Act of God Contract Law

Act of God Contract Law: Understanding Force Majeure Clause

In any legal contract, it is essential to anticipate and prepare for unforeseeable events that may affect its performance. Such events are called “act of God” or “force majeure” and may include natural disasters, wars, strikes, and epidemics. These circumstances fall outside the control of the parties involved and can significantly impact the parties` ability to meet their contractual obligations.

What is an Act of God?

The legal definition of an act of God varies, but it is generally defined as an event or occurrence that is beyond human control and cannot be prevented or avoided by any reasonable measures. Examples of these events include earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters.

Act of God Contract Law

In legal contracts, an act of God clause, or force majeure clause, is a provision inserted to define the circumstances under which a party to the contract will not be liable for non-performance or delay of performance. The clause is meant to provide relief to a party if the event is beyond their control and affects their ability to perform under the contract.

In most cases, the force majeure clause outlines the specific events or circumstances that constitute an act of God. These events may be beyond the control of both parties, and it is essential to determine under which circumstances either party can avoid liability for non-performance.

For instance, if a supplier is under contract to deliver goods to a manufacturer and a natural disaster occurs that prevents the supplier from delivering the goods, the force majeure clause comes into effect. The supplier will not be held liable for non-performance, and the manufacturer will be relieved of their obligation to accept the delivery.

However, it is important to note that not all events that are beyond a party`s control will be considered an act of God under a force majeure clause. The circumstances must meet specific criteria, such as being unforeseeable, unavoidable, and external to the parties` control.


In summary, it is essential for parties entering into a legal contract to include an act of God clause or force majeure clause to protect themselves from unforeseeable events that may affect their contractual obligations. Understanding the criteria for an act of God event can help parties negotiate and draft effective force majeure clauses that protect their interests. As a professional, this article will help individuals understand the importance of an act of God clause and its significance in legal contracts.








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