Force majeure

The coronavirus pandemic has given rise to several cases and articles on whether or not the pandemic constitutes force majeure – an event that is out of the control of parties to an agreement.  Here is a selection of these articles, there are many more.

Breach of contract v force majeure – economic impact analysis. 

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Werksmans Attorneys consider the effect of force majeure on loan agreements: A worldwide pandemic – is it time to consider the inclusion of force majeure provisions in loan agreements? (May 2020).

https://www.werksmans.com/legal-updates-and-opinions/a-worldwide-pandemic-is-it-time-to-consider-the-inclusion-of-force-majeure-provisions-in-loan-agreements/

This is not specifically a force majeure article, but it does consider the ‘economics’ of a pandemic and what the correct response might be, if there is one. 

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The following case considered the ‘supervening impossibility of performance’ or force majeure provisions of a contract (unrelated to COVID-19):

 Wilma Petru Kooij v Middleground Trading 251 CC and Another (1249/18) [2020] ZASCA 45 (23 April 2020)

There is a very recent case in the UK on force majeure, offering an approach that South African courts are likely to follow.  See Sucden Middle-East v Yagci Denizcilik ve Ticaret Ltd Sirketi (The ‘Muammer Yagci’) – [2020] 1 lloyd’s rep. 107 (June 2020)

Also see this article by Eversheds Sutherland, accessed on 24 June 2020. https://www.leescompliance.co.za/post/the-significance-of-force-majeure-provisions-on-contractual-arrangements

This article is published in relation to the position under English law – but is still a helpful reference given the reliance of our courts on this jurisdiction’s case law, accessed 24 June 2020, see https://raynessanalytica.com/raynessblog/2020/06/24/the-legal-implications-for-contracts-of-covid-19/

See the Force Majeure short learning module for more on the case law and common law.