Effects of the COVID-19 Outbreak on Public Service Concession Contracts


ISTANBUL HUKUK MECMUASI, vol.78, no.2, pp.961-981, 2020 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 78 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.26650/mecmua.2020.78.2.0022
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.961-981
  • Keywords: Public service concession contracts, Public procurement contracts, Unpredictability theory, Force majeure, Fait du prince
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has had detrimental effects on legal transactions and public health. The measures taken to prevent the spread of the outbreak have affected the legal regime of contracts for the conduct of public services and public services. Of these contracts, the public service concession contracts are of particular importance. Hence, by undertaking the risks arising from the execution of the service, the contractor who performs the public service is under the obligation to conduct the service in accordance with the principles dominating the public service. In addition to the liabilities of the contractor, the rights of the contractor are also mentioned in the concession agreement. In terms of our subject matter, the principle of the continuity of public services and the right to ask for the protection of the financial balance of the contract is particularly important. The execution of public service concession agreements becomes very difficult and affects the financial balance of the contract due the COVID-19 outbreak. The contractor, who has to perform public service in any case, may request the administration to meet the obligations that he or she has to bear within the framework of the pandemic following the principle of continuity of public services affecting the financial balance of the contract. This study will thus discuss the French administrative law, which is the source country of the Turkish administrative law regarding public service concession agreements, and developments in the European Union law. Then, the instruments that provide the right to demand the protection of the financial balance of the contract granted to the contractor will be presented under unpredictability, force majeure, and fait du prince in the public service concession contracts affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.