Rights, duties in obligation to do or not to do

An obligation is a juridical necessity to give, to do or not to do.[1]

The following are the duties of debtor to do.

a) To do it[2];

b) To shoulder the cost of execution should he fail to do it[3];

c)  To undo what has been poorly done[4]; and

d) To pay damages in case of breach.[5]

The following are duties of creditor to do.

a) To have the obligation executed at the cost of the debtor[6]; and

b) To recover damages in case of breach.[7]

Note: The debtor cannot be compelled to perform his obligation. The ultimate sanction of civil obligations is indemnification of damages. This would be tantamount to involuntary servitude.

The following are duties of debtor to NOT to do.
a) Not to do what should not be done;

b) To shoulder cost of undoing what should not have been done[8]; and

c) To pay damages in case of breach.[9]

 The following are duties of creditor to NOT to do.

a) To ask to undo what should not be done, at the debtor’s expense[10]; and

b) To recover damages, where it would be physically or legally impossible to undo what should not have been done, because of:

• the very nature of the act itself;

• rights acquired by third persons who acted in good faith;

• when the effects of the acts prohibited are definite in character and will not cease even if the thing prohibited be undone.


[1] Art. 1156, Civil Code. 

[2] Art. 1167, Civil Code.

[3] Art. 1167, Civil Code.

[4] Art. 1167, Civil Code.

[5] Art. 1170, Civil Code.

[6] Art. 1167, Civil Code.

[7] Art. 1170, Civil Code.

[8] Art. 1168, Civil Code.

[9] Art. 1170, Civil Code.

[10] Art. 1168, Civil Code.

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