What do you know about Force Majeure?

Force majeure (Acts of God)


Force majeure is a French phrase meaning superior force or overwhelming circumstances. The title of a common clause in contracts, relieves the parties from contractual duties without being liable for a breach of the contract because of such non-performance as a result of conditions beyond their control.

Examples of circumstances that might require a force majeure are war, strike, riot, piracy, acts of state or governmental action prohibiting or impeding any party from performing its respective obligations under the contract, and Act of God (flood, hurricane, typhoon, earthquake, lightning, explosion etc). A force majeure clause does not, however, excuse a party from its negligence or failure to perform under conditions that are ordinary or expected.

Force majeure events must meet the following three criteria or three elements,

Externality, the circumstances that lead to the non-performance of the obligation were beyond the control of the parties

Unpredictability, the event must have been unforeseeable. If an event is foreseeable, a party must be prepared for it.

 Irresistibility, the consequences of the event could not be avoided ie the occurrence of the event must be beyond the control of the party

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