Flashcards in Mistake Deck (19)
Associated Japanese Bank v Credit du Nord (1988)
Does the contract expressly or implicitly allocate the risk to one of the parties? Only if the contract is silent on this point will the doctrine of mistake be involved. Approved by Hoffman LJ in William Sindall v Cambridgshire CC. Both have a strong understanding of contract so should be followed.
Unclear whether a contract can be void for defective quality where it is fundamental, unsound horse example. Lord Atkin suggests mistake only applies when it is mutual and the quality makes the contract fundamentally different from the thing which it was believed to be. Lord Thankerton, must be agreed to be an integral part of the contract.
Clark v Lindsay (1902)
Coronation case that was void for mistake, room.
Exam technique: construction first, the mistake next. Test how far they extend and apply, discuss difficulties with the way that they operate.
Sale of Goods Act, section 6
Where there is a contract for the sale of specified goods and without the knowledge of the seller the goods have perished at the time the contract was made, the contract is void
Bell v Lever Bros (1932) HL
This mistake of paying leaving compensation was not fundamental enough to render the contract void. They considered that they would have likely done it anyway. Steyn LJ feels it is confined particular facts (Associated Japanese Bank).
The Great Peace (2002) CA
There is no equitable jurisdiction for mistake, but as a sensible and intuitively just way of solving problems it doesn't seem logical to overrule it.
"The effect of Solle v Butcher is not to supplement or mitigate the common law; it is to say that Bell v Lever Bros was wrongly decided" Lord Phillips MR
Parliament should legislate to give the courts a more flexible and equitable jurisdiction to operate mistake as they have with frustration. Other jurisdictions such as Singapore will not follow the Great Peace.
(i) There must be a common assumption as to a state of affairs;
(ii) There must be no warranty by either party that that state of affairs exists;
(iii) The non-existence of the state of affairs must not be attributable to the fault of either party;
(iv) The non-existence of the state of affairs must render performance of the contract impossible;
(v) The state of affairs may be the existence, or a vital attribute, of the consideration to be provided or circumstances which must subsist if performance of the contractual adventure is to be possible.
Is it better to just have a broader doctrine that is voidable for mistake?
Raffles v Wichelhaus (1864)
Mistake over which "Peerless" was to ship their products as one left in October and the other December. This mistake was enough to render the contract void but no reasons where given. Generally accepted is that there was no agreement on the terms so no contract due to ambiguity.
Scriven v Hindley (1913)
Confusion over "hemp" and "tow". It must objectively be shown that a reasonable person would have made the same mistake.
Wood v Scarth (1858)
Although there was a drafting mistake, it was not sufficiently ambiguous so there was no jurisdiction to render the contract void.
The remedy of specific performance will not be granted where it would cause hardship, instead there would be a remedy of damages.
Hartog v Colin & Shields (1939)
A fundamental mistake as to the terms of the contract (per piece not per pound). This was due to the intention (Singleton LJ) as all previous interactions had said per piece.
Smith v Hughes (1871)
Mistakes as to quality are not operative.
Boulton v Jones (1857)
A cannot make an offer to B which is accepted by C (when C knows the offer is not to them).
Cundy v Linsday (1878) HL
The contract was void for mistake over the identity of the rogue. This seems very unfair and unjust so it doesn't play a bit role in the law.
King's Norton Metal Co v Eldridge (1897) CA
The claimants relied on the description presented on the stationary and sent their goods to "Hallam & Co". The court distinguished this from Cundy v Lindsay as a mistake of their attributes, so was only voidable for fraudulent misrepresentation.
Phillips v Brooks (1919)
Man pretended to be Sir George Bullough in order to obtain jewellery using a fake cheque. The cashier intended to deal with the person in front of them and was merely a mistake of attribute.
Ingram v Little (1961) CA
This was ruled to be a genuine mistake of attributes.
Lewis v Averay (1972) CA
The contract was merely voidable despite similar facts to Ingram v Little.
Shogun Finance v Hudson (2003) HL
Cundy v Linsday applies and the contract is void for mistake. The orthodox distinction between face-to-face and correspondence is applied.
Rose v Rim (1953) CA
Rectification is not appropriate where there is a mistake in understanding rather than recording.