AbstractsLaw & Legal Studies

Comparative and Critical Analysis of the Doctrine of Exemption/Frustration/Force Majeure under the United Nations Convention on the Contract for International Sale of Goods, English Law and UNIDROIT Principles

by Ndubuisi Augustine Nwafor

Institution: University of Stirling
Year: 2015
Keywords: Thesis; cisg; unidroit principles; contract of sale; sale of goods; force majeure; frustration; exemption; article 79; article 7.1.7; sale of goods Act of 1979; English common law; remedies; impediments; doctrines; reat Britain. Sale of Goods Act 1979 Criticism and interpretation.; Commercial law; Comparative law; Vis major (Civil law); Impossibility of performance
Record ID: 1405647
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/21805


This thesis attempts to critically and comparatively analyse the doctrine of exemption/frustration /force majeure under the United Nations Convention on the Contract for International Sale of Goods (CISG) the UNIDRIOT Principles of International Commercial Contracts (UNIDROIT) and the English Law. The doctrine of exemption/frustration/force majeure is very important in the area of contract and commercial law, it is a doctrine deeply rooted in fairness and allows a party to be excused from performing an obligation in a contract if at the conclusion of the contract an inhibition beyond the foreseeable control of the party happens to render the performance of the contract impossible. However, it is not easy to effectively streamline this doctrine and properly determine its applications. It has been observed in this thesis that, the doctrines of exemption/frustration /force majeure are not exactly the same; this thesis explores in details severally and jointly the various differences and similarities in the interpretations and applications of these impossibility doctrines. For instance, the open and flexible use of words in the definition of this doctrine under the CISG and the UNIDROIT Principles left much to be desired. Thus, it is one of the succinct arguments of this thesis that couching international law in loose words will work against the uniformity of application of this law, due to the different interpretations national law courts will be subjecting it to. This among other issues retarded the growth and development of the doctrine of exemption and force majeure. Furthermore, English law stance on the doctrine of frustration which can be gleaned from both the Sale of Goods Act of 1979 and the Common law are far from being adequate and need to be updated. This thesis therefore incisively laid bare the applications, interpretations and way forward for the doctrine of exemption/frustration/force majeure under the legal instruments of focus of this work. The thesis also comparatively compares the relationship between the doctrine of frustration/force majeure/exemption and other related doctrines like mistake, termination, avoidance, risk, and hardship. The thesis is concluded with a Draft Model Frustration Clause (DMFC) which is an attempt to rise above the status quo doctrine of frustration in the extant laws and develop a frustration clause that will be able to provide answers to the many flaws that trail these laws.