Contractual Exemption Theories of Force Majeure and Hardship in International Law

  • Seema Deshwal and Dr. Ritu
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  • Seema Deshwal

    Research Scholar (Ph.D. in Law) at Faculty of Law, Baba Mast Nath University, Rohtak, Haryana, India

  • Dr. Ritu

    Assistant Professor at Faculty of Law, Baba Mast Nath University, Rohtak, Haryana, India

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In the global regime of commercial transactions, protecting the sanctity of contracts is of primary importance. Liability exemption for non-performance of contractual commitments has evolved from the clausula rebus sic stantibus concept, and while it is recognised under different titles in different nations, its applicability is still narrow. The international legal instruments promoting uniform guidelines to regulate international trade contracts, such as the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), the UNIDROIT Principles for International Commercial Contracts (UPICC), and the Principles of European Contract Law (PECL), expressly refer to the concepts of hardship and force majeure to address the issue of changed circumstances negatively impacting international trade. In this paper, a comparative analysis of these international instruments has been conducted to comprehend and assess how transnational legal instruments accept force majeure and hardship, as well as how liability exemption for non-performance of contractual responsibilities may be sought under these laws. This paper also intends to analyse the force majeure provisions of these international instruments in order to identify the most inclusive provision. This paper also seeks to find out if hardship is controlled by CISG and whether elements of UPICC and PECL may be utilised to interpret Article 79 of CISG as supplemental principles.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 6, Page 08 - 20


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