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Cover Anson's Law of Contract

10. Duress, Undue Influence, and Unconscionable Bargains  

Jack Beatson, Andrew Burrows, and John Cartwright

This chapter discusses the nature and operation of duress, undue influence, and unconscionable bargains. Duress and undue influence occur where one party to a contract has coerced the other or exercised such domination that the other’s independence of decision was substantially undermined. In the limited category of cases in which the doctrine of unconscionable bargains operates, it is necessary to show not only that the process by which the contract was made was unfair but that there is contractual imbalance, i.e., the doctrine extends to the actual substance of the contract and the fairness of its terms. Conduct which constitutes duress or undue influence by a trader against a consumer may also constitute a ‘prohibited practice’ under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, which will give the consumer ‘rights to redress’ under the Regulations.

Chapter

Cover Anson's Law of Contract

9. Misrepresentation and Non-Disclosure  

Jack Beatson, Andrew Burrows, and John Cartwright

This chapter focuses on relief for misrepresentation and for the exceptional cases in which there may be relief for non-disclosure, and considers misrepresentations that have not been incorporated as a term of the contract. In such cases, the misled party will sometimes be entitled to claim tortious damages in respect of loss sustained by reason of the misrepresentation. If the misrepresentation was made fraudulently, damages in the tort of deceit can be recovered. If it was made without reasonable care being taken to ascertain its truth, the misled party may recover damages by virtue of statute, or at common law in the tort of negligence. Where the party making the misrepresentation believed, and had reasonable grounds to believe, that the facts represented were true, although the contract is still voidable at the suit of the misled party, tortious damages cannot be claimed but damages may sometimes be awarded in lieu of rescission. A misrepresentation made by a trader to a consumer may also constitute a ‘prohibited practice’ under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, which will give the consumer ‘rights to redress’ under the Regulations. A pre-contractual misrepresentation therefore may give rise to a wide range of remedies: rescission of the contract, as well as damages by statute or at common law, in contract or tort.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law Concentrate

9. Misrepresentation  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter discusses the identification of actionable misrepresentations which affect the fairness of the process by which a contract was entered into, and render that contract voidable for misrepresentation (liable to be set aside and the parties restored to their pre-contractual positions). It identifies three types of misrepresentation depending on the state of mind of the misrepresentor: fraudulent, negligent, or innocent. It distinguishes between remedies available for the different types of pre-contractual statements, specifically rescission and damages for the different types of misrepresentations, and briefly explains the distinction between commercial contracts and the remedies available to consumers under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.