China: 新形势下金融资管合同无效之裁判研究 覧2019年全国法院民商事审判

工作会议纪要研究系列
Last Updated: 22 August 2019
Article by DeHeng Law Offices
Most Read Contributor in China, August 2019

前言

今年7月初,最高人民法院在哈尔滨召开了全国民商事审判工作会议。最高人民法院审委会专职委员刘贵祥在本次会议上的讲话(以下简称《讲话》)及《2019年全国法院民商事审判工作会议纪要(征求意见稿)》(以下简称《会议纪要》)在网络上流传甚广,在法律实务界引起了较大反响。

合同效力问题在《讲话》和《会议纪要》着墨甚多,内容十分丰富,对正确处理行政监管与合同效力认定问题、不同合同效力形态区分处理、违反公共秩序无效、合同无效程序保障等在司法审判实践中较为突出的问题作了重点阐述与指引,是今后较长一段时期内民商事审判工作的裁判尺度和裁判观点的风向标。

"成功的经验不一定适合所有人,但是失败的教训大家都可以吸取"覧"合同有效的情形大家可以视而不见,合同无效与效力瑕疵的情形大家不得不重视",金融监管的整体环境下似乎想在司法环节让监管政策"长牙齿","长牙齿"的方法一方面是在行政监管层面有重罚,另一方面是在商法和民法司法领域对不满足监管初衷的合同效力予以否定,让金融活动参与主体有血淋淋的教训覧"监管司法化"、"司法监管化"同时并存。

本文拟从讲话和会议纪要中专章阐述的合同无效的问题入手,并结合金融资管领域的相关司法判例,对金融资管业务合同无效风险点进行梳理,以期进一步提高金融资管业务的交易结构与协议安排的司法裁判预期管理,达到为客户最大限度减少金融资管业务安排风险敞口的目的。从律师为客户提供金融资管非诉交易的角度而言,对诸多交易结构创新发表法律意见的时候可能就不是一句"不违法法律法规的强制性规定"能够解决的了,需要更加全面和审慎地评估创新型交易结构的法律风险。

一、认定合同效力的原则性问题

1.坚持依法认定合同效力,慎重否定合同效力的原则

《会议纪要》明确提到:"人民法院在审理合同纠纷案件时,要坚持鼓励交易原则,充分尊重当事人的意思表示。要依法认定合同效力,慎重认定合同无效。"《讲话》明确指出:"人民法院在认定合同是否因违反法律、行政法规的强制性规定而无效时,要在考察规范性质、规范目的以及规范对象基础上,权衡所保护的法益类型、违法性程度以及交易安全等因素综合认定合同效力。"

从上述内容可以看出,判断合同效力要坚持以《民法总则》、《合同法》及其司法解释相关规定作为依据。特别是,人民法院在认定合同违反法律、行政法规的强制性规定而无效时不能作出任意扩大解释,应当坚守慎重性原则。

2.适当运用穿透式审判思维,探究真实的交易目的和法律关系

《讲话》明确指出:"商事交易如融资租赁、保理、信托等本来就涉及多方当事人的多个交易,再加上当事人有时为了规避监管,采取多层嵌套、循环交易、虚伪意思表示等模式,人为增加查明事实、认定真实法律关系的难度。妥善审理此类案件,要树立穿透式审判思维,在准确揭示交易模式的基础上,探究当事人真实交易目的,根据真实的权利义务关系认定交易的性质与效力。"

上述内容直接与《民法总则》第一百四十六条[1]规定"通谋虚伪意思表示"效力认定规则相对应。同时,《民法总则》第一百四十六条第二款"以虚假的意思表示隐藏的民事法律行为的效力,依照有关法律规定处理"的规定,改变了《合同法》第五十二条第(三)项"以合法形式掩盖非法目的"的效力认定规定。在"以合法形式掩盖非法目的"中,既可能是两个行为,也可能是一个行为,按照《合同法》的规定,无论是两个行为还是一个行为,都是无效的;按照《民法总则》规定,在隐藏行为中,虚伪意思表示尽管因其并非当事人的真实意思表示而无效,但被隐藏的行为则要根据法律行为的一般有效要件来判断,如被隐藏的行为符合有效要件,则该行为有效。

3.辩证处理民事审判与行政监管关系,合理解释违反公共秩序问题

《讲话》指出:"要辩证处理民商事审判与行政监管的关系。既要使市场在资源配置中起决定性作用,又要更好地发挥政府作用。这就要深入研究市场准入资格、行政审批等各种行政监管规范对民商事合同效力及履行的影响,依法确定当事人之间的权利义务关系。要充分尊重监管规定和交易规则,依法支持监管机构有效行使监管职能。要有效应对监管政策变化给民商事审判带来的挑战,加强与监管部门的协调配合,协力化解重大风险。"

《讲话》强调:"违反规章、监管政策等规范性文件的合同,不应认定无效。因违反规章、监管政策同时导致违反公共秩序的,人民法院才能认定合同无效。人民法院在认定是否违反公共秩序时,可以从规范内容、监管强度以及法律后果等方面进行考量,并在裁判文书中进行充分说理。要尽可能通过类型化方法明确违反公共秩序的具体情形,严格限制因违反公共秩序认定合同无效的范围,提高规则的稳定性、可预期性。"

二、合同因违法而无效

1.《会议纪要》提出确认合同因违法而确认无效的指导意见及具体表现形式

《会议纪要》指出:"在认定合同是否因违反《民法总则》第一百五十三条规定的法律、行政法规的强制性规定而无效时,要在考察规范性质以及规范对象基础上,兼顾权衡所保护的法益类型、违法性程度以及交易安全保护等因素。下列合同,一般可以违反法律、行政法规的强制性规定为由认定无效:交易行为本身违法,如赌博、洗钱行为;交易标的违法,如器官、毒品、枪支等的买卖;违反特许经营规定,如职业放贷人签订的合同;交易方式严重违法,如违反招投标等竞争性缔约方式签订的合同。违反法律、行政法规关于经营范围、交易场所、交易时间、交易数量等强制性规定的合同,一般不应认定无效。"

2.最高法院合同因违法而被确认无效之案例简析

早在《审判纪要》之前,最高法院对此问题也早形成了较为明确的观点,比如(2017)最高法民终647号案件,最高法院在该案判决书中明确阐明了确认合同无效的法律适用原则。

在该案判决中,最高法院认为:"根据本案查明的事实,高金公司贷款对象主体众多,除了本案债务人德享公司以外,高金公司于2009年至2011年间分别向新纪元公司、金华公司、荟铭公司、鼎锋公司和顺天海川公司等出借资金,通过向社会不特定对象提供资金以赚取高额利息,出借行为具有反复性、经常性,借款目的也具有营业性,未经批准,擅自从事经常性的贷款业务,属于从事非法金融业务活动。银行业监督管理法第十九条规定:"未经国务院银行业监督管理机构批准,任何单位和个人不得设立银行业金融机构或者从事银行业金融机构的业务活动",该强制性规定直接关系国家金融管理秩序和社会资金安全,事关社会公共利益,属于效力性强制性规定。根据合同法第五十二条关于"有下列情形之一的,合同无效:......(五)违反法律、行政法规的强制性规定"的规定,以及合同法解释二第十四条关于"合同法第五十二条第(五)项规定的'强制性规定',是指效力性强制性规定"的规定,应认定案涉《借款合同》无效。高金公司的经营范围为项目投资(不含专项审批)、财务咨询、企业管理咨询,高金公司所从事的经常性放贷业务,已经超出其经营范围。《最高人民法院关于适用〈中华人民共和国合同法〉若干问题的解释(一)》第十条规定:"当事人超出经营范围订立合同的,人民法院不因此认定合同无效,但违反国家限制经营、特许经营以及法律、行政法规禁止经营规定的除外"。金融业务活动系国家特许经营业务,故依照上述规定也应认定案涉《借款合同》无效。"

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