- T.A.R. Campania
DISPUTE BETWEEN ITALIAN PARTIES - USE OF UNIDROIT PRINCIPLES AS A MEANS OF INTERPRETING THE APPLICABLE DOMESTIC LAW (ITALIAN LAW)
NOTION OF FORCE MAJEURE - REFERENCE TO ARTICLE 7.1.7 UNIDROIT PRINCIPLES
The dispute concerns the authorization to move a tobacco shop and a lottery office to an area different from the one originally assigned for reasons of force majeure. The Italian Public Authority considered that the conditions for such authorization were met, since the shop owner had received a notice of eviction from his landlord. The administrative measure was challenged before the Regional Administrative Court by the owners of two other tobacco shops in the area.
The Administrative Court annulled the administrative measure affirming that no force majeure occurred, since the owner of the tobacco shop had had plenty of time (three years) to find other suitable premises in the originally assigned area. In defining the notion of force majeure, the Court referred to the UNIDROIT Principles, which define the force majeure as "an impediment beyond ... control" of the party "that it could not reasonably be expected to have taken into account at the time of the conclusion of the contract or to have avoided or overcome it or its consequences" (Art. 7.1.7).