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Definition Edit

In the law of contracts, impossibility is an excuse for the nonperformance of duties under a contract, based on a change in circumstances (or the discovery of preexisting circumstances), the nonoccurrence of which was an underlying assumption of the contract, that makes performance of the contract literally impossible.

Overview Edit

For such a defense to be raised, performance must not merely be difficult or unexpectedly costly for one party; there must be no way for it to actually be accomplished.

However, the parties to a contract may choose to ignore impossibility by inserting a hell or high water clause, which mandates that payments continue even if completion of the contract becomes physically impossible.

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