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Modification or Termination of Contracts due to Changed Circumstances

As a basic principle contracts must be fulfilled, without exception. However, if the relevant circumstances have changed significantly and certain prerequisites are fulfilled, a party to a contract is allowed to seek modification or termination of the contract. But such options are understood in a restrictive way, as they may undermine trust in the binding force of contracts.

Dutch Caribbean law contains specific statutory provisions allowing revision or termination of a contract due to change in circumstances.

The court may, upon request of one of the parties, modify the effects of a contract or terminate it in part or in its entirety on the basis of unforeseen circumstances of such nature that the other party may not, according to the criteria of reasonableness and fairness, expect the contract to be maintained in an unmodified form. The modification or termination may be given retroactive effect.

The court shall not change or terminate the contract to the extent that these unforeseen circumstances, in view of the nature of the contract or of common opinion, should remain for the account of the party concerned.