Image of Good Faith Subjects of Law in Legal Cultural History: Definition of Universal Standards

Keywords: legal culture, good faith principle, good faith subject, common sense, reasonable person

Abstract

The article is devoted to the problem of Good Faith Subjects` status in law. For a better understanding of the problem, image of
good faith subjects of law in Ancient Rome was analyzed. In particular, it was found that in roman law, the term bonus pater familias
(good family father) refers to a standard of good faith subjects of law. In the English version, this concept was translated as «that of a
man of ordinary prudence in managing his own affairs».
The concept of a gentleman in the English legal tradition is specially studied.
English noun ‘gentleman’ dates back to the Old French word ‘gentilz hom’ (graceful, refined man). That was why the social ca -
te gory of gentleman is considered as “the nearest, contemporary English equivalent of the noblesse of France.” (Maurice Hugh Keen).
Now, a gentleman is not just any man of good and courteous conduct, but a certain person having legal personality in accordance
with the standard of common law.
In conformity with the dimension of public law, the English social category of gentleman captures a right of certen classe of the
British nobility.
But in accordance with modern private law the connotation of the term gentleman corresponds to the Rome legal institute of
bonus pater familias.
The double origin of this term from the status of a knight and the social position of the merchant causes a controversial interpretations
of its meaning.
In contemporary usage, the word gentleman is ambiguously defined, because “to behave like a gentleman” communicates as little
praise or as much criticism as the speaker means to imply; thus, “to spend money like a gentleman” is criticism, but “to conduct a business
like a gentleman” is praise (Walter Alison Phillips).
In modern International Trade Law a gentleman is essentially a ‘man of sense’, ‘а man of judgment’ or a reasonable person.
So United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (1980), The UNIDROIT Principles of International
Commercial Contract and the Principles of European Contract Law provided a rule, which offers an opportunity for such an interpretation.
‘the contract is to be interpreted according to the meaning that reasonable persons of the same kind as the parties would give
to it in the same circumstances’.
It led to the conclusion that the modern image of a good faith subject to the greatest extent actualizes the criterion of common
sense.

References

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Published
2020-11-10
How to Cite
Sharkova, I. (2020). Image of Good Faith Subjects of Law in Legal Cultural History: Definition of Universal Standards. Law Review of Kyiv University of Law, 1(3), 56-59. https://doi.org/10.36695/2219-5521.3.2020.08
Section
State and law theory and history. Philosophy of law