Got a tricky question? Receive an answer from students like you! Try us!

Doctrine of Mistake in Common Law - Case Study Example

Only on StudentShare
Case Study
Pages 7 (1757 words)


This piece is looking at the doctrine of mistake in common law and support Ewan McKendrick 's position that the Great Peace Shipping v Tsavliris Salvage Ltd1 case has reduced the doctrine of mistake to a vanishing point.
Caveat emptor ("let the buyer beware") is the basic underlying principle in the law of contract…

Extract of sample
Doctrine of Mistake in Common Law

In some other cases even when the contract is valid in law, it may be rendered voidable in equity on the ground of mistake.
The general thinking used to be that mistakes could not be operative in law until in case of Kleinwort Benson v Liverpool City Council3 when the House of Lords declared that this rule is not part of English law. Treitel4 has considered the laws relating to mistake under five headings: Common Mistake; Mutual Mistake; Unilateral Mistake; Mistake as to Identity; Mistake Relating to Documents.
While commentators are not agreed as to the classifications of Mistake, Treitel5 in his book; The Laws of contract, 11th edition, deals with Mistake by contrasting Mistake nullifying consent (Parties reach agreement which is based on a fundamental mistaken assumption) with Mistake negativing consent (Where mistake prevents the parties from reaching an agreement e.g. where they intend to contract about different things).
Some commentators have gone on to divide mistake into two parts, that is, common mistake shared by the parties, and mistake in communication. In a common mistake shared by both parties, although both parties apparently in agreement, have entered into the contract on the basis of a false and fundamental assumption. It is called common mistake since both parties make the same mistake. The contract is not necessarily void at law in these circumstances.
In the case ...
Download paper
Not exactly what you need?

Related Essays

Common Law
The existence of a contract is not dependent upon it in being writing thus a contract can be existent if it oral or informal (Atiyah, 2006). …
15 pages (3765 words)
Common Law and the Doctrine of Privity
However, with implementation of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 (hereafter “the Act”) many transformations have been witnessed, consequently enabling third parties to enforce terms in contracts. In essence, the common law is built on a number of key principles that stipulate that the third party cannot have rights or bear the liability upon a contract he is not a partisan. In order to understand the privity doctrine, it is essential to first relate it to the law of contract. A contract is defined as a promise of exchange that is legally enforceable. Additionally, a…
7 pages (1757 words)
Assignment 1 Employment-At-Will Doctrine
It also means that an employee can leave his or her current job at any time without any reason and with no adverse legal consequences. However, this doctrine can be modified by a contract. For instance, a contract may provide specific terms of employment and termination procedures for different employees, e.g., most companies only negotiate individual terms of employment for high-level jobs while the collective bargaining agreements presented to other employees are only terminated for cause. The cause in this case refers to reasons such as poor performance, misconduct or economic necessity…
5 pages (1255 words)
a)The impact of misrepresentation, mistake, duress and undue influence on the validity of a contract.b)The circumstances in whic
For a statement to be actionable misrepresentation, it must satisfy several requirements: it must be a statement by one party of a contract, to the other party. A misrepresentation by a third party, as a general rule, shall have no effect to the contract. The statement must have been of an existing fact or law, but not an opinion (Bisset v Wilkinson). Finally, the misrepresentation must have formed part of the reason why the claimant entered into the contract. The effect of misrepresentation in a contract generally, is that it makes the contract voidable at the option of the innocent party.…
10 pages (2510 words)