Dr. Lauri Railas: Force majeure in the sale of goods and COVID-19 logistics – Legal and commercial implications

Dr. Lauri Railas, University of Helsinki & Railas Attorneys Ltd.

Force majeure in the sale of goods and COVID-19 logistics – Legal and commercial implications

In his article, Dr. Railas takes a look into the legal side of the logistics problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The purpose is not to indulge the legal profession or scholars with a thorough analysis of the intricacies of the subject but to introduce the subject to a more general academic audience within the spirit of studia generalia.

Force majeure refers to a superior force. It is a legal term topical in such extraordinary events or circumstances in which the parties are uncapable to fulfill their liabilities. “[I]ts meaning and effects may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Generally, the performance of a party’s obligation under a contract is suspended, i.e. deferred to a later stage, and contractual remedies, essentially the obligation to pay damages, may not be invoked.”

Download the 13 page pdf-document here.

Dr. Lauri Railas

Lauri Railas is an Adjunct Professor (Docent) of Civil Law at the University of Helsinki. He is also a regular lecturer in commercial law and practice courses domestically and internationally, and is a long-time visiting Lecturer at University of Turku.

Railas studied law in Helsinki, Oslo and London (LSE) and published his dissertation in the field of digitization of international trade law in 2004. He has previously worked in the field of marine insurance, as the Secretary General of International Chamber of Commerce (Finland) and as a Principal Administrator  in the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union. Today, he works principally as an attorney in his own law firm and also acts as the statutory Average Adjuster in Finland

Railas has contributed to the drafting of a number of standard contract forms, model clauses and rules including Incoterms 2010 and 2020, the ICC Model Anti-Corruption  Clause 2012, The Nordic Freight Forwarding Conditions NSAB 2015 as well as the very recently published ICC Model Force Majeure and Hardship Clauses 2020.

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