BRICS Law Journal

Advanced search

Legal Definition of Irresistible Force in the Civil Law of Russia and China

Full Text:


The research focus is on concept of force majeure and irresistible force as a reason to release the parties from liability for failure to perform civil obligations. The authors examine theoretical concept and legal definition of “irresistible force” and its characteristics based on legislation, legal literature and judicial practice of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China. Also, the authors analyze the civil law jurisdictions on irresistible force, relatively to its ambiguity and situation with the spread of the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19) and come to the conclusion that courts in each specific case should establish irresistible force circumstances. The work uses a linguistic (philological) method, in particular, the method of distributive analysis of the terms “irresistible force” and “force majeure.” The article shows that in modern Russian law the expression “irresistible force circumstances” has more efficient terminological potential. The authors propose implementation of “irresistible force circumstances” concept in the Russian Civil Code, which would more accurately reflect the essence of this concept.

About the Authors

S. Zimneva
Tyumen State University
Russian Federation

Svetlana Zimneva – Associate Professor, Department of Civil Law and Procedure

38 Lenina St., Tyumen, 625000

T. Popova
Saint Petersburg State University
Russian Federation

Tatiana Popova – Professor, Head of the Department

7/9 Universitetskaia Emb., Saint Petersburg, 199034

H. Siao
Shanghai University of Political Science and Law

He Siao – Senior Lecturer

7989 Wai Qing Song Rd., Qingpu District, Shanghai City, 201701


1. Kamenkov V.S. & Kamenkov A.V. Grounds for Exemption from Civil Liability, 4 Bulletin of Notarial Practice 20 (2007)].

2. Lukyanenko M.F. & Zimneva S.V. Insurmountable Circumstances and Civil Liability, 9 Jurist 19 (2018)].

3. Ebanks A.R. Force Majeure: How Lessees Can Save Their Leases While the War on Fracking Rages On, 48 St. Mary’s L.J. 857 (2017).

4. Majumder B. & Giri D. Coronavirus & Force Majeure: A Critical Study (Liability of a Party Affected by the Coronavirus Outbreak in a Commercial Transaction), 51(1) J. Mar. L. Com. 51 (2020).

5. Malaquias P.F. Revisiting Force Majeure Clauses, 6 Butterworths J. Int’l Bank. Fin. L. 361 (2012).

6. Stancu R. The Consequences of the Covid-19 Pandemia on the Performance of Contracts: Short Comparison Between China, French and Romanian Civil Law, 15(1) EIRP Materials 13 (2020).

7. Zhao L. International Recent Developments, 44(3) Tul. Mar. L.J. 611 (2020). Legal Research 107 (2000).

8. Kaixiang L. & Haixia Zh. On Force Majeure], 6 Legal Research] 107 (2000).

9. Jianyuan C. Force Majeure Clause and its Interpretation], 41(01) Global Law Review 48 (2019).

10. Liming W. Study of Contract Law] (2003). [J]

11. Jianwei Ch. On the Force Majeure Clause in Chinese Law], 7 Legal System and Economics 87 (2008).


For citations:

Zimneva S., Popova T., Siao H. Legal Definition of Irresistible Force in the Civil Law of Russia and China. BRICS Law Journal. 2021;8(3):93-120.

Views: 1219

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

ISSN 2409-9058 (Print)
ISSN 2412-2343 (Online)