Force Majeur Definitions


Force majeur shall be understood to mean, among other things: wars (inside or outside the Netherlands), mobilization, riots, floods, obstructions of transport, restriction, discontinuation or stagnation of supplies from public utility companies, lack of fuel, lack of raw materials, fire, break-down of machinery and other accidents, strikes or other unforeseen circumstances including those in the country supplying the raw materials or semi-manufactured products, with circumstances impede or delay seller’s normal operations or make it impossible to expedite the order in time.


Force majeure (French for “greater force”) is a common clause in contracts which essentially frees one or both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties, such as war, strike, riot, crime, act of God (e.g., flooding, earthquake, volcano), prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract. However, Force Majeure is not intended to excuse negligence or other malfeasance of a party, as where non-performance is caused by the usual and natural consequences of external forces (e.g., predicted rain stops an outdoor event), or where the intervening circumstances are specifically contemplated.

Force Majeur is a French term which was introduced into English Case Law in Lebeaupin v Crispin as

“ All circumstances independent of the will of man AND which is not in his power to control”

Vis Majeur is more commonly known as An Act of God. Such a term is rarely seen in construction contracts but is noted here to identify that the phrase is narrower than Force Majeur because, arguably, some acts of God are with in the power of man to control.

 I ChemE form of Contract defines Force Majeur as

 “……. any circumstances beyond the reasonable control of a party which prevent or impede the due performance of a Contract including but not limited to war or hostilities; riot or civil commotion; epidemic; earthquake flood or other natural disaster;………

 Similarly MF/1 standard Form of Contract defines Force Majeur as war, hostilities…….ionising waves… activity……..pressure waves…….revolution…….riot…….any other circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the contractor.

 Asuransi Bumida

 Yang dimaksud dengan pengertian kecelakaan adalah suatu peristiwa yang terjadi secara tiba-tiba, tidak terduga sebelumnya, datang dari luar diri si tertanggung, bersifat kekerasan, tidak dikehendaki dan tidak ada unsur kesengajaan dalam peristiwa tersebut.

 Princeton Dictionary

  • not expected or anticipated; “unexpected guests”; “unexpected news”
  • forced: made necessary by an unexpected situation or emergency; “a forced landing”
  • not planned; “an unexpected pregnancy”
  • happening or coming quickly and without warning; “a sudden unexpected development”



Meriam Webster Dictionary


: not expected : UNFORESEEN

 Adj.      1.         unpredicted – without warning or announcement; “they arrived unannounced”; “a totally unheralded telegram that his daughter…died last night”- M.A.D.Howe

unannounced, unheralded

unexpected – not expected or anticipated; “unexpected guests”; “unexpected news”

 Definition:  sudden Synonyms:  hasty, hurried, jerky, precipitate, precipitous, quick, rushing, sudden, surprising, unanticipated, unceremonious, unexpected, unforeseen Antonyms:  anticipated, deliberate, expected, gradual, leisurely

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