Publication

Unfair Contracts Relief Backgrounder No. 1 – Introduction to the Unfair Contracts Relief Project

Published: 2009-12-10 00:00:00
Paper Number:
Project: Unfair Contracts Relief (2011)

The
 British
 Columbia
 Law
 Institute
 has
 commenced
 a
 major
 law‐reform
 project
 to
 study
 unfair
 contracts
 and
 recommend
 reforms
 where
 they
 are
 needed.

The 
courts
 have 
long
 had
 a 
jurisdiction
 that
 permits
 them 
to 
refuse 
to 
enforce 
contracts 
for
 reasons
 related
 to
 unfairness.
 This
 jurisdiction
 embraces
 contract‐law
 concepts
 that
 first
 emerged
 in
 the
 distant
 past
 and
 that
 made
 up
 part
 of
 British
 Columbia’s
 legal
 inheritance
 from
 the
 common‐law
 and
 equitable
 courts
 of
 England.
 Since
 appearing
 on
 the
 scene
 in
 British
 Columbia,
 these
 concepts
 have
 continued
 to
 grow
 and
 evolve,
 with
 both
 the
 province’s
 courts
 and 
its 
legislature
 taking 
a 
hand
 in 
their 
development.

This
 project
 is
 concerned
 with
 examining
 the
 following
 contract‐law
 concepts:
 (1)
 unconscionability;
 (2)
 duress;
 (3)
 undue
 influence;
 (4)
 good
 faith;
 (5)
 exclusion
 clauses;
 and
 (6)
misrepresentation.
 These
 concepts
 are
 selected
 because
 they
 can
 usefully
 be
 employed
 as 
themes 
for
 organizing 
consideration 
of
 more 
highly
 specific 
issues
 relating
 to 
contractual
 unfairness.
 They
 also
 serve
 to
 connect
 problems
 that
 are
 currently
 encountered
 by
 contracting
 parties
 with
 a
 longstanding
 body
 of
 jurisprudence.
 Although
 the
 precise
 contours
 of
 these
 concepts
 remains
 somewhat
 blurry,
 it
 is
 possible
 to
 describe
 them
 briefly
 in
 general
 terms.

For more information, read the full backgrounder here or click the icon below.

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

Go back to the Overview.

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