Force Majeure clause

The force majeure clause is designed to protect the parties to a given contract from liability for unforeseeable events that may prevent the performance of an obligation in accordance with the contract.

The question of what kind of events should be classified as force majeure remains to be regulated in the clause itself, as there is no point in looking for a single, legal definition of “force majeure” in the Polish legal system. A more detailed definition of these events may depend on what the given contract relates to and what possible threats may prevent its performance.

It should be remembered that in the Polish legal system, even in the absence of the “force majeure” clause, we can use Art. 471 of the Civil Code, which excludes the obligation to repair the damage, if the failure to perform the obligation or its improper performance is a consequence of circumstances for which the debtor is not responsible; but relying on such a general provision in the event of failure to fulfill an obligation due to a potential force majeure event will often be met with the non-acceptance of the contractual creditor and such a case may end in court.

The force majeure clause, especially with a catalog of potential random events, can save the parties of the contract a lot of time and nerves.


Maksymilian Marciniak, Lawyer