This article explores how some civil law jurisdictions – Luxembourg, Italy, and France, which all derive their law from the Napoleonic Code – frame the role and the duties of trustees. Even though influenced by the common law, these countries developed original and independent solutions. Yet, the approaches of these civil law countries to fiduciary arrangements, and to the rights and duties of trustees, are not homogeneous and, in each of these jurisdictions, it may be difficult to clearly define the position of trustees. I suggest that some of these difficulties derive from the complexity of reconciling several key features of common law trusts with some principles existing in civil law jurisdictions.
After an introduction, this article analyses the essential features of fiduciary arrangements in three civil law jurisdictions: Luxembourg, Italy, and France. Then, it examines how the role and duties of trustees have been developed in these countries and outlines the respective advantages and limits of the solutions adopted in these legal systems. I conclude by examining the evolution of the legislation on trusts and fiduciary arrangements in San Marino, and finally arguing in favour of the adoption, in civil law countries, of legislation on fiduciary arrangements that is more coherent with the legal framework in which they will operate.European Review of Private Law