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(p. 118) 10. Third parties 

(p. 118) 10. Third parties
(p. 118) 10. Third parties

Paul S. Davies

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date: 25 January 2021

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 he may, or if the relevant term purports to confer a benefit on him.

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