What is Force Maejure?

We are often asked what ‘force maejure’ means, this note aims to answer this very question.

You will find a force maejure clause in any well drafted contract (and possibly in some not well drafted contracts). It is part of what lawyers call the ‘boiler plate’ clauses i.e. they are very important and are bolted on to pretty much every agreement you can think of.

A force maejure clause is designed to apply where the performance of a contract has become impossible because of unforseen circumstances outside of the parties control. The courts have determined foce maejure to cover a wide range of eventualities for example acts of God, war, strikes, abnormal weather conditions, Government intervention etc. The important factor here is that the events are outside of the parties control, if they are within the control of the parties then the event is not covered by the force maejure clause.

Normally the agreement will list a number of events that they consider to be covered by force maejure but it will be made clear that said list is not exhaustive.

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