Contractual Capacity in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Crédit Suisse v Allerdale Borough Council
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 08 Mayo 1996

    I do not think that it is open to this court to introduce such a classification. Where a public authority acts outside its jurisdiction in any of the ways indicated by Lord Reid in Anisminic the decision is void. In the case of a decision to enter into a contract of guarantee the consequences in private law are those which flow where one of the parties to a contract lacks capacity.

    Before using the phrase "ultra vires" or the words "void" and "nullity", it is necessary to pause and consider the breadth of the meaning which one is giving them. It is not correct to take terminology from administrative law and apply it without the necessary adjustment and refinement of meaning to private law. Where private law rights are concerned, as in the present case, the terminology must be used in the sense which is appropriate to private law.

    Private law issues must be decided in accordance with the rules of private law. The broader and less rigorous rules of administrative law should not without adjustment be applied to the resolution of private law disputes in civil proceedings. Public law, that is to say, the law governing public law entities and their activities, is a primary source of the principles applied in administrative law proceedings.

    It remains necessary to ask what amounts to a defence to a private law cause of action. Want of capacity is a defence to a contractual claim; breach of duty, fiduciary or otherwise, may be a defence depending upon the circumstances. To say that administrative law categorises all grounds for judicial review as 'ultra vires' does not assist. In civil proceedings the question is whether, after taking into account the relevant public law, there is on the facts a private law defence.

  • Haugesund Kommune v Depfa ACS Bank
    • Queen's Bench Division (Commercial Court)
    • 12 Febrero 2010

    I have dealt with this point at some length because of its obvious importance and out of deference to Mr Mitchell's interesting argument. I have been particularly concerned to examine carefully a point on which Mr Milligan and Mr Railton made common cause. There is no doubt that Norwegian law looks at these matters in a way different from the English approach.

  • Russell Grant Ltd v Scott Equipment Company
    • Queen's Bench Division
    • 27 Mayo 2004

    I reject the submissions of Scotts that the contract simply obligated them to deliver a plant with the inherent capacity reliably to meet specification. If the contract were wholly performed as at delivery of the plant they might be unfairly in breach; if it were performed following adjustment and, if necessary, modification in the course of a reasonable period following delivery then the plant could then fairly be demonstrated to be in accord with the contract.

  • First Tower Trustees Ltd and Another v CDS (Superstores International) Ltd
    • Chancery Division
    • 20 Febrero 2017

    The clauses in issue do not purport to limit liability for pre-contract misrepresentation. They simply say that, when the trustees enter into the Lease or the Agreement for a Lease, they contract as trustees and not otherwise. I do not understand the legal mechanism by which it is alleged that this covers pre-contract representations. I do not think that this is the true construction of the relevant clauses.

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  • Contracts (Applicable Law) Act 1990
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1990
    ...... An Act to make provision as to the law applicable to contractual obligations in the case of conflict of laws. . [26th July 1990] . . Be ... . (a) questions involving the status or legal capacity of natural. persons, without prejudice to Article 11;. . . (b) ......
  • Employment Rights Act 1996
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1996 his capacity as the worker's employer. S-16 . Excepted payments. 16 Excepted ...with any other workers) has any contractual liability and which so. resulted,. . . in each case whether or not the ......
  • Coronavirus Act 2020
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2020
    ......Mental health and mental capacity Mental health and mental capacity . S-10 . Temporary modification of .... (2) In paragraph 52 of Schedule 6 (contractual terms: qualifications of performers), after sub-paragraph (2) insert— . ......
  • Data Protection Act 2018
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2018
    ...... is a court, or other judicial authority, acting in its judicial capacity. . (2) When designating a data protection officer, the controller must ...S-185 . Avoidance of certain contractual terms relating to health records 185 Avoidance of certain contractual ......
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Books & Journal Articles
  • Atypical working incorporate Greece
    • Núm. 25-5, Octubre 2003
    • Employee Relations
    • 472-491
    The issue of non‐standard forms of employment has sparked controversy in Greece. At the same time the expansion of atypical employment has been identified by policy makers as a central component of...
    ......This study sheds light on contractual flexibilitysurveying thirty establishments. The survey used an employer ... flexibility, and that this is mainly used toadjust corporate capacity to demand variations, not to cut labour costs. Managerial discontentwith ......
  • Douglas Thomson, PRISONS, PRISONERS AND PAROLE Edinburgh: W Green & Son (, 2007. xxiv + 274 pp. ISBN 9780414016927. £58.
    • Núm. , Mayo 2009
    • Edinburgh Law Review
    • 362-363
    ...... of the custodial institutions in Scotland, describing too the contractual capacity for each and the type of prisoners housed there. Despite some of ......
  • Report of the Committee on the Age of Majority
    • Núm. 31-4, Julio 1968
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... to consider the broad aspects of wardship and the contractual, proprietary and matrimonial powers of infants, the Committee ... their work, namely, the age at which full legal capacity and responsibility should begin. Even if the Committee’s ......
  • Creative Clinical Data Mining: Glimpsing the Engagement of Families with an Integrated Service System
    • Núm. 13-1, Marzo 2013
    • Evaluation Journal of Australasia
    This article illustrates the potential of clinical data mining (CDM) for exploring families' engagement with integrated early intervention and prevention (EIP) service systems. New approaches to EI...
    ......As part of an evaluative capacity-building (ECB) process, practitioners asked the question: What can we ... beyond the intuitive knowing of practitioners that the contractual obligation to engage families and children with services across a system ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
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