Journal of Civil Law Studies


France, Belgium, imprévision, hardship, art. 1195, draft article 5.77, modernisation, legal certainty, contractual justice


The codification of the doctrine of imprévision in France and its codification attempt in Belgium is a significant turning point given the historical resistance in both countries towards it. Nevertheless, the fact that the French and Belgian civil codes had remained silent on the issue for more than 200 years poses problems of interpretation, in particular, with the regard to requirements to be met in or-der to trigger imprévision as set forth by new Article 1195 of the French Civil Code and Draft Article 5.77 of Belgian legislative pro-posal No. 3709/1 of April 3, 2019. In the absence of a well-established line of cases on the doctrine of imprévision, French and Bel-gian courts might, however, endeavour to interpret the requirements for imprévision by analysing it in light of the goals shared by the French and Belgian reform projects, namely modernisation, legal certainty and contractual justice. The purpose of this research is to assess the requirements for imprévision in light of the objectives set by the legislators, in order to recommend a possible interpretation of those requirements by French and Belgian courts.

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