Freedom of Contract in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Cavendish Square Holding BV v Talal El Makdessi; ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis
    • Supreme Court
    • 04 Nov 2015

    The true test is whether the impugned provision is a secondary obligation which imposes a detriment on the contract-breaker out of all proportion to any legitimate interest of the innocent party in the enforcement of the primary obligation. The innocent party can have no proper interest in simply punishing the defaulter. His interest is in performance or in some appropriate alternative to performance.

    But for all that, the circumstances in which the contract was made are not entirely irrelevant. In a negotiated contract between properly advised parties of comparable bargaining power, the strong initial presumption must be that the parties themselves are the best judges of what is legitimate in a provision dealing with the consequences of breach.

  • George Mitchell (Chesterhall) Ltd v Finney Lock Seeds Ltd
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 29 Set 1982

    They were printed in small print on the back of tickets and order forms and invoices. They were held to be binding on any person who took them without objection. The big concern could and did exempt itself from liability in its own interest without regard to the little man. When the courts said to the big concern, "You must put it in clear words", the big concern had no hesitation in doing so. It knew well that the little man would never read the exemption clauses or understand them.

    Faced with this abuse of power—by the strong against the weak—by the use of the small print of the conditions—the judges did what they could to put a curb upon it. They still had before them the idol, "freedom of contract". They still knelt down and worshipped it, but they concealed under their cloaks a secret weapon.

  • Johnson v Unisys Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 22 Mar 2001

    At common law the contract of employment was regarded by the courts as a contract like any other. But over the last 30 years or so, the nature of the contract of employment has been transformed. It has been recognised that a person's employment is usually one of the most important things in his or her life. It gives not only a livelihood but an occupation, an identity and a sense of self-esteem.

  • Sidhu v British Airways Plc
    • House of Lords
    • 12 Dic 1996

    Thus the purpose is to ensure that, in all questions relating to the carrier's liability, it is the provisions of the Convention which apply and that the passenger does not have access to any other remedies, whether under the common law or otherwise, which may be available within the particular country where he chooses to raise his action. Thus the purpose is to ensure that, in all questions relating to the carrier's liability, it is the provisions of the Convention which apply and that the passenger does not have access to any other remedies, whether under the common law or otherwise, which may be available within the particular country where he chooses to raise his action.

  • Esso Petroleum Company Ltd v Harper's Garage (Stourport) Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 23 Feb 1967

    If one who seeks to take a lease of land knows that the only lease which is available to him is a lease with a restriction then he must either take what is offered (on the appropriate financial terms) or he must seek a lease elsewhere. No feature of public policy requires that if he freely contracted he should be excused from honouring his contract.

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Legislation
  • Intellectual Property Act 2014
    • England & Wales
    • 1 de Enero de 2014
    ...... designer and the commissioner of the design have entered into a contract relating to the commission of the design, and. . . (ii) the contract was ...3 . Miscellaneous Part 3 . Miscellaneous . S-20 . Freedom of information: exemption for research 20 Freedom of information: ......
  • Data Protection Act 2018
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2018
    ...... (a) (a) a public authority as defined by the Freedom of Information Act 2000, . (b) (b) a Scottish public authority as defined ... Article 22(2)(a) or (c) of the GDPR (decisions necessary to a contract or made with the data subject’s consent). . (4) Where a controller ......
  • Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2015
    ...... Power to invalidate certain restrictive terms of business contracts 1 Power to invalidate certain restrictive terms of business contracts . ... . . "public authority" has the same meaning as in the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (see section 3 of that Act);. . . "regulated ......
  • Freedom of Information Act 2000
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2000
    ...... . (a) appears to the Secretary of State to exercise functions of a. public nature, or. . . (b) is providing under a contract made with a public authority any. service whose provision is a function of that authority. . (2) An order under this section may designate a ......
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Books & Journal Articles
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Law Firm Commentaries
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