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Force Majeure From Indonesian Civil Law Perspective

“In Indonesia, force majeure is also regulated under the Indonesian Civil Code (“ICC”). However, the ICC does not contain any general provision concerning force majeure, e.g. the definition or the scope of applicability.”

According to the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary (1996), ‘force majeure’ is defined as a superior or insuperable force, or an event (as war, labor strike, or extreme weather) or effect that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled. Under the same definition, force majeure is also synonymous with the terms ‘fortuitous event’, ‘act of god’, and ‘inevitable accident’. In Indonesia, force majeure is also regulated under the Indonesian Civil Code (“ICC”). However, the ICC does not contain any general provision concerning force majeure, e.g. the definition or the scope of applicability.

Naturally, force majeure is closely related to the law of damages. Pursuant to Article 1243 of the ICC, in the event of a default by the debtor, the debtor must be held liable for the loss and damages suffered by the creditor. However, Articles 1244 and 1245 of the ICC stipulate that the debtor must be released from the liability for the loss and damages if the default was caused by force majeure. Through the wording of such articles, the ICC implicitly defines force majeure as an unforeseeable incident, for which the debtor cannot be held accountable.

Subsequently, the ICC regulates the risk and effects of force majeure based on the specific types of the primary agreement. The provisions are broken down into the table below:

Author: Yohana Veronica Tanjung

Gaffar & Co. is an Indonesian Boutique Law Firm that focused on Commercial law Area includes Dispute Resolution and Investment regulatory.

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