Breathing space - a Concept Note on the effect of the pandemic on commercial contracts
Concept Note 1 on the effect of the 2020 pandemic on commercial contracts
A note agreed by senior judges and academics, at a meeting held by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL), has called for 'breathing space' in commercial contract disputes arising from the current Covid-19 pandemic.
Concept Note 2 on the effect of the 2020 pandemic on commercial contracts
Following its recent call for Breathing Space, BIICL has released Concept Note 2 which shows in detail which steps should be taken to minimise the risk of a deluge of disputes and to increase the prospect of constructive outcomes.
Concept Note 2 argues, among other things, that the best policy approach in the case of many contracts is for the law:
- To support negotiated solutions to make viable contracts blighted by the pandemic work;
- To bring contracts made unviable by the pandemic to an end in an equitable manner;
- Where negotiation fails, to encourage parties to undertake mediation or other alternative dispute resolution methods;
- Where court proceedings are needed and cannot be safely carried on in person, to encourage online hearings - these will have a much more important role in the future even when no longer necessary for health reasons, and will help to avoid a backlog of cases clogging up the system.