In contractual agreements, force majeure (also known as “act of God” or “superior force”) clauses are often included to protect parties in the event of unexpected or unavoidable circumstances that prevent them from fulfilling their obligations. However, the question remains: does force majeure have to be in a contract?
The answer is no, force majeure does not have to be explicitly stated in a contract to be enforceable. This is because force majeure is a legal concept recognized by most jurisdictions, which means that it is incorporated into many types of contracts by default. As such, if a contract does not explicitly mention force majeure, parties may still have legal recourse to invoke it in the event of unforeseeable circumstances.
That being said, including a force majeure clause in a contract can provide greater clarity and protection for all parties involved. Through a carefully crafted force majeure clause, parties can specify which events will be considered force majeure and how they will be handled. Examples of events that may be included in a force majeure clause include natural disasters, war, terrorism, government regulations, and pandemics.
Furthermore, including a force majeure clause in a contract can help to avoid disputes and litigation down the line. In the absence of a force majeure clause, disputes may arise as to whether an unforeseeable event constitutes force majeure or not. By explicitly stating what counts as force majeure, parties can minimize potential disagreements and proactively plan for how to handle such events.
In conclusion, while force majeure does not have to be in a contract to be enforceable, including a force majeure clause can provide greater clarity and protection for all parties involved. By explicitly stating which events count as force majeure and how they will be handled, parties can minimize potential disputes and proactively plan for how to handle unforeseeable circumstances. As such, it is advisable to include a force majeure clause in any contractual agreement.