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Unforeseen Circumstances, Financial Crisis and Long Term Energy Contracts. Conference 1 July 2013

The doctrine of “unforeseen circumstances” théorie de l’imprévision, imprevisieleer) allows the revision of a contract when supervening and unforesee-able circumstances occur deeply disturbing the equilibrium of the contract, as a result of what an excessive burden is placed on one of the parties.

The doctrine of “unforeseen circumstances” théorie de l’imprévision, imprevisieleer) allows the revision of a contract when supervening and unforesee-able circumstances occur deeply disturbing the equilibrium of the contract, as a result of what an excessive burden is placed on one of the parties. The doctrine has been rejected in France and Belgium for a long period of time (except in public or administrative contracts), but, more recently, courts seem to recognise that unforeseen circumstances can lead to a renegotiation of the contract. Moreover, the doctrine of unforeseen circumstances is recognised by several recent international instruments (Unidroit Principles, art. 6.2.2 .; the Draft Common Frame of Reference, art. III.-I.110; the Draft Regulation on a Common European Sales Law, art. 89 …) In the last decade, our world experienced some dramatic changes of circumstances ; the best examples are, maybe, the financial crisis and the varia-tion of energy prices. How the doctrine of unforeseen circumstances has apprehended these changes in practice (case law, arbitration awards, renegotiation clauses) will be discussed.
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Posted by Denis Philippe

2017-12-15 17:47:10