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Force Majeure Clauses In International Contracts

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Chapter Summary

The concept of force majeure comes from Roman law, and it remains a classical notion in certain romanistic legal systems such as French law. However, force majeure clauses offer very original characteristics in the practice of international contracts. This chapter presents an analytical description of the force majeure clauses collected. The force majeure clause consists of two parts: first the hypothesis on which it rests is defined; the clause then describes the applicable regime. The chapter describes some critical considerations of the force majeure. Apart from technical drafting problems, the Working Group encountered a certain number of questions of substance. These problems namely: the relationship between the force majeure clause, the domestic law applicable to the contract and the lex mercatoria, the very concept of force majeure and its relationship to hardship situations and to exemption of liability clauses, as well as the effects of force majeure, is described.

Keywords: force majeure clauses; international contracts; lex mercatoria



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