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Cover Cheshire, Fifoot, and Furmston's Law of Contract

8. Mistake  

M P Furmston

This chapter considers the circumstances in which a mistake by one or both parties may affect the validity of the contract, and discusses the two categories of case: (i) where agreement has been reached, but upon the basis of a common mistake; and (ii) where an apparent agreement is alleged to be vitiated by mutual or unilateral mistake. It also considers cases of documents mistakenly signed, that is, where a person is induced by the false statement of another to sign a written document containing a contract which is fundamentally different in character from that which he contemplated.

Chapter

Cover Cheshire, Fifoot, and Furmston's Law of Contract

9. Misrepresentation, Duress, and Undue Influence  

M P Furmston

This chapter discusses three reasons why a contract may be invalid. These are that it was procured by misrepresentation (basically one party misleading the other), by duress (threats by one party to the other), or by undue influence (one party improperly taking advantage of the other).

Chapter

Cover Cheshire, Fifoot, and Furmston's Law of Contract

10. Contracts Rendered Void by Statute  

M P Furmston

This chapter discusses two types of contracts rendered void by statute: wagering contracts and agreements prohibited by competition law (EU competition rules and UK competition rules).

Chapter

Cover Contract Law

12. Breach of contract and termination  

This chapter examines breach of contract and the remedy of termination. It discusses: (1) what constitutes breach of contract; (2) the types of breach that will entitle a claimant to elect whether to end (terminate) the contract and sue for damages; namely, conditions and innominate terms the breach of which deprive the claimant of substantially the whole benefit expected under the contract; (3) how terms are classified into conditions, warranties, and innominate terms; (4) the nature and effect of terminating a contract; (5) when the claimant can insist on continuing with performance (affirmation) when the defendant does not want to perform the contract; and (4) the additional special remedies available to consumers in certain cases.

Chapter

Cover Cheshire, Fifoot, and Furmston's Law of Contract

3. The Phenomena of Agreement  

M P Furmston

This chapter and the next two chapters set out the way in which a legally binding contract is made. This chapter explains the formation of the contract and sets out the rules that determine whether what has happened should legally be regarded as an agreement. The discussions cover offer and acceptance; termination of offer; constructing a contract; inchoate contracts; and long-term relationships.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law

1. Introduction  

This introductory chapter begins by setting out the book’s three principal aims: to provide an exposition of the rules that make up the law of contract, to explore the law of contract in its transactional context, and to explore English contract law from a transnational and comparative perspective. The discussions then turn to the scope of the law of contracts; the growth in the use of standard form contracts and the increasing complexity of the form and the content of modern contracts; transnational contract law; and conflicting policies that underpin the law of contract.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law

1. Introduction  

This introductory chapter presents an overview of contract law. It discusses the definition of a contract; the problems arising in the life of a contract that must be addressed by contract law; the common law, statutory, and international sources of contract law; the nature of legal reasoning; the pluralistic values reflected in contract law that introduce tensions; the main theories on why contracts should be enforced; the reach of contract law and where contract law does not apply; contract law’s relationship to other branches of private law tort, property, and unjust enrichment; and the external influences on English contract law.

Chapter

Cover Borkowski's Textbook on Roman Law

9. Obligations: Common Principles and Obligations Arising from Contracts  

This chapter discusses the Roman law of obligations. The ‘obligation’, as a seminal part of Roman (and indeed modern) private law, is a legal tie created between individuals on account of voluntary interactions (such as contracts) or involuntary interactions (such as delicts). It begins with a general discussion of the nature and classification of obligations. This is an important aspect of the discussion as it links this particular branch of private law to other areas of Roman private law. It then covers the general features of Roman contracts; consensual contracts; verbal contracts; contracts re; contracts litteris; innominate contracts; pacts; and the quasi-contract. The next chapter is devoted to the other source of obligations, namely delicts and quasi-delicts. These two sources of obligations, namely contract and delict, form the substance of the law of obligations.

Chapter

Cover Cheshire, Fifoot, and Furmston's Law of Contract

11. Contracts Illegal by Statute or at Common Law  

M P Furmston

This chapter focuses on contracts prohibited by statute or contracts deemed illegal at common law on grounds of public policy, and discusses the consequences of illegality and proof of illegality.

Chapter

Cover Cheshire, Fifoot, and Furmston's Law of Contract

15. Privity of Contract Under the Law of Agency  

M P Furmston

This chapter discusses the law on contracting through agents. It covers the place of agency in English law; the formation of agency; the position of principal and agent with regard to third parties; unauthorized acts of the agent; and termination of agency.

Chapter

Cover Cheshire, Fifoot, and Furmston's Law of Contract

18. Performance and Breach  

M P Furmston

This chapter discusses the law on performance and breach of contact. It covers the order of performance; excuses for non-performance; whether a party who does not perform perfectly can claim payment or performance from the other party; whether an innocent party who has paid in advance can recover his payment in the event of a failure of perfect performance; whether the innocent party can terminate the contract; the effect of a repudiation or a fundamental breach; the effect of discharging the contract for a bad reason, when a good reason also exists; contractual provisions for termination; stipulations as to time; and tender of performance.

Chapter

Cover Cheshire, Fifoot, and Furmston's Law of Contract

7. Unenforceable Contracts  

M P Furmston

This chapter and the next five chapters deal with cases where what looks like a contract turns out to be in someway defective. The ‘unenforceable contract’ resulted from procedural rather than substantive law. The origin of this position can be found in the passage, as long ago as 1677, of the Statute of Frauds. This chapter, which examines the history of this statute and its surviving effects in the modern law, discusses the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989; other rules about form; and the law on writing, signature, and electronic commerce.

Chapter

Cover Cheshire, Fifoot, and Furmston's Law of Contract

14. Privity of Contract  

M P Furmston

This chapter discusses the doctrine of privity of contract. It covers exceptions to doctrine, the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999; and attempts to impose liability upon nonparties to the contract.

Chapter

Cover JC Smith's The Law of Contract

1. Introduction and fundamental themes  

This introductory chapter provides a brief overview of the fundamental elements of what constitutes a contract. It discusses undertakings or promises, deeds, written and oral promises, bargains, and bilateral and unilateral contracts. It concludes by examining some general themes in contract law to which reference will be made throughout the present title. These include freedom of contract, will theory, economic efficiency, objectivity in contract law, common law and equity, contract law within private law, and international influences on contract law. The outline provided in this chapter is necessarily brief; although some of the themes may seem a little difficult in the abstract, students approaching this subject for the first time should not be troubled. The concepts will become familiar and more easily understood through concrete examples provided in later chapters.

Chapter

Cover JC Smith's The Law of Contract

4. Offer and acceptance: unilateral contracts  

This chapter analyses the formation of unilateral contracts. A unilateral contract arises where O promises A something if A does a particular act which is not the making of a promise to O. A unilateral contract only imposes obligations on O. A is not obliged to do anything. A unilateral offer can be accepted by A regardless of A’s motive for doing the required act. However, A must know of the offer in order for a contract to be formed. O may not be able to revoke the offer if A has embarked upon performance. This will depend upon whether or not O has made an implied promise not to revoke the offer.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law

3. Enforceability: consideration, promissory estoppel, formalities  

Agreement is necessary but not sufficient to trigger legal recognition and thus enforcement. An informal agreement must comprise an exchange in which each party treats her performance (or promise of performance) as the price of the other’s performance (or promise of performance). Absent consideration, English law permits some enforcement, in qualifying circumstances, of promises that induce the promisee’s reliance via the doctrine of promissory estoppel. It also enforces formal promises or agreements. This chapter discusses: (1) the requirements of consideration, promissory estoppel, and formalities; (2) the justification for each test of enforceability; (3) whether the rules and scope of each doctrine are satisfactory, and, if not, how each should each be developed.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law

6. Mistake  

A party who enters a contract because of a mistaken assumption as to background fact can realistically complain that she should not have to take the normal responsibility for her apparent consent. On the other hand, the objective test of intentions renders mistakes irrelevant to the validity of contracts. The chapter explores how contract law balances these competing norms. It discusses: (1) when a claimant can escape a contract due to her unilateral mistake as to: the contractual terms, the nature of the document, or the other party’s identity; (2) when a contract be rectified to correct a mistake in recording it; (3) when a claimant can escape a contract on the ground of her mistaken assumption about the relevant (non-term) facts; (4) the justification for relieving mistake; (5) whether the current law is satisfactory, and if not, how might it be developed.

Chapter

Cover Anson's Law of Contract

8. Mistake  

Jack Beatson, Andrew Burrows, and John Cartwright

Mistake is one of the most difficult topics in the English law of contract. The principles have never been precisely settled, the decided cases are open to a number of varying interpretations. The position is complicated by the fact that there have been distinct changes in the attitude of the judges to the question of mistake during the last 150 years. This chapter examines the circumstances in which a contract will be held to be defective if one or both of the parties enter into it under some misapprehension or misunderstanding but would not have done so had they known the true position. The discussions cover categorizing mistakes, mistakes about contract terms, mistakes about the identity of the person to whom the contract is addressed, and mistakes of fact or law about the subject matter of the contract or the surrounding circumstances.

Chapter

Cover JC Smith's The Law of Contract

10. Third parties  

This chapter considers two principal questions: firstly, may a person who is not a party to a contract acquire rights under it? Secondly, can a contract impose duties on a person who is not a party to it? With some exceptions, the common law answered ‘No’ to both. A contract between A and B cannot be enforced by a third party, C, even if the contract is for the benefit of C. Nor can a contract between A and B impose burdens on C. Following the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 there is now a statutory exception to the principle that C acquires no rights under a contract between A and B. Under this Act, a third party might be able to enforce a term of the contract if the contract expressly provides that they may, or if the relevant term purports to confer a benefit on them.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law

1. Introduction  

This introduction provides an overview of contracts and the law of contract. It first explains what the law of contract is about and why it matters before discussing the tasks of contract law. It then considers the role of debates in contract law, unity and diversity in contract law, and central issues in contract law. It also examines the main perspectives about contract that have influenced English law, including perspectives that used to be historically important. In particular, it explores the notions of bargains and the will. The chapter goes on to address two very different understandings of contracts: one that sees it primarily as a bundle of rights, and one that sees it as a relationship between the parties.