force majeure

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Force Majeure

[French, A superior or irresistible power.] An event that is a result of the elements of nature, as opposed to one caused by human behavior.

The term force majeure relates to the law of insurance and is frequently used in construction contracts to protect the parties in the event that a segment of the contract cannot be performed due to causes that are outside the control of the parties, such as natural disasters, that could not be evaded through the exercise of due care.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

force majeure

an event that no human foresight could anticipate or which, if anticipated, is too strong to be controlled. Depending on the legal system, such an event may relieve a party of an obligation to perform a contract.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
Whilst most of local construction contracts are (International Federation of Consulting Engineers) FIDIC-based, many have extensive amendments to force majeure clauses.
Force majeure clauses excuse a party from liability when a delay is caused by circumstances "beyond the reasonable control" of the parties, such as "acts of God," strikes, inability to procure necessary materials or restrictive governmental laws or regulations.
While reviewing the utility's supplier contracts concerning emergency right-of-way clearance--that is, the trimming of fallen trees--one of my colleagues discovered that the company's own force majeure clause excused the energy company's contractors from having to perform "during times of inclement weather." And yet the clearing of fallen debris in stormy conditions was exactly the kind of work that the contractors were being hired to do.
The promisor may protect itself by including a force majeure clause in the contract, giving it the right to withdraw on the occurrence of specific types of events.
In general, contracts must be performed: if not, a party is in breach and must pay damages even if not responsible for the problem - hence the need for a suitable force majeure clause, and it is important to realise that it is exactly what is in that clause that counts, not some vague idea of what is "force majeure".
This article discusses the protection that may or may not be afforded by the inclusion of a force majeure clause in a supply contract and what suppliers and consumers should look for in reviewing existing supply contracts and negotiating new ones.
Any scheme of more than 1 year to include force majeure clause
Without the incorporation of the specific cause within a force majeure clause, it is an open question as to whether a catch-all force majeure provision would cover a given situation.
Most standard contracts include a force majeure clause, which basically protects the supplier/manufacturer from unexpected circumstances ( something which experts at Eversheds believe the last-minute change in date would be classed as.
Petroval decided to stop the supply of oil to PKN Orlen, in accordance with their December 2002 contract, invoking the force majeure clause, namely the fact that Yukos was not supplying any oil and it was oimpossible to predict how long the situation might last", according to the communique.
Last Monday's 16-page ruling by the Washington State Court of Appeals will send the case back to King County Superior Court Judge Greg Canova, who agreed with the P-I's owner, The Hearst Corp., in September that the losses in 2000 were outside of the control of the JOA, falling under the force majeure clause.