Le contrat d'adhésion entre professionnels

Abstract : The professional, supposed to be able to defend his interests, by opposition to the employee or the consumer, has proven to also be victim of imbalanced contracts for a few decades. The emergence of powerful private companies in various sectors clearly leads to inequalities between professionals. Our study underlines the difficulty to find the best criterion to identify what a professional weaker party is. It is impossible to say that globally such company is stronger than another because the legal person party to the agreement can hide many interests, which are hard to seize at first sight. Nor can the judge arbitrate prices in an authoritarian way without risking a misappropriation of his part. We shall side for this idea: a business-to-business agreement is to be qualified of adhesion contract as long as it does not give place to adequate bargaining; so the judge has to look the bargaining process and the circumstances preceding the contract. Many criteria can help the judge such as the size of the company, market parts, exchanged words, the good or bad faith of the parties or the efforts they have made. If we consider the bargain analysis as the ultimately rightest choice, we have to contemplate its limitations. It would not be realistic to consider that the judge could always discover every circumstance prior to the agreement. This is why we shall join a system of presumptions - albeit rebuttable - to the bargain analysis, when the difference of size of companies or the disproportion of provisions is obvious. We shall put into light the strategies used by strongest parts to bypass the bargain analysis, such as harmful clauses or internationalization tactics. Thus, we shall opt for high obligatory standards, as well as in national law than in international law. Once the bargain analysis is done, we shall try to suggest sanctions adapted to the concern. The judge, in our opinion, must be able to modify the agreement in a very flexible way, either retroactively or during the implementation of the said agreement. The gravity of various contractual behaviors must lead us to think about a form of criminal law or a "quasi criminal" law in order to combat those behaviors in a more suitable mean. Nevertheless, the protection of the professional weaker part is also to be dealt on a procedural ground. A proceeding for interim measures is likely to face the needs for celerity, which bother the weakest parts for their action. We shall also underline the advantages of a class action, which could overcome the financial issue of the lawsuit. Conversely, the legal security of business will bring us to foster a protection by a soft law system. First Part: The identification of the business-to-business adhesion contract. Second Part: The judicial treatment of business-to-business adhesion contracts.
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Cyril Briend. Le contrat d'adhésion entre professionnels. Droit. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015USPCB177⟩. ⟨tel-01617483⟩

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