Force majeure and hardship in international commercial contracts

Case law on force majeure and hardship in international commercial contracts: a brief overview by Dmitry Davydenko – see a video recording.

See also a summary: ICC cases – Force Majeure and Hardship. Dmitry Davydenko

This is a brief review of the conclusions contained in the published arbitral awards in the cases under the Rules of the ICC Court of Arbitration regarding force majeure circumstances and other obstacles to the fulfillment of contractual obligations.
In contractual disputes, debtors are likely to refer to the economic impossibility, the unexpectedly burdensome or difficult performance of the contract, which are caused by external circumstances, such as an economic crisis or price fluctuations. This video considers some examples of existing approaches to the assessment of such arguments in international commercial arbitrations and litigations.
It is important to preserve the legal certainty of international trade transactions. Therefore even in the light of the unprecedented scale of the pandemic, as a general rule, the party should not be exempted from liability merely due to lack of financing or an unexpectedly increased burden of contract performance.

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About the Author:

Based in Moscow, Dr Davydenko is the Director and a co-editor of the CIS Arbitration Forum. He is an associate professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University), Department of Private International and Civil Law. Dmitry Davydenko has experience as an arbitrator in the ICC and other arbitral proceedings and is listed as a recommended arbitrator of International Commercial Arbitration Court and Maritime Arbitration Commission at Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as of other reputed arbitral institutions. Included in the list of best practitioners in arbitration in Russia as of the years 2017, 2018 and 2019 by Who’s Who Legal and Global Arbitration Review (GAR). He also acts as a Russian law expert on various matters related to international commerce.

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