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Law On Facts Essay

1463 words - 6 pages

Doctrine of frustration is that it is an unforeseen event which occurs and makes the contract impossible to perform as well as the fact that neither party is at fault nor is it a way to escape a contract or obligation so therefore is not a vitiating factor either.
There are several ways where contract may be frustrated this is where for instance impossibility of performance occur due to a frustrating event, so when a it is impossible to carry out the contract as it can be destroyed or inaccessible so due to its existence. The case of Taylor V Caldwell clearly illustrates this aspect where performance was impossible as the building was on fire and therefore this denotes that the contract was ...view middle of the document...

However there are circumstances where the courts will decide that frustration will not apply for instance where performance is made difficult and expensive but not impossible and the case of Davis Contractors v Fareham illustrates this where due to a shortage in skilled labour and material the contract took 22 months to complete and was much more expensive than anticipated from its original 8 months so the action by the claimant on the basis that contract was frustrated however it wasn’t as it just became difficult and expensive. Furthermore another circumstance would be where performance was due to the fault of one of the parties (self-induced) or they chose to use other means to perform the contract and the case of Maritime International Fish v ocean trawlers super servant II where The contract was not frustrated as the claimant had chosen to keep the three licences granted for himself rather than using one to fulfil his contractual obligation this shows it was his fault as he had induced the frustrating event and was therefore in breach of contract. Another way to show how courts would decide if a contract was frustrated or not would be to ascertain the fact of was someone else able to perform the contract e.g. a business partner. The case of Philipp’s v Alhambra shows this where one partner in a firm of music hall proprietors died after a troupe of performers had been engaged. The contract with the performers was held not to be frustrated because the contract was not of a personal nature, and could be enforced against the surviving partners. Moreover courts would also look at whether either party could have foreseen the event and the case of Walton Harvey V walker clearly demonstrates this where a hotel entered a contract with an advertising agency to put illuminating signs of the roof of the hotel, the hotel got purchased by local authority and demolished advertising agency sued for breach of contract so then the hotel owners claimed for the contract being frustrated, however the hotel owners were already aware of the fact that the local authority was interested in purchasing the hotel this proves that one party had already been acknowledged and therefore the contract would not be frustrated. Lastly courts would also look at whether the change of circumstance is not sufficiently radical and the case of Herne bay v Hutton shows this The defendant hired out the claimant's steamship purpose of the contract was to take paying passengers to view the Naval Review which was part of King Edward VII's coronation celebrations also offering a day’s cruise but cancelled as the King was ill. The defendant did not use the steamship and the claimant brought an action for the agreed contract price defendant argued the contract had become frustrated but it was held contract was not frustrated as the contract not been deprived of its sole commercial purpose as it was still possible to perform the days cruise as the Naval Review was not the only...

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