Publication

60. Report on Proposals for Unfair Contracts Relief

Published: 2011-09-28 00:00:00
Paper Number: 60
Project: Unfair Contracts Relief (2011)

The
 basic
 purpose
 of
 the
 law
 of
 contracts
 is
 to
 ensure
 that
 promises
 made
 for
 consideration
 are 
enforced.  
Achieving 
this 
basic 
purpose
 offends 
the 
conscience 
of 
society
 in
 some
 cases.
 The
 courts
 have
 a
 longstanding
 jurisdiction
 to
 refuse
 to
 enforce
 contracts 
that 
are 
determined
 to 
be 
unfair.

This
 report
 recommends
 reforms
 to
 the
 leading
 concepts
 used
 by
 contract
 law
 to
 tackle
 the
 problem
 of
 unfairness.
 These
 concepts
 are
 unconscionability,
 duress,
 undue
 influence,
 good
 faith,
 and
 misrepresentation.
 Over
 the
 past
 years,
 they
 have
 been
 considered
 in
 an
 increasing
 number
 of
 court
 decisions.
 This
 has
 led
 to
 an
 expansion
 of, 
and
 a
 degree
 of 
confusion 
about,
 their
 scope.
  It
 is 
now
 timely 
to
 rationalize
 and 
consolidate 
these 
concepts.

This report is available in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format.

Go back to the Overview.

Keywords: contract, unconscionability, duress, undue influence, good faith, misrepresentation, exclusion clause, unfair contract, Contract Fairness Act, remedies, consumer protection, consumer financial & debt, inequality of bargaining power, general principles of contract law

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