Proposed Force Majeure Clause for Construction Contracts Under Civil and Common Laws

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Construction Engineering Department

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Construction Engineering Department

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A. Samer Ezeldin; Amr Abu Helw

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

American Society of Civil Engineering, Journal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction

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Force majeure is one of the most critical risks in the construction industry. It is a civil law concept, but not a term of art in common law. The majeure event may hinder a contract party from fulfilling its obligations for a reason beyond its control. Thus, it is vital to have a well-drafted force majeure clause to excuse to the affected party from further performance of its obligations. This paper aims to propose a force majeure clause applicable to contracts governed by either civil law or common law. To achieve that aim, a survey was conducted to explore the opinions of a selected group of professionals in the construction field. Hence, a model clause was developed based on the literature review, the survey results, and the contracts dealt with by the authors in their careers. The model clause was then verified by three experts in contracts administration and validated by comparing it with four megaproject contracts. The results of the comparison proved that the model clause is comprehensive and can be applied to construction contracts to achieve its intended purpose.

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