Abuse of Rights

Most civil-code jurisdictions (e.g., Germany, Japan), but not common law jurisdictions (e.g., United States, England), have a general probation on the abusive exercise of legal rights, i.e., the use of a legal right in an anti-social, malicious, or unduly unfair manner. The ability of a judge to refuse to enforce a legal right or contract as abusive is usually set forth in the civil code and can be used with varying frequency. Although abuse of rights is a civil law concept, the decision of a judge to apply the doctrine is likely to be heavily influenced by precedent, i.e., prior decisions, in a manner akin to the common law system.

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