Defence of ‘Refusal to Perform’ (Exceptio Non Adimpleti Contractus) in Russian Civil Law - A Comparative Perspective

Event date
9 March 2023
Event time
12:30 - 14:00
Oxford week
HT 8
Faculty Members
Members of the University
Postgraduate Students
IECL teaching room

Dr Anna Novitskaya, post-doctoral researcher, University of Vienna 

Seminar Format

A sandwich lunch will be available from 12.30 in the area outside the IECL Teaching Room.

Starting at 13:00, there will be a presentation by Academic Visitor to the IECL: Dr Anna Novitskaya.

The Seminar will conclude by 14:00.

Please send any access or dietary requirements to the IECL Administrator.


Dr Anna Novitskaya

Defence of ‘Refusal to Perform’ (Exceptio Non Adimpleti Contractus) in Russian Civil Law

A historical and comparative legal analysis of Russian civil-law-regulation from the perspective of Austrian and German law

The term exceptio non adimpleti contractus refers to a defence which allows each party to a reciprocal contract to refuse the performance of an obligation under the contract, although such an obligation is enforceable, if the other party has not performed their respective reciprocal obligation.

This exception is a legal concept that goes back to the ius commune and Roman law. This defence is now found in the codifications of civil law jurisdictions (See for example Section 320 German Civil Code; Art. 1460 Italian Civil Code; Art. 262 Dutch Civil Code; Art. 82 Swiss Code of Obligations; and Section 1052 Austrian Civil Code; Arts. 1219 & 1220 French Civil Code)

Russian civil law regulates this defence through Art. 328 of the Russian Civil Code.

In this presentation it will be shown that the defence of ‘Refusal to Perform’ in Russian legal culture represents a ‘legal transplant’ from Roman Law through the West-European legal systems, and particularly from the Austrian and German Civil codes. These legal transplants were made in the Draft of the Civil Code of the Russian Empire in the XIXth century (the so-called Speranskij-project) and also in the Project of the late Russian Empire from the year 1905. In addition, the Civil Codes of Soviet Russia (from the years 1922 and 1964) contain regulation of the exceptio non adimpleti contractus, which was inspired by German civil law.

Review of the previously established interaction between the Russian civil law, and German and Austrian Civil Codes informs comparison between the legal regulation in the present Art. 328 of Russian Civil Code and current German and Austrian Law.

In my presentation, I will give a short overview of this topic, which I am researching in my post-doctoral ‘habilitation’ project at the University of Vienna.

Found within

Comparative Law