Monday, 1 April 2013

3 Minute Cases: Paradine v Jane 1647

Prior to frustration, the rule of absolute contracts and pacta sunt servanda governed contract law. The rule stated that should a party freely enter a contract, they must fufil it. Hence, it was difficult to protect yourself from getting into a bad bargain and so the doctrine of frustration arose when insurance was not readily available. Paradine v Jane 1647 makes this point pretty clear. 

The doctrine of frustration is regarded as being narrow and as such, a case must generally be brought under a recognised category for the event to be considered as having frustrated the contract. Historically, termination by frustration comes from two cases, which set forth two different doctrines that can render a contract frustrated; impossibility of performance and frustration of purpose.

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