Published 30 June 2020
Governments have started to take actions to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak worldwide. Such measures have resulted in the closure or at least interruption of businesses since it has become challenging for them to meet their contractual obligations. A frequently asked question is whether the Coronavirus outbreak could excuse contracting parties from performing their contractual obligations. Within this context, the legal practice usually triggers the application of two main doctrines, namely: force majeure and imprévision that find their origins in the French law. While the first usually results in suspending the contractual obligations due to the impossibility of performance, the second often leads to alleviating such obligations. This Article explains the challenges facing the performance of contracts in Egypt in light of the global pandemic of COVID-19. The Article briefly provides the reader with an initial understanding of the main features of the Egyptian legal system. In particular, this Article highlights the differences between civil and administrative contracts and the role of the Egyptian judiciary in forming each type of contracts, to facilitate the understanding of the legal implications of the Coronavirus outbreak within this context. The Article then explains the two common doctrines that could be used to cancel, suspend, or amend both civil and administrative contracts in light of the pandemic; force majeure and imprévision. The Article distinguishes between each of the two theories and their legal consequences when applied to civil and administrative contracts. The Article also explains the other doctrines applied by the Egyptian judiciary, particularly in administrative contracts, which are the Fait Du Prince Theory; and the Material Adverse Events Theory. The Article concludes with analyzing the legal implications of Covid-19 in light of the presented legal doctrines in both civil and commercial contracts versus administrative contracts in Egypt.
This paper is be part of a series of papers on "Force Majeure, Hardship, etc". More information here www.transnational-dispute-management.com/news.asp?key=1813