Moral principles, religion, impermissible or indecent action are legal terms which the courts have to clarify and interpret when applying Article 1415 of the Civil Law which states that “an impermissible or indecent action the purpose of which is contrary to religion, laws or moral principles, or which is intended to circumvent the law, may not be the subject-matter of a lawful transaction; such a transaction is void”.

The Supreme Court has studied the court practice related to the application of Article 1415. An insight is also provided on how other countries apply law standards similar to those stipulated in Article 1415 of the Civil Law.

The study deals with the essence of the law standard contained in Article 1415 of the Civil Law, its place and role in the civil law, its historical development. The analysis is provided regarding the law standard of Article 1415 of the Civil Law in the Roman law and in the laws of other countries, as well as the application of Article 1415 of the Civil Law in Latvia till 1940, and nowadays. The particular article of the Civil Law has been analyzed also in the context of the European Union law.

The authors of the study note that regardless of the small number of the court judgments where the judgment is substantiated on Article 1415 of the Civil Law, the court practice has developed already two completely generalized cognitions which actually may be compared with the law standards. The first cognition is that unlawfully established obligations may not create permanent legal consequences. The second – the actions which are in contrary to the law or moral principles are not protected by the law.

The authors, however, indicate that the issues discussed in the study, are covered only in the context with Article 1415 of the Civil Law, therefore the study is not to be regarded as describing the respective system. However, taking into account the relatively small and rather diverse court practice in relation to the application of Article 1415 of the Civil Law, the study accomplished by the Department of Civil Cases of the Senate and the Division of Case-law will be useful for judges, attorneys and other interested persons.

The study is published in the section Court Information/Summaries of the Court Practice.


Information prepared by

Head of the Division of Communications of the Supreme Court Rasma Zvejniece

E-mail:, telephone: 7020396, 28652211