Fundamental Breach in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Suisse Atlantique Société d'Armement Maritime S.A. v N.v Rotterdamsche Kolen Centrale (Silvretta.)
    • House of Lords
    • 31 Mar 1966

    If fundamental breach is established the next question is what effect, if any, that has on the applicability of other terms of the contract. This question has often arisen with regard to clauses excluding liability, in whole or in part, of the party in breach.

    One may safely say that the parties cannot, in a contract, have contemplated that the clause should have so wide an ambit as in effect to deprive one party's stipulations of all contractual force: to do so would be to reduce the contract to a mere declaration of intent. To this extent it may be correct to say that there is a rule of law against the application of an exceptions clause to a particular type of breach.

  • Huang v Secretary of State for the Home Department; Abu-Qulbain v Same; Kashmiri v Same
    • House of Lords
    • 21 Mar 2007

    In an article 8 case where this question is reached, the ultimate question for the appellate immigration authority is whether the refusal of leave to enter or remain, in circumstances where the life of the family cannot reasonably be expected to be enjoyed elsewhere, taking full account of all considerations weighing in favour of the refusal, prejudices the family life of the applicant in a manner sufficiently serious to amount to a breach of the fundamental right protected by article 8.

  • U.G.S. Finance Ltd v National Mortgage Bank of Greece and National Bank of Greece S.A.
    • Court of Appeal
    • 02 Jul 1963

    This is not an independent rule of law imposed by the Court on the parties willy-nilly in disregard of their contractual intention. This rule of construction is not now in principle but it has become prominent in recent years in consequence of the tendency to have standard forms of contract containing exceptions clauses drawn in extravagantly wide terms, which would produce absurd results if applied literally.

  • Photo Production Ltd v Securicor Transport Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 14 Feb 1980

    I have no second thoughts as to the main proposition that the question whether, and to what extent, an exclusion clause is to be applied to a fundamental breach, or a breach of a fundamental term, or indeed to any breach of contract, is a matter of construction of the contract. But there are ample resources in the normal rules of contract Law for dealing with these without the superimposition of a judicially invented rule of law.

    (1) Where the event resulting from the failure by one party to perform a primary obligation has the effect of depriving the other party of substantially the whole benefit which it was the intention of the parties that he should obtain from the contract, the party not in default may elect to put an end to all primary obligations of both parties remaining unperformed. (If the expression "fundamental breach" is to be retained, it should, in the interests of clarity, be confined to this exception).

  • Gunton v Richmond-upon-Thames London Borough Council
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 03 Jul 1980

    If the only real redress is damages, how can its measure or scope be affected according to whether the contract is regarded as still subsisting or as at an end? To preserve the bare contractual relationship is an empty formality. The difference is fundamental, for there is no legal substitute for voluntary performance.

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  • Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2015
    ...... to the Secretary of State that the person is highly likely to breach a condition included in the person's licence if released at the end of the ... S-57 . Personal injury claims: cases of fundamental dishonesty 57 Personal injury claims: cases of fundamental dishonesty . ......
  • Data Protection Act 2018
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2018
    ...... (i) Article 33 (notification of personal data breach to the Commissioner); . (ii) Article 34 (communication of personal data ... and for so long as the restriction is, having regard to the fundamental rights and legitimate interests of the data subject, a necessary and ......
  • The Damages-Based Agreements Regulations 2013
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2013
    ...... terminate the agreement, for example for misrepresentation or fundamental breach. (1) 1990 c.41. Section 58AA was inserted by section 154 of the ......
  • Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2002
    ......being in the United Kingdom ‘in breach of the immigration laws’ in. section 4(2) or (4) or 50(5) of, or ...and Fundamental Freedoms agreed by the Council of Europe at Rome on. 4th November 1950. ......
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Books & Journal Articles
  • Fundamental Breach–‐Positively Last Appearance
    • Nbr. 46-6, November 1983
    • The Modern Law Review
  • Third Party Liability for Dishonesty Extended
    • Nbr. 3-2, March 1995
    • Journal of Financial Crime
    • 203-204
    The Privy Council in the recent Brunei decision of Royal Brunei Airlines Sdn Bhd v Tan has widened the liability of third parties who assist in a breach of trust. They will now be liable if they ha...
    ...... y hav e dis - honestl y facilitate d a n otherwis e hones t breach . Thi s decisio n i s o f fundamenta l importanc e t o pro - ......
  • The Continuing Value of Relief for Directors' Breach of Duty
    • Nbr. 66-2, March 2003
    • The Modern Law Review
    The nature and scope of relief for directors in breach of their duties did not figure prominently in the Steering Group's fundamental review of company law. Little is proposed beyond removing one o...
    ...... John Lowry n The nature and scope of relief for directors in breach of their duties did not figure prominently in the Steering Group’s fundamental review of company law. Little is proposed beyond removing one of the two pre-conditions for relief laid down in section 727 of the Companies Act ......
    • Nbr. 30-5, September 1967
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... Undoubtedly one likely result is greater emphasis in the future on the rules surrounding breach of contract as opposed to those rules dealing with formation. Williston noted that English, and, to a lesser extent, ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
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