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Hardship Clauses

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Chapter Summary

A middle or long-term undertaking runs the risk of being subject to a change of circumstances. If the applicable law gives absolute prominence to the principle of sanctity of contracts, a party may find itself bound by obligations that will have become unbearable. In the more numerous cases, where the applicable law permits the contract to be reconsidered, it is up to a court to evaluate the situation, and the remedies available are not necessarily adequate. For instance, if the law provides only for termination of contract, this will often be considered an excessively radical solution. Hardship clauses have appeared in this context. They organize the review of contract when changed circumstances have deeply altered the economy of operation. Hardship clauses contain two main parts. The first part defines the hypothesis under which the clause will apply. The second part stipulates the procedure applicable in case the hardship event occurs.

Keywords: contracts; hardship clauses; obligations



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