Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-vpsfw Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-20T10:13:17.390Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

3 - The rise and fall of mistake in the English law of contract

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 August 2009

John Cartwright
Affiliation:
Christ Church, Oxford
Ruth Sefton-Green
Affiliation:
Université de Paris I
Get access

Summary

For the comparative lawyer the doctrine of mistake in the English law of contract is a topic of particular interest – and especially for the comparative lawyer with an eye to the historical development of the doctrine and the continental influences on it. No doubt the story is not yet over. But in the light of the most recent decisions on mistake in the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords we can now trace the development of the doctrine of mistake in three centuries, as it passed through the hands of some key members of the judiciary. For the purposes of this discussion, the first life of mistake is in the nineteenth century, born of the common law but with civil law influences through, notably, the insight of Lord Blackburn. The second life is the twentieth century, first growing into a doctrine of mistake at common law with the assistance of Lord Atkin and then in the second half of the century further developing into a doctrine of mistake in equity under the watchful tutelage of Lord Denning. The third life is just beginning, in the twenty-first century. The growth in mistake which was promoted by Lord Denning is being cut back. Mistake is not dead, but its place in the law of contract is being reassessed.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2005

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×