偿有关的损失(这包括了两个港口的仓库费用,以及把货物付运至中国港口的运费,等)。

 

反正笔者看来(也就是仲裁庭的看法),这是一个很奇怪的做法,也认为卖方有很多的错误理解。长话短说,仲裁庭判是在责任方面,中国买方的确是违约/毁约,因为全球金融海啸不足以令所有的商业合约全部无法履行,这也包括了该买卖合约,所以不可抗力的抗辩理由被否定。但接下去仲裁庭也认为卖方有很多奇怪的做法与错误的理解,这包括了:(一)卖方作为毁约的受害人是有权去向买方提出索赔,由于该种货物(有市场的商品)可以随意在市场上买卖,卖方理应去减少损失,而不是去增加损失。而他没有减少损失所带来的后果是要自己承担的。而即使开始了仲裁也不影响卖方有减少损失的责任,包括去在市场高价的时候转售。(二)如果卖方说货物是因为有了买方的唛头而无法再在中国港口出售给其他买方,就更加应该一早在外国装港就安排去出售给第三人,以减少损失,并向买方提出索赔差价。(三)最莫名其妙的是卖方自己安排把货物付运到中国港口,这好像是非要把这票货卖给该毁约的买方,这同时把原来的FOB买卖从根本上变为了CIF买卖。在笔者看来,卖方一去这样做,就应该视为是从行动上接受了买方的毁约,而原来的FOB买卖合约也就终止。

 

但仲裁庭包括笔者最不能接受的就是卖方所提出的履约指令救济以及支付货价。显然,这一个案件以金钱赔偿作出救济的做法是完全恰当,甚至是唯一的。因为在买卖合约终止后,接近1年的时间,哪里还有买卖合约去履行并作出指令?再说,履约指令只能针对原来的FOB买卖,而不能针对卖方一厢情愿去改变为的CIF买卖。这一来,即使买方去履约,开出信用证与派船去外国装港,哪里还有一批货物等待去装船。反正是仲裁庭一致的意见去否定了卖方的请求。但接下来就出现了笔者与其他两位仲裁员的不同意见,这就是涉及了接下去的程序。本来整个仲裁庭都一致认为是中国买方毁约,理应作出赔偿或承担后果。只是因为卖方所提出的救济办法不恰当,导致了败诉。本来在这一个案件去要求履约指令的救济明显是不恰当,因为对笔者而言是有太多的理由,如本章第4段的金钱损失赔偿应是足够救济,第9段的怠慢申请,等。而更大的原因笔者是认为该FOB买卖合约根本无法去重生去全面履行。但即使去这样提出,也可以去同时请求一个替代的救济,就是金钱赔偿的救济。这一来,在审理的时候,仲裁庭去否定了履约指令的救济就可以马上去作出对金钱损失的赔偿,一次审理就可以终局。但在这一个案件,已经是提到过卖方只提出履约指令的救济,虽然也有去涉及金钱损失例如是两个港口的仓库费用,但并不完整而且最大的一项也就是买方毁约所带来的货价损失(通常是市场价格与买卖合约价格的分别)也根本没有去提到或提供任何证据(例如是有关时段的市场价格)。

 

这里就带出了一种在中国大陆与国际上是非常不一致的做法或理念,而且是十分危险的。该做法或理念就是在每一个案件中不能去提出 “替代请求”(alternative case),原因是去提出替代请求,在部分法官与仲裁员的眼中是一种示弱的行为,显示了申诉人对他的“主要请求”(primary case)没有信心。笔者是完全不能接受这种说法,并认为所说的原因是非常片面与站不住脚。笔者认为去提出一个主要的请求再加上其他5个或10个替代请求,等于是为自己多设下几道防线,没理由是不值得鼓励。去这样做更加说得通的理由是去提出多个替代请求(如果有的话)不代表提出的一方当事人对他的主要请求是绝对有信心,但唯一没有信心的就是部分法官或仲裁员会犯错与判错,所以去多设下几道防线,希望有关的法官或仲裁员不会由头错到底。再去举一个更说得通的理由是,法官与仲裁员作出判决或裁决,根据的是有关案件的法律地位与相关证据的强弱,至于双方当事人有没有信心根本就不是一个作出判决或裁决考虑的因素。再说,当事人有没有信心也是与他的水平有关,一个很差劲的当事人与他的代表律师经常会在一个毫无希望的案件中满怀信心直到死到临头,这种情况经常见到。所以,笔者是根本没有办法接受中国大陆这一种说法。此外也要去看看这对整个社会来说是不是一个好的做法,答案显然就是否定的。因为去允许申诉人对同一个案件一次又一次地提出不同的请求,例如是先提出的违约请求失败后,又重新申请仲裁去提出一个侵权的请求,这样的做法会使案件没完没了,显然是非常劳民伤财。另一个非常重要的考虑就是中国的这个说法是与世界上普遍与传统的说法有很大的不同,国际上是有一种“一事不再审”(issue estoppel)的说法,是严格禁止这种做法,要求诉讼双方必须把所有的不同请求与替代请求一并去一次过提出与审理。本来,要去与其他人或其他国家有重大的不同之处,其实一点都不困难。难的就是自己的不同在客观上与实际上看来是比其他人或其他国家优越,这才值得是去与大家走不同的道路。

 

笔者也经常会见到案件在所有的请求都被否定,但只有一个看来比较次要的替代请求被法院或仲裁庭接纳而获得最后的胜诉。有关这一个课题在笔者《仲裁法——从开庭审理到裁决书的作出与执行》一书的第十章有详述。该书的第一章之5.3.3.3.2段也提到了英国律师的做法就是任何替代请求都提出,千万不要遗漏任何一个,即使是被法院或仲裁庭接纳的希望很渺茫。毕竟,希望在人间,这个希望包括了部分法官或仲裁员会错判,但就足以扭转大局。所以,英国律师如果漏了一些说得过去的替代请求,则会使一种典型的专业疏忽并会被当事人追究责任。在英国新的《民事诉讼规则》中,就带来了一种做法希望去减少诉讼费用,这就是一方当事人如果去提出一些法院看来是无望的替代请求,而且最终是没有发生奇迹地败诉,他是要承担花费在该替代请求的诉讼费用,即使他在整个案件中是胜诉方。这样的规定显然是为了去不鼓励双方当事人与他的律师把诉讼搞得太大,什么都去争一大轮,导致费用相应地增加。的确有不少律师在实务中会把一个简单的争议去扩大至有10或以上的替代争议,导致原来只需要1天的开庭变成了10天。笔者在《仲裁法——从开庭审理到裁决书的作出与执行》一书第463页也举了一个例子说:“可以说:在一个看来简单的案件,高水平的律师很容易把一个争议事项变成十个以上的‘替代性争议或争端’(alternative issues)。笔者最近接触到一个案件,涉及中国船厂作为被告,他唯一的抗辩是双方曾经就利息达成口头协议。显然,这种抗辩是会有50%甚至是以上的败诉机会,因为对方的德国船东否认有这种口头协议,并责问这么重要的事项为什么不留下文书记录。结果有了熟悉英国法的帮手,中国船东对抗辩作出重大的修改,加上了四五项强而有力的争议或争端(issues),如果高的利息是惩罚性条文,弃权与禁止翻供,非法等。”接下去该书还提到了该案件在后来的抗辩提出了多项替代争议后,估计德国船东感到心里没底,结果很快就与中国船厂作出庭外和解,而和解是令中国船厂感到十分满意的。

 

接下去再回到上述中国大陆的仲裁案件,笔者在否定了泰国卖方的履约指令请求后,建议在该裁决书是以中间或部分裁决书的形式作出,以保留权力去审理金钱损失赔偿的救济,毕竟在责任方面是已经判了中国买方毁约。但其他两位仲裁员认为应该去作出终局的审理,至于卖方将来如果要去提出金钱损失赔偿的救济,可以重新去提出仲裁申请,甚至去组成另一个仲裁庭。这最终导致了笔者针对这一个方面去给了一个不同的意见,如下:“本人杨良宜是完全同意本裁决书,唯一的异议时本裁决书应否属于一份部分裁决书,或是整个仲裁的最后才结束。本人是认为他应该是一份部分裁决书,所以本仲裁庭应该明示保留权力去处理本案其他的争议,但不影响在本裁决书已经作出裁决的部分是属于终局。主要的原因是:申请人的主要甚至是唯一的请求的要被申请人接收合同争议的货物,换言之,是要求一个实际履行的救济。这被本仲裁庭视为是不合适而否定,虽然是裁决被申请人拒绝按订购合约规定受领货物是重大违约。但实际履行的救济本质上只是一种次要救济,所以被否定也就表示首要救济的金钱赔偿才是合理的救济方式。这一来,本人认为仲裁庭应该保留这方面的权力去处理本案件其他余下的争议,包括损失赔偿。”

 

本章稍后还会介绍一些其他笔者处理过的有趣的案件,特别在今天很多造船合约争议都会涉及要申请履约指令的问题。但暂时还没有完成,只能提供以上让大家先睹为快。

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