Contract Issues- A Customary Law Look at the Common Law Defences of Force Majeure and Frustration

Businesses in the Channel Islands are now starting to resume normal operations as much as possible. Even so, there may still be certain limitations, particularly if businesses are reliant on particular supply chains that may still be subject to restrictions or reduced production, or due to key employees or contractors being prevented from travelling. With such ongoing challenging situations impacting on business operations, it is important to understand what the options might be for a party to a contract when they are unable to perform the contract as originally agreed, but where the other party will not agree to accept a different level of performance or no performance at all.

It is worth remembering at the outset that the Jersey and Guernsey laws of contract are not simply based on English common law principles. Each Island has its own law of contract, the dominant influence being Norman French law. Therefore, whilst English law principles will usually be considered, the Royal Courts in each Island will also look to other sources, including older Norman French commentators such as Pothier, as well as modern French law.

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GUERNSEY
Adam ColePartnerT +44 (0) 1481 748 912adam.cole@walkersglobal.com
Jamie BooklessSenior CounselT +44 1481 748926jamie.bookless@walkersglobal.com

JERSEY
Nigel SandersPartnerT +44 (0) 1534 700 862nigel.sanders@walkersglobal.com
Daniel ReadSenior CounselT +44 (0) 1534 700 764daniel.read@walkersglobal.com