French draft legislation reforming the law of “civil liability” translated into English

France is in the process of rewriting its private law of obligations. In 2016, the law of contract, the general regime governing obligations and the law of proof of obligations, was rewritten by the French government (and was translated into English by John Cartwright and Simon Whittaker (Oxford and the IECL) and Bénédicte Faurvarque-Cosson of the University of Paris Panthéon-Assas (Paris II) and Visiting Research Fellow of the IECL, at the request of the French Ministry of Justice). In March of this year, the French Ministry of Justice published a draft parliamentary bill for the reform of “civil liability”, putting together for this purpose liability for contractual non-performance and the general grounds of “extra-contractual liability”.  To a considerable extent the Bill seeks to put into legislation the case-law developments of the last century or so, but its reframing of the law as “civil liability” is controversial, as are some of the particular provisions, not least, the introduction of a new “civil penalty” for cases “where the author of the harm has deliberately committed a fault with the view to making a gain or to saving money” (art.1266-1 proposed provision of the Civil Code). The Direction des affaires civiles et du sceau of the Ministry of Justice commissioned Simon Whittaker in consultation with Jean-Sébastien Borghetti of the University of Paris Panthéon-Assas (Paris II) to translate the bill into English and this has now been published on the Ministry website which can be viewed here.