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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Force majeur

By Funmilayo Olagunju

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Black’s Law dictionary defines Force majeur as an event or effect that can be neither anticipated nor controlled. The term includes both acts of nature (e.g., floods and hurricane) and acts of people (e.g. riots, strikes, and wars). Also termed force majesture; vis major; superior force.

In relation to contract, force-majeur clause is a contractual provision allocating the risk if performance becomes impossible or impracticable, especially as a result of an event or effect that the patties could not have anticipated or controlled.

In GLOBE SPINNING MILLS (NIG) PLC v. RELIANCE TEXTILE INDUSTRIES LTD

(2017) LPELR-41433(CA), Court held;

“Force majeure is something that is unexpected and unforeseen happening, making nonsense of the real situation envisaged by parties.” Per UZO IFEYINWA NDUKWE-ANYANWU, JCA (Pp 27 – 27 Paras E – E)

In general, force majeure appears like a sharp contrast with the concept of “pacta sunt servanda” (Latin for “agreements must be kept”). It is not easy to escape contractual liability, and invoking the force-majeur clause requires credible proof

Force-majeur cannot be invoked at any sudden change. For an event to trigger force majeure clause, it must be reasonably unforeseeable, act must not be induced by parties to the contact and it must be serious enough that it renders it impossible for the party to perform its contractual obligations.

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow…

James 4:13-14 (NIV)

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