Is Meteorological Evidence Relevant Enough in Legal Disputes? A Romanian Case Study.

Open access

Abstract

The increasing frequency and intensity of climate and weather extremes due to ongoing climate changes can cause major property and infrastructure damage. Mainly representing unforeseen and unavoidable hazards, some environmental and business laws broadly assimilate them as force majeure situations, excepting parties affected by their impact from prior commitments. The present study, debating on the way law courts should broadly address the force majeure clause when objective and accurate evidence is being provided, describes the terms of a legal dispute between the owners of two neighboring buildings which have seriously been damaged by a severe thunderstorm developing over the Bucharest-Otopeni town area, on the 22nd July 2014. Consistent meteorological evidence (weather reports and forecasts, aerological diagrams, radar and satellite images, air-pressure distribution maps, synoptic messages etc.) have been presented to the law court to document, in an unbiased manner, on the extraordinary, external, unforeseen and unavoidable weather event representing the cause of a civil legal dispute. The extent to which the law court may take all these into consideration under the provisions of the force majeure clause is still to be explored.

Elliot Michael, Borja Angel, McQuatters Abigail, Mazik Gollop Krysia, Birchenough Silvana, Andersen Jesper H., Painting Suzanne, Peck Myron (2015) Force majeure: Will climate change affect our ability to attain Good Environmental Status for marine biodiversity? Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 95, Issue 1, Elsevier Pub. House, Pages 7-27.

International Chamber of Commerce (2003) “ICC Force Majeure Clause 2003, ICC Hardship Clause 2003”, online: https://iccwbo.org/publication/icc-force-majeureclause-2003icc-hardship-clause-2003/ (“ICC Clause”).

IPCC (2018) Summary for Policymakers. In: Global warming of 1.5°C. An IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty [V. Masson-Delmotte, P. Zhai, H. O. Pörtner et al.(eds.)]. World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, pp. 6.

IPCC (2014) Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core Writing Team, R.K. Pachauri and L.A. Meyer (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, pp. 6 and 13.

Lee-Andersen Selina, Seaborn Claire and West Andrew (2018) Impacts of climate change – foreseeable or unforeseeable? Drafting force majeure clauses in the era of climate uncertainty, https://www.mccarthy.ca/en/insights/blogs/canadian-eraperspectives/, McCarthy Tétrault LLP: accesed on: 22 september 2018.

Saul Roxanne, Barnes Richard, Elliot Michael (2016) - Is climate change an unforeseen, irresistible and external factor – A force majeure in marine environmental law?, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 113, Issues 1-2, Elsevier Pub. House, p. 25-35.

World Economic Forum (2018) Global Risks Report, 13th Edition, Geneva, page 11.

World Economic Forum (2017) Global Risks Report, 12th Edition, Geneva, page 16.

Journal Information

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 26 26 3
PDF Downloads 36 36 7