Terminology regarding conditions

This weblog addresses a few simple matters related to conditions: conditions precedent vs. conditions subsequent. It’s the prelude to drafting principles and best practice rules regarding conditions.

In somewhat unusual terms, the DCFR (about the conditions-related provision see my previous blog here) distinguishes between ‘suspensive conditions’ and ‘resolutive conditions’. More common is a distinction between conditions precedent (also called cp‘s) and conditions subsequent: conditions precedent, on the one hand, address conditions that should be satisfied before a right, obligation or contractual relationship comes into existence. On the other hand, conditions subsequent describe facts or events pursuant to which a right, obligation or contractual relationship may be terminated. Nevertheless, the term condition subsequent is not common parlance (if known at all); therefore, it strongly recommended that simple conditional wording is used such that “if ABC occurs, Party 1 may terminate this agreement”.

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