One of the most common disputes in contract disputes is the dispute on the effective date of the contract. In order to avoid these disputes, parties should refer to the nature of the validity of the contract as well as distinguish the difference between effective date of the contract and the time of ownership transfer.
Regarding the effective date, contract shall take effect when contract meets all condition of participants in contract, condition of purpose and contents of contract and condition of form (in case there is regulation). Specifically, participants in contract shall have legal capacity in conformity with such contract and the participation shall base entirely on voluntariy will. For the second condition, the purpose and contents of the contract will not be contrary to the law and social ethics. When there are enough conditions met, a contract legally entered into shall take effect from the time when it is entered into, unless otherwise agreed or otherwise provided by law. From the effective date of the contract, parties shall mutually exercise rights and perform obligations as agreed. A contract may be amended or terminated as agreed by the parties or prescribed by law.
Through definition of the effective date of the contract, basic difference between dealing with breaches of contracts which have taken effect and dealing with breaches of invalid contracts can clearly be seen. In invalid contracts, the general remedy rule is restoring everything to its original state and returning to each other what have received. Dealing with breaches of contracts, which have taken effect, must be based on the terms of contract on how to handle such violations. If the contract does not stipulate, the provisions of law on such violation will be applied. It should be noted that there are many regulations from time to time, so the law must be properly applied.
Specially, a contract violating conditions of form validity shall be invalid, except that a party or the parties have fulfill at least two third of the obligations in the contract. A court, at their request, shall issue a decision on recognition of the validity of such contract. It is understood that the contract takes effect after the Court’s judgments or decisions take effect. After the contract takes effect, regulation of law will be applied to determine time of ownership transfer. Contract which can be recognized as valid does not mean that such contract will naturally take effect at the time of fulfilling two third of the obligations. Recognition of the Court is to force parties to continue to execise the obligations of the contract or resolve later disputes according to valid contract.
Time of ownership transfer normally belongs to stage of contract enforcement, which is after the effective date of the contract. Except for special contracts (such as contracts for gift), whose time of ownership transfer can be a condition of making contract be valid. With respect to other normal contract, time of ownership transfer is not related to validity condition of contract, which does not make the contract be valid or invalid. It should be noted that time of ownership transfer is stipulated differently with respect to different contract, different property and different specific time. According to Vietnam law of transfer of ownership rights by owner, when an owner transfers ownership rights to another person through a contract for sale and purchase, exchange, gift or loan, other contract of ownership transfer or through inheritance, the ownership rights of the owner shall terminate from the time when the ownership rights of the transferee arise.
The law stipulates that the time of establishing ownership rights and other property-related right shall be determined according to Civil Code 2015 and relevant laws. If there is no relevant regulations of law, the agreement of the parties shall be applied. If there is no either relevant regulations of law or agreement of the parties, the time of establishing ownership rights and other property-related rights shall be the time when the property is transferred. The time when the property is transferred is the time when the obligee or his or her legal representative possesses the property. In case where the property which has been not transferred and there are yield or income arise from that property, such yield or income shall belong to the transferor, unless otherwise agreed.
Legal significance of determining time of ownership transfer is to determine who is responsible for the risk and property. According to law, owner shall bear all risks of the property under his or her ownership, unless otherwise agreed or unless otherwise prescribed by laws. The holder of other property-related rights shall bear risks of the property within his or her right scope, unless otherwise agreed with the owner of the property or unless otherwise prescribed by laws.