Rabello, A.M., The Gift Law, 5 728-1968 in Commentary on Laws Relating to Contracts, Tedeschi, G., ed., (Jerusalem, 1979, in Hebrew) 66
Per Silberg, J. in Estate of Finkleslein v. Finklestein (1968) 22(i) P.D. 618.
5 34 L.S.I. 181. We refer especially to the section repealing recourse to English law on the basis of Art. 46 of the Palestine Order-in-Council.
6 It is well-known that Prof. Zeltner was one of the leading proponents of this method, at least insofar as German law is concerned; see
Zeltner, , “Thoughts on the Draft Bill of the Contracts (General Part) Law 5730-1970” (1973) 3
Iyunei Mishpat 121, 132
. But this approach is not foreign, within certain limits, also to
Barak, A., “The Independence of the New Civil Codification: Risks and Prospects” (1976) 7
Mishpatim 15, at 24
Yadin, U., “Again on the Interpretation of Knesset Laws” (1970) 26
HaPraklit 358, at 364
Friedmann, D., “On the Interpretation of Modern Israeli Legislation” (1977) 5
7 All sections brought here are as translated in
Hooper, C.A., The Civil Law of Palestine and Trans-Jordan, vol. I (Jerusalem, 1933), vol. II (Jerusalem, 1936).
8 This was the view of Prof. Tedeschi, as well, who writes, inter alia: “Other than the Mejelle, there is no law, either in practice or proposed, that grants force to remission as a unilateral act”.
Tedeschi, , “Repeal of Mejelle – Background and Timing” (1972) 2
Iyunei Mishpat 458, at 459
. And see
Tedeschi, , “About the Gift Law” (1969) 1
Mishpatim 639, at 642
9 This is the opinion of Chehata:
“L'acceptation du debiteur n'est point exigée. Il semble cependent qu'elle est toujours présumée … La remise est si bien considerée comme une convention qu'elle est assimilée à un contrat translatif de proprieté … La remise peut revêtir la forme d'une transaction d'une dette, elle, n'est jamais possible que si elle est consentie au débiteur. Elle s'analyse alors en effet, en remise de dette.” Ch.
Chehata, , Théorie général de l'obligation en droit musulman hanefite (Paris, 1969) pp. 93
(I wish to express my thanks to Dr. Yaacov Meron for referring me to Chehata's book). If this is indeed the case, then in Islamic law, as well, we find the same procedure that we find in many other legal systems and that emphasize the consensual nature of remission.
10 See the Repeal of the Mejelle Law, 5744-1984, and see
Tedeschi, , “The Centenary of the Mejelle“ (1969) 25
; Tedeschi, “Repeal of Mejelle,” supra n. 8;
Tedeschi, , “Le Centenaire de la Mejellé” (1969) Rev. int. de droit comparé
Maimonides, , Law of Sales
Acquisition and Gift
(in Maimonides, Mishneh Torah).
Shulkhan Arukh, Hoshen Mishpat, chap. 241, sec. 2;
Herzog, I., The Main Institutions of Jewish Law (London, 3rd ed., 1967) vol. II, p. 230
Maimonides, , Law of Sales
15 Herzog, supra n. 12, at 229.
Arukh HaShulkhan, Hilkhot Matana
17 Herzog, supra n. 12, at 232.
Mahaneh Ephraim, Hilkhot Zekhia MeHefker, chap. 11.
Smyth (Ross T) & Co. Ltd. v. Bailey, Son & Co.  3 All E.R. 60, at 70.
Halsbury's Laws of England (4th ed., 1974) vol. 9, para. 571.
Treitel, G.H., The Law of Contract (6th ed., 1983) 83
22 “The waiver spoken of in the case is an entire abandonment and dissolution of the contract”, Price v. Dyes (1810) 17 Ves 356, at 364.
23 “To say that a claim is to be waived is incorrect if a right has accrued. It must be released or discharged by deed or upon consideration.” Atlantic Shipping & Trading Co. Ltd. v. Louis Dreyfus & Co. [1922[ 2 A.C. 250, at 262.
Brikom Investments Ltd. v. Carr  Q.B. 467, at 488, 491.
25 Halsbury, supra n. 20, at para. 572.
27 G.H. Treitel, supra n. 21.
Charles Rickards Ltd. v. Oppenheim (1950) 1 K.B. 616.
29 Halsbury, supra n. 20, at para. 574.
Chitty on Contracts, Vol. 1: General Principles (London, 25th ed., 1983) 825
31 Halsbury, supra n. 20, at para. 594.
Preston v. Christmas (1759) 2 Wils 86.
33 Zeltner reaches a similar conclusion concerning English law, in his book
The Law of Contracts of the State of Israel (Tel Aviv, 1976, in Hebrew) vol. II, p. 130
: “In such circumstances, there is a fundamental rule concerning recourse to English law that renunciation and remission be effected by contract, a rule that, in English law, derives from the very requirement of consideration.”
Carbonnier, J., Droit Civil (Paris, 1974) vol. 4, p. 514
H., et Mazeaud, L. J., Lecons de droit Civil, Obligations (Paris, 1973) 1101
Ripert, G.–Boulanger, J., Traité de droit civil (Paris, 1957) vol. II, p. 690
; J. Carbonnier, supra n. 34, at 514; H. et L. J. Mazeaud, supra n. 34, at 1101. On the theory of Juristic Act (act juridique) in general, see
Paton, G.W. & Derham, D.P., A Textbook of Jurisprudence (Oxford, 4th ed., 1972) 315
36 Mazeaud, supra n. 34, at 1107.
Raynaud, P., Marty, G., Droit Civil, Les Obligations (Paris, 1962) Vol. I, p. 853
39 J. Carbonnier, supra n. 34, at 514.
40 H. et L. J. Mazeaud, supra n. 34, at 1101 et seq.
41 P. Raynaud, G. Marty, supra n. 38, at 853.
42 The German Civil Code, transl. by I.S. Forrester et al. (South Hackensack, N.J., 1975).
Larenz, K., Lehrbuch des Schuldrechts, Band I, Allgemeiner Teil, (11th ed., 1976) 217
Esser, J., Schuldrecht, Allgemeiner Teil, Band 1, (4th ed., 1920) 179
Fikentscher, W., Schuldrecht (Berlin, 7th ed., 1985) 207
46 On pactum de non petendo see ibid., at 219;
Berger, A., Encyclopedic Dictionary of Roman Law (Philadelphia, 1953) 615
Soergel-Siebert, , Kommentar zum Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch (1967) vol. 2, p. 492
Cohn, E.J., Manual of German Law (London, 2nd ed., 1968) vol. 1, p. 236
Palandt, O., Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch (München, 1986) § 397, p. 436
50 Also see in the case law, R.G. 72 p. 171; 110 p. 418.
51 R.G. Book 16, p. 1865.
52 Sec. 1360(A) of the B.G.B.; also see sees. 1614, 1615 (E).
53 Palandt, supra n. 49, loc. cit.
Berner, , Kommentar zum Schweizerischen Privatrecht, Obligationen, (Bern, 1941–1945) band VI, p. 604
Guhl, Th., Das Schweizerische Obligationsrecht (Zurich, 1972) 268
Engel, P., Traité des obligations en droit suisse (Neuchatel, 1973) 514
The Italian Civil Code, translated by Betrams, M., Longo, G.E., and Merryman, J.H. (New York, 1969).
Tilocca, E., “Remissione del debito” in Novissimo Digesto Italiano (Torino, 1968), Vol. XV, pp. 389
Trabucchi, A., Istituzioni di Diritto Civile (Padova, 27th ed., 1985) 571
Rescigno, P., Manuale del Diritto Privato Italiano (Napoli, 1985) 632
58 Cass. 10.5,1967 n. 959, according to which the result of acceptance is to make the remission irrevocable. Another case, Cass. 24.6.1968 n. 2111, attributes the same result to the passage of reasonable time without the debtor's opposition.
Stolfi, G., Teoria del negozio giuridico (Padova, 1947) 50
Ferrera, Cariota, Il negozio giuridico (Milano, 1948) 140
Betti, E., Teoria generate del negozio giuridico (Torino, 1950) 293
Perlingieri, P., Remissione del debito e rinuncia al credito (Napoli, 1968); Idem, Modi di estinzione delle obligazioni diversi dall'adempimenlo, Commentario del Codice Civile a cura di Scialoia e Branca (Bologna, 1975) 168 et seq.
61 See the discussion of the problems and references to the opposing literature in Tilocca, supra n. 57.
62 Arts. 1187-1194: “De la Condonacion de la deuda”. The doctrine also employs other terms, such as Quita, Remision, Renuncia. See
Tobenas, Jose Castan, Derecho civil espagnol comun y Foral, (Madrid, Reus, ed., 1978) vol. III, p. 393
63 As, for example, delivering the promissary note to the debtor (art. 1187, sec. 1) or delivering the security interest, though in this case the remission is only of the right to hold the security interest and not of the debt itself. See Castan Tobenas, supra n. 62, at 397.
64 This system of presumptions has been subject to criticism under the doctrine, see Castan Tobenas, loc. cit., and see the section concerning the Argentinian code.
Brutau, Jose Puig, Fundamentos de derecho civil (Barcelona, 1959) vol. I, p. 364
. This scholar objects to the very notion of remission for consideration. In his opinion, it is the absence of consideration that characterizes remission.
66 See Castan Tobenas, supra n. 62, at 394.
68 See Puig Brutau, supra n. 65, at 362-363.
69 According to Puig Brutau, this assertion is quite weak. The consent of the other party does not characterize remission as even absent consent the remission will be valid as an “implied remission”, see Puig Brutau, supra n. 65, at 363.
70 Art. 632 establishes that a gift of chattels requires the consent of the donee as long as the transfer of the object is not made simultaneously. Under art. 633 a gift of real property requires a notarized protocol. The donee may express his consent in that protocol or in a separate protocol.
71 See the decision in
y Maranon, Leon Medina, Leyes Chiles de Espana (Madrid, Reus ed., 1943) 338
. See the criticism of this decision in Puig Brutau, supra n. 65, at 367 and in Castan Tobenas, supra n. 62, at 395.
Tedeschi, G., “On the Technique of the Future Legislation in Israel” in Studies in Israel Law (Jerusalem, 1960) 69, at 81
73 See sec. 2209 of the Civil Code of Mexico and sec. 1515 of the Civil Code of Uruguay.
74 Sec. 1654 of the Civil Code.
75 Sec. 1517 of the Civil Code.
76 Sec. 1053 of the Civil Code.
77 Sec. 1326 of the Civil Code.
78 Sec. 1282 of the Civil Code.
79 See secs. 868-875 of the Civil Code in regard to renunciation and sees. 876-887 in regard to remission.
Borda, G., Manual de Obligaciones (Buenos Aires, 1974) 377 and 382
Llambias, J.J., Codigo Civil Anotado (Buenos Aires, 1978) vol. II, p. 857
82 Sec. 868 of the Civil Code. However in the case of renunciation of proprietary rights it is a unilateral act. G. Borda, Manual, supra n. 80, at 378.
84 Sec. 1789 of the Civil Code.
85 Thus it may be that there is no difference between a case where A gives a sum of money as a gift and where A lends money to B and later waives his right to repayment: G. Borda, supra n. 80, at 381;
Llambias, J.J., Benegas, P. Raffo, Sassot, R.A., Compendio de Derecho Civil, (Buenos Aires, 1976) 535
86 The same rule appears in regard to gifts, sec. 1789.
87 See the case law brought in J.J. Llambias, Codigo, supra n. 81, at 872.
88 In Argentina, as in many other countries, the doctrine basically claims that remission can be only gratuitous. Where there is consideration, we may speak in terms of, e.g., transaction, or novation, or datio in solutum.
90 Clearly, the norm does not rule out the possibility of other cases of implied remission.
91 Sec. 878, which is based upon sec. 1282 of the Napoleonic Code. The norm had already been the subject of criticism in France: G. Ripert, J. Boulanger, supra n. 35, at 692. In Argentina, it was recommended that both presumptions be repealed and that the rules of renunciation and remission be unified. See:
Llambias, J. J., Tralado de Derecho Civil, Obligaciones, (Buenos Aires, 1977) vol. III, p. 171
The Netherlands Civil Code, Book 6: The Law of Obligations. Draft Text and Commentary, edited by the Netherlands Ministry of Justice (Leyden, 1977).
93 Text at p. 36 and Commentary at p. 234.
94 U. Yadin, supra n. 6, at 365.
95 A. Barak, supra n. 6, at 21.
96 But it should be noted that this term vitur was translated as waiver in sec. 55(c) of the General Contracts Law, as we have already seen above. The term is similarly translated in sec. 12 of the Family Law Amendment (Maintenance) Law, 1959 (13 L.S.I. 73). And in light of this we examined the meaning of waiver in English Law.
Amina Abed et al. v. Nemni et al. (1983) 37(ii) P.D. 606, at 615.
100 We entirely agree with the decision of the Supreme Court in Mizrahi v. State of Israel (1986) 40(iii) P.D. 163 et seq. This case may be viewed as one wherein “a person acted due to the necessity of the circumstances and not-due to the weighing of the commercial value, which is like a waiver of the remainder of the debt.” per Goldberg, J.
Ben-Haim v. Cohen (1980) 34(i) P.D. 564, at 570.
Winter, Greenwald and Others v. A. Pfeffer (1970) 24(ii) P.D. 541, at 548.
Cf. Z. Zeltner, supra n. 33, at vol. I, p. 79; A.M. Rabello, supra n. 3, at sec. 51. And cf. Tilocca, Remissione del Debito, supra n. 57, at 412 et seq.
104 On the burden of notice see recently:
Tedeschi, G., “Burden and Frustration” (1987) 16
Mishpatim 335, at 353
105 And cf. Estate of Wessner et al. v. Gutman et al., (1975) 29(i) P.D. 315 per Berinson, J.
Santoro-Passarelli, , Dottrine generali del Diritto civile (Napoli, 1959) 121
Rescigno, P., Studi sull'accollo (Milano, 1958) 120
ManigK, , Das rechtswirksame Verhalten (Berlin, 1939) 279
107 By this we reject the theory of Allara,
Le fattispecie estintive del rapporto obbligatorio, (Torino, 1952) 254
, according to which rejection of remission is “a type of renunciation of the remission”. As opposed to this view, see
Ferri, L., Rinunzia e rifiuto (Milano, 1960) 20
108 See also
Shalev, G., “Promise, Estoppel and Good Faith” (1987) 16
Mishpatim 295, at 321
Maimonides, , Laws of Acquisition and Gift
Rescigno, P., Incapacitá naturale e adempimento (Napoli, 1957) 117
111 Thus in Italian law, P. Rescigno, ibid., at 119 et seq.: for Israeli law, cf.
Englard, I., The Capacity and Guardianship Law, 5722-1962, in Commentary on Laws Relating to Contracts, Tedeschi, G., ed., (Jerusalem, 1972, in Hebrew).
112 Secs. 34-38 of the Contracts (General Part) Law, 1973, and see
Shalev, G., Contracts for the Benefit of a Third Party, in Commentary on Laws Relating to Contracts, Tedeschi, G., ed., (Jerusalem, 1977, in Hebrew).
114 In our opinion, the section of the Succession Law should be given a restricted interpretation and it should not be deemed to include gifts of future property. As regards renunciation, where there are results that are in part inter vivos and in part mortis causa, the rules of gifts or of succession will apply accordingly. See also Rabello, The Gift Law, supra n. 3, at 49, and section 6 of
Report on Gifts (Civil Code Revision Office) (Montreal, 1975): “‘A gift which takes effect partly inter vivos and partly on the death of the donor is subject to the rules governing gifts and those governing wills, according to the circumstances’. This Article is based on the second part of Article 77. It makes no mention of ‘future property’, an unclear concept which authors identify only as being the opposite of ‘present property’. This concept is made superfluous as a result of Article I”. On the problems arising today in the identification of future property in Quebec, see
Roch, H., Donations, testaments, legs, executeurs testamentaires in: Traité de droit civil du Québec (Montreal, 1953) vol. 5, p. 114
115 Rabello, The Gift Law, supra n. 3, at 47 et seq.
Tedeschi, G., “Duty of Maintenance in Israel Civil Law” (1975) 6
Mishpatim 242, at 247
117 As for renunciation by a minor, the provision of sec. 20(3) of the Capacity and Guardianship Law, 1962 (16 L.S.I. 106) should also be kept in mind.
118 Rabello, The Gift Law, supra n. 3, at 37 et seq.:
Procaccia, U., Bankruptcy Law and Civil Legislation in Israel (Jerusalem, 1984, in Hebrew) 129
120 I wish to express my thanks to the committee chairman, Prof. A. Barak, for allowing me to quote the Draft.
121 See the commentary to sec. 7 of the Contracts Law in
Shalev, G., Formation of Contract, in Commentary on Laws Relating to Contracts
Tedeschi, G., ed., (Jerusalem, 1978, in Hebrew) 55
Among the examples brought by Prof. Shalev of offers that only benefit the offeree is an offer to discharge a debtor of his debt (p. 56). However, Shalev's distinction between such an offer and a gift leaves some doubts in light of sec. l(c) of the Gift Law.
122 See the discussion of this point in Rabello, The Gift Law, supra n. 3, at 83 et seq.
124 We refer to the literature mentioned above. Generally, the term renunciation is used in regard to proprietary rights, such as mortgages, while remission is used in regard to obligation.
125 We should emphasize that despite the dogmatic difference (unilateral as opposed to bilateral act), in fact there is no difference between the two provisions. On the basis of sec. 3 of the law, the remittor's notice to the debtor is, in fact, sufficient, and we have already concluded that as regards the debtor, the creditor's notice becomes effective immediately upon its coming to the debtor's notice. Similarly, we have already concluded that the rejection operates ex tune, just as is proposed in the case of a unilateral act. Even at present, renunciation is realized after the creditor's notice to the debtor taken together with the presumption of consent! Nevertheless, it is possible that there would be differences insofar as the date of realization of the renunciation itself, the possibility of withdrawing the renunciation, the question of the death of either the debtor or creditor, the question of the debtor's capacity, etc. Clearly the legislature did not intend to bring about changes in these matters.
126 We should emphasize that Israeli law recognizes a large number of unilateral juristic acts, such as: recission due to mistake (sec. 14 of the Contracts Law), duress (sec. 17) and extortion (sec. 18); a beneficiary's notice of rejection of a right that is his under a contract to the benefit of a third party (sec. 35); appropriation of payments (sec. 50); choice between alternative obligations (sec. 51); setting off (sec. 53); recission of a contract for breach (sec. 7 of the Contracts (Remedies for Breach of Contract) Law, 1970 (25 L.S.I. 71)); creation of agency by the principal's authorization of the agent (sec. 3 of the Agency Law, 1965 (19 L.S.I. 231)); etc. See A. Barak, supra n. 6. The matter requires further examination and study.
127 I wish to thank Dr. Hanina Ben-Menahem, Mr. Pablo Lerner, Dr. Renée Sanilevic and Mr. Ram Shamgar for their assistance in seeking the comparative sources.