The Civil Code of the Russian Federation(with the Additions and Amendments of February 20, August 12, 1996,
October 24, 1997, July 8, December 17, 1999, April 16, May 15,
November 26, 2001, March 21, November 14, 26, 2002,
January 10, March 26, November 11, December 23, 2003)
Chapter 1. The Civil Legislation
Article 1. Chief Principles of the Civil Legislation
1. The civil legislation shall be based on recognizing the equality of participants in the relationships regulated by it, the inviolability of property, the freedom of agreement, the inadmissibly of anybody's arbitrary interference into the private affairs, the necessity to freely exercise the civil rights, the guarantee of the reinstatement of the civil rights in case of their violation, and their protection in the court.
2. The citizens (natural persons) and the legal entities shall acquire and exercise their civil rights of their own free will and in their own interest. They shall be free to establish their rights and duties on the basis of an agreement and to define any terms of the agreement, which are not in contradiction with legislation. The civil rights may be restricted on the basis of the Federal Law and only to the extent, to which it shall be necessary for the purposes of protecting the foundations of the constitutional system, morality, the health, the rights and the lawful interests of other persons, of providing for the defence of the country and for the state security.
3. The commodities, services and financial means shall move unhindered throughout the entire territory of the Russian Federation. Restrictions on the movement of commodities and services shall be imposed in conformity with the Federal Law, if this is necessary to provide for security, and to protect the human life and health, the environment and the cultural benefits.
Article 2. Relations Regulated by the Civil Legislation
1. The civil legislation shall define the legal status of the participants in the civil turnover, the grounds for the emergence and the order of exercising the right of ownership and the other rights of estate, the exclusive right to the results of the intellectual activity (intellectual property); it shall regulate the contractual and other obligations, as well as the other property and personal non-property relations related to the former, based on the equality, the autonomous will and the property independence of their participants. Both the citizens and the legal entities may be the participants of the relations, regulated by the civil legislation. The Russian Federation, the subjects of the Russian Federation and the municipal entities may also participate in the relations, regulated by the civil legislation (Article 124).
The civil legislation shall regulate relations between the persons, engaged in business activities or in those performed with their participation, proceeding from the fact that the business activity shall be an independent activity, performed at one's own risk, aimed at systematically deriving a profit from the use of the property, the sale of commodities, the performance of work or the rendering of services by the persons, registered in this capacity in conformity with the law-established procedure.
The rules, laid down by the civil legislation, shall be applied toward relations with the participation of foreign citizens, of persons without any citizenship, and also of foreign legal entities, unless otherwise stipulated by the Federal Law.
2. The inalienable human rights and freedoms, and the other non-material values shall be protected by the civil legislation, unless otherwise following from the substance of these non-material values.
3. Unless otherwise stipulated by legislation, the civil legislation shall not be applied toward the property relations, based on the administrative or the other kind of authoritative subordination of one party to the other party, including toward the taxation and other financial or administrative relations.
Article 3. The Civil Legislation and the Other Acts, Containing the Civil Legislation Norms
1. In conformity with the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the civil legislation shall be within the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation.
2. The civil legislation shall be comprised of the present Code and of the federal laws (hereinafter referred to as the laws), adopted in conformity with it, which regulate the relations, indicated in Items 1 and 2 of Article 2 of the present Code. The norms of the civil legislation, contained in the other laws, shall correspond to the present Code.
3. The relations, indicated in Items 1 and 2 of Article 2 of the present Code, shall also be regulated by the Decrees of the President of the Russian Federation, which shall not be in contradiction with the present Code and with the other laws.
4. On the grounds and in execution of the present Code and of the other laws, and of the Decrees of the President of the Russian Federation, the Government of the Russian Federation shall have the right to adopt decisions, containing the norms of the civil law.
5. If the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation or the decision of the Government of the Russian Federation proves to be in contradiction with the present Code or with the other law, the present Code or the corresponding law shall be applied.
6. The operation and implementation of the norms of the civil law, contained in the Decrees of the President of the Russian Federation and in the decisions of the Government of the Russian Federation (hereinafter referred to as the other legal acts), shall be defined by the rules of the present chapter.
7. The ministries and the other federal executive power bodies may issue the acts, containing the norms of the civil law, in the cases and within the limits, stipulated by the present Code, by the other laws and by the other legal acts.
Article 4. Operation of the Civil Legislation in Time
1. The acts of the civil legislation shall not be retroactive and shall be applied toward the relations, which have arisen after they have been put in force. The operation of the law shall be extended toward the relations, which have arisen before it has been put in force, only in the cases, directly stipulated by law.
2. Concerning the relations, which have arisen before the civil legislation act has been put in force, it shall be applied toward the rights and duties, which have arisen after its being put in force. The relations of the parties by the agreement, signed before the civil legislation act has been enforced, shall be regulated in conformity with Article 422 of the present Code.
Article 5. The Customs of the Business Turnover
1. The custom of the business turnover shall be recognized as the rule of behavior, which has taken shape and is widely applied in a certain sphere of business activities, and which has not been stipulated by legislation, regardless of whether it has or has not been fixed in any one document.
2. The customs of the business turnover, contradicting to the provisions of legislation or to the agreement, obligatory for the participant in the given relationship, shall not be applied.
Article 6. Application of the Civil Legislation by Analogy
1. In cases when the relations, stipulated in Items 1 and 2 of Article 2 of the present Code are not directly regulated by legislation or by an agreement between the parties, while the custom of the business turnover that would be applicable to them does not exist, and if this is not in contradiction with their substance, the civil legislation shall be applied, which regulates similar relations (the analogy of the law).
2. If it is impossible to apply the similar law, the rights and duties of the parties shall be defined, proceeding from the general principles and the meaning of the civil legislation (the analogy of the right), and also from the requirements of honesty, wisdom and justice.
Article 7. The Civil Legislation and the Norms of International Law
1. The generally recognized principles and norms of international law and the international treaties of the Russian Federation, shall be, in conformity with the Constitution of the Russian Federation, a component part of the legal system of the Russian Federation.
2. The international treaties of the Russian Federation shall be directly applied toward the relations, indicated in Items 1 and 2 of Article 2 of the present Code, with the exception of the cases, when it follows from the international treaty that for it to be applied, a special intra-state act shall be issued. If the rules, laid down in the international treaty of the Russian Federation, differ from those stipulated by the civil legislation, the rules of the international treaty shall be applied.
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