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Chapter

Cover Business Law

7. Factors Affecting The Validity of a Contract  

This chapter discusses how the manner in which a contract is concluded can potentially affect its validity. Before discussing the terms and details of a contract, it is important to note that a contract may fail due to one or both parties not possessing the capacity to establish a contract. Some of the common reasons includes a mistake by one or both parties, a provision that has been misrepresented in the negotiations, or the use of undue influence or placing the other party under duress in the process of concluding the contract. Some of the reasons listed in this chapter may be common, but the emphasis here is to identify where problems may occur that could prevent the successful operation of the contract despite fulfilling the essential features discussed in the previous chapters.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Business Law

7. Vitiating Factors  

A contract may meet the necessary formation requirements of offer and acceptance, consideration, and intention to create legal relations, but still not be binding because it lacks other necessary factors. These invalidating factors are sometimes referred to as ‘vitiating factors’. This chapter discusses statements that constitute actionable misrepresentations; the difference between fraudulent, negligent, and innocent misrepresentation; the remedies available for each type of misrepresentation; and the effect a misrepresentation will have on the validity of a contract. The chapter considers types of mistake and when a court will regard a mistake as an operative mistake rendering the contract void. It also considers how duress and undue influence may arise, the presumptions relating to undue influence, and whether the presence of duress and undue influence will make a contract voidable. Finally, the chapter considers types of contract that are illegal under statute and under common law.

Chapter

Cover Business Law Concentrate

3. Contract II: mistake, misrepresentation, duress, and undue influence  

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 considers contract law and the factors that may affect the contract or its validity: mistake, misrepresentation, duress, and undue influence. A contract may be held void due to a fundamental mistake, as the parties did not have a true agreement. An action under misrepresentation is available if an untrue representation is considered ‘actionable’. If a contract is established on the basis of violence (or a threat), or unlawful economic pressure, this may be considered to be a case of duress. Where undue influence has been used to form the contract, it will be voidable.

Chapter

Cover Card & James' Business Law

10. Vitiating factors  

This chapter focuses on the vitiating factors in a contract, namely those that can render a contract void ab initio or voidable (the distinction between void and voidable contracts is discussed). These include misrepresentation, mistake, duress, undue influence, unconscionable bargains, and illegality and public policy. Certain vitiating factors like mistake will render a contract void ab initio whilst others such as misrepresentation will render the contract merely voidable. It also shows that contracts are not beyond challenge once formed and describes several cases where the courts have held that a contract should not be enforceable despite the validity of the contract’s formation.