The impact of force majeure on contractual obligation


  • Muhannad Othman Khudair Al-Mousawi Qom State University
  • Ahmed Al-Dailami Qom State University


force majeure, emergency circumstances, Corona pandemic, contract execution, Contractual Liability


In the execution of a contract, the contractor may be exposed to several unforeseen circumstances for the contracting parties after the conclusion of the contract that threatens the integrity of the legal entity of the contract, necessitating intervening in order to strike a balance between the burdens to be borne by the contractor and reducing the consequences of force majeure, through which the debtor may have a partial effect that ceases to implement its commitment until the temporary impediment demise unless the time factor is necessary and influential in the execution of the contract, or a permanent impediment leading to the termination of the contract. This research was aimed at demonstrating the concept, conditions and types of force majeure, and then the impact of force majeure on contractual obligations and their implementation and applying the rules of this theory to the coronavirus pandemic as an extraordinary event that could not have been foreseen or pushed and is therefore a pandemic fit for the application of force majeure provisions.

 The study was conducted through a comparative analytical approach between Iraq's legal texts and France. Numerous outcomes have been attained and the most prominent of which is that Force majeure can be achieved by an incident that is both unpredictable and non-producent and defined as an external cause beyond the control of the parties makes it impossible to fulfill the obligation. In case the implementation of the obligations cannot be fulfilled, the theory of force majeure, which results in the expiration of obligations, is used. It must be a permanent or relative impossibility, not a temporary or relative one. No party can fulfil the obligation even if its implementation is onerous and arduous. unless the contracting parties agree to tighten the debtor's contractual liability by assuming all risks, including force majeure, as it is not discharged from its contractual obligations in the event of an impediment even if it is absolute and permanent.