The Concept of Force Majeure in Commercial Contracts and its Interpretation during Pandemic in North Macedonia
Keywords:Pandemic law, Force majeure, Trade agreements, Law of obligations, UNIDROIT, North Macedonian law
A pandemic, defined as an epidemic spread over larger regions, is of course not unknown in the world. There are several pandemics in history that have left a great impact on humanity. However, so far there has not been a pandemic of such proportions and consequences as the Covid-19 pandemic.. It literally paralysed life and led to unprecedented health, economic and political consequences on a global scale. As has been the case in every area, Covid-19 has also had a serious impact on legal systems. Many countries were not ready with appropriate legislation to deal with the pandemic in terms of implementing appropriate measures to help their citizens. Because of that, a large number of trade agreements were not realised or their realisation was made difficult. What was a serious problem in trade agreements that could not be realised and what is the subject of primary analysis in this paper is the concept of force majeure (vis major), its regulation and the question of whether the pandemic can be considered as a force majeure event. Uncertainty in the interpretation of outdated provisions or lack of appropriate provisions regulating force majeure in pandemic conditions has led to many citizens not being able to exercise their rights derived from contracts and thereby creating dysfunctionality in legal systems. In this paper, it is essential to review the force majeure clause, its concept, development and representation in different legal systems, by making a brief comparison between French law and English law and determining key regulations on an international level. At the same time, the main focus of research will be on the regulations in North Macedonia and the manner of regulating this concept of force majeure. It is also equally important to find the answer to the question of the role of legal systems, whether law as such will continue to exist in the same form and with the same content or whether we already are in the phase of creating the so-called pandemic law, i.e., whether the pandemic initiates a rearrangement of the concept of force majeure in trade agreements in North Macedonia, as well as everywhere in the world.
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