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The doctrine of frustration

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Taylor v Caldwell (1863) 3 B & S 826; 122 ER 309 (QB) In this case the defendants had entered into a contract on May 27, 1861, by which the defendants (Caldwell) agreed to let the plaintiffs (Taylor) have use of the Surrey Gardens and Music Hall on four future days, these being June 17th, July 15th, August 5th and August 19th. The Hall was to be used to host a series of four grand concerts and day and night fetes at the Gardens and Hall and the plaintiffs agreed to take the Gardens and Hall on those days, and pay �100 per day. After the making of the agreement, on June 11th, 6 days before the first day of the events, the Hall was destroyed by fire. ...read more.


Consequently rule absolute. Notes: * The case outlines the doctrine of frustration. * This case is one of the first cases under the doctrine, which speaks to situations in which some disaster has overtaken the contract which cannot be said to be any one's fault. * The contract is therefore impossible to perform, and in the absence of any express provision by the parties to the contract, further performance is generally excused. * The decision applied by the courts is that in such cases the contract is no longer binding; it just stops in its tracks. * It is important to note that in such situations the court will imply a term into the contract. ...read more.


However, it does not follow that in all contracts any act of negligence will deprive a party of the defence of frustration. - If the contract is frustrated, a party may still be entitled to compensation for work that it has undertaken prior to the termination, and to retain any payments previously made under the contract. - Because there is no definite list of frustrating events, and since the doctrine has developed on a case-by-case basis, it is not always possible for a party to know whether an event would be considered by the court to be a frustrating event. (Coyle: 2005) ?? ?? ?? ?? - 1 - ...read more.

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