9.3. Force Majeure in the New Reality: Pandemic, Man-Made Accidents, Information Systems Failures

Thursday, May 20
18:30 - 19:30

Channel 2
BROADCAST
Live Stream

Track: 9. Private Law
Discussion session

By 2020, the Russian judicial practice included very few judicial acts releasing business debtors from liability due to Force Majeure events. The discussion of Article 401(3) of the RF Civil Code was based on the explanation why some circumstance was not a Force Majeure event. Such practice resulted from a high objective standard set by these provisions of the RF Civil Code, providing for extraordinary and inevitable nature of Force Majeure events.

Nevertheless, in a similar way as some time ago the active construction of railways made it expressly relevant to study the institute of Force Majeure, the pandemic called, first of all, for the institute to be revisited today. In particular, the RF Supreme Court in its Review of Some Judicial Practice Issues Related to Application of Law and Measures to Prevent Spreading of the New Coronavirus-induced Infection (COVID-19) №1 approved by Presidium of the RF Supreme Court on 21 April 2020, has pointed out that the abovementioned provision must be applied.

It is also evident that in the digital era it is very important for relationships governed by civil law to assess such events as communication disconnections, blackouts, hacking attacks and other factors interfering with operations of digital platforms, including the ones responsible for essential services to residential areas and functioning of transport.

The agenda of the round table will be as follows:

  • Signs of Force Majeure events and their correlation to an incident. May one and the same circumstance be a Force Majeure event for some obligations and not a Force Majeure event for some others?
  • Implication of acknowledgment of a Force Majeure event. Debtor’s protective obligations on occurrence of Force Majeure events and implications of default thereunder;
  • Correlation of the institutions of Force Majeure (Article (401 (3) of the RF Civil Code), impossibility of performance (Articles 416, 417 of the RF Civil Code) and material changes in circumstances (Article 451 of the RF Civil Code): in search for an objective differentiation criterion. Relevance of the institutes upon resolution of disputes resulting from occurrence of the pandemic.
  • Force Majeure as a ground for release from liability under financial obligation;
  • Significance of certifications by Chambers of Industry and Commerce for acknowledgment of Force Majeure events.

Moderator

Lidia Mikheeva

Chairman of the Board, Private Law Research Centre under the President of the Russian Federation named after S.S. Alexeev

Speakers

Vadim Chubarov

Vice-President, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation

Biography

Vice-president, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation. Doctor of Law, Vadim was awarded by Gratitude of the Government of the Russian Federation. Since 1989, he worked at the Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law at the Government of the Russian Federation and in 2007 was appointed as deputy Director on scientific work of this Institute. Since 2008, Vadim works in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation and since 2011 is its Vice-president. Member of the Presidium of the International Commercial Arbitration Court (ICAC) at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation. Member of the Civil law codification Council at the President of the Russian Federation.

Thomas Genicon

Professor of Private Law, Panthéon-Assas University (Paris 2)

Mikhail Krotov

Judge of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation

Natalya Tololaeva

Senior Researcher, Private Law Research Centre under the President of the Russian Federation named after S.S. Alekseev

Mikhail Tserkovnikov

Head of the Department of the Law of Obligations, The Private Law Research Centre Under the President of the Russian Federation Named After S.S. Alekseev


* The Programme may be subject to change