Force Majeure and the Doctrine of Frustration Under the UNIDOROIT Principle, CISG, PECL and the Ethiopian Law of Sales: Comparative Analysis

Yohannes Hailu Tessema


Pacta sunt servanda, which recognizes the sanctity of contractual obligations, is the most sacred principle under law of contract. Nonetheless, a party may be excused from the pacta sunt servanda principle in some exceptional grounds. Among other things, term like force majeure and the doctrine of frustration are often used to designate these grounds. The contractual rules on force majeure and the doctrine of frustration are not the same under all legal instruments. In this paper, the writer undertook comparative analysis on the rules of force majeure and the doctrine of frustration as enshrined under UNIDOROIT principle of International Commercial Contracts (here in after UNIDOROIT principle), The United Nations Convention on Contracts for International Sale of Goods (here in after CISG) Principles of European Contract law (here in after PECL) and the Ethiopan Law of sales. The comparative analysis revealed that, despite terminology differences, the rule on force majeure is the same in all instruments under consideration. As regards the doctrine of frustration, the writer argue that while recent developments read the doctrine of frustration between the lines of the provisions of CISG, its crystal clear that  same conclusion cannot be reached under the Ethiopian Law of Sales.

Keywords: Performance Excuse, Force Majeure, the Doctrine of Frustration

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3240 ISSN (Online)2224-3259

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