Force majeure

Firstly 'force majeure' is not an English word, it is a French word, that is used in English and is usually translated as an 'act of God'. The term 'force majeure' is typically used in legal documents, contracts and agreements.


Listen to the very informative video discussion below about force majeure.

  1. Put the questions below in the order that the presenter asks them.

(A) What is the second approach ... [to force majeure provisions]?

(B) How do you apply the analysis of Covid-19 or government shutdowns to a force majeure provision?

(C) What is a force majeure provision?

(D) How are courts interpreting ... [open-ended force majeure lists]?

(E) Sometimes these force majeure provisions have exceptions or caveats, what are you seeing in the market?

(F) Are there duties of obligations of a party even where the force majeure provision may be triggered?

(G) If the force majeure provision is triggered, what are some of the remedies the parties may have?

Listen again and complete the notes on Jose Moran's answers with NO MORE than THREE WORDS:

  • Force majeure (or act of God) - when performing contract ______ are impossible, difficult or onerous due to exceptional events outside of either parties' control.

  • Two approachs to contracts in common law. First, have an open or non-exhaustive _____ or sample events. Recommends adding terms 'pandemic' or 'epidemic' language to future _______

  • Parties should not rely on a _______ language or an open list.

  • Second approach - have a general objective test, e.g. an event _______ of the parties or an event that could not recently have been provided against or avoided'

  • Effected parties must not 'sit on their hands' - often obligation to _______ the effects of a force majeure event. e.g. sourcing alternative supply or labour. There is requirement to talk to the other party and try and make an _______ to the agreement.

  • Almost always a list of ________; e.g. an obligation to pay money. Exclusions are extremely important because they completely ______ otherwise valid claims.

  • Usually affected parties have no liability for non-performance. Often there is an express right of suspension or ______ of the contract for prolonged periods.

When you are ready, enter your answers in the sheet below


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