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McMeel on The Construction of Contracts, 3rd Edition by McMeel, Gerard (12th October 2017)

Part III Particular Contractual Provisions, 22 Change of Circumstances and ‘ Force Majeure ’ Clauses

From: McMeel on The Construction of Contracts (3rd Edition)

Gerard McMeel

Subject(s):
Construction of contract — Force majeure and contract — Interpretation of contract — Performance of contract — Remedies for breach of contract

This chapter looks at regimes for change of circumstances and other future events which have an impact on performance. These are universally known as force majeure provisions. Such clauses opt out of the narrow and uncertain scope of the common law doctrine of frustration. They avoid the common law rule that any element of choice or election as to which contracts to perform is incompatible with frustration. The parties can design their own remedial scheme, including suspension of performance (if appropriate) as well as complete relief from the obligation to perform. Furthermore, they can make appropriate adjustments to the parties' liabilities and circumvent the arcane regime of the Law Reform (Frustrated Contracts) Act 1943.

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