Frustration Checklist

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  • Created by: Tiffany
  • Created on: 08-10-11 22:40

Frustration Checklist

The background to frustration & its basic rules

Define a frustrating event is one that prevents performance of the contract but is beyond the control of either party.


The original rule on frustrating events was that a party was still bound by all obligations under the contract.

¤        Paradine v Jane


A doctrine was developed in the 19th century so that in such cases obligations finished at the point of the frustrating event.

¤        Taylor v Caldwell

Frustrating Events


          Because of the destruction of the subject-matter

¤        Taylor v Caldwell

          Because of the unavailability of the party

¤        Robinson v Davidson

          Because of the outbreak of war

¤        Metropolitan Water Board v Dick Kerr & Co

          Because of excessive, unavoidable delay

¤        The Evia

Subsequent illegality;

          Because of the law of another country changes

¤        Denny, Mott & Dickinson v James B Fraser

          Because of outbreak of war

¤        Re Shipton Anderson

Commercial Steralisation;

          Because the purpose in the contract is lost

¤        Krell v Henry

          But not if some commercial purpose remains

¤        Herne Bay Steamboat Co v Hutton

Frustration will not include

Where it is self-induced.

¤        Maritime National Fish Ltd v Ocean Trawlers Ltd

o   A fishing company had 4 trawlers but wished to fish with 5 trawlers. As a result, it chartered a trawler. All 5 trawlers were fitted with a specific type of fishing equipment and each vessel required a licence from the Canadian government before it could be used. The company applied to the Canadian government for 5 licences but in the event was only granted three. It was required to name the trawlers to which the licences applied and used three of its own. It then claimed that the charter had been frustrated and refused to pay for the hire of the trawler. The Privy Council rejected the company’s claim and held that the contract was not discharged. The company could have used one of the three licences for the chartered vessel but instead had chosen to apply the licences to its own vessels. It had not been prevented from completing its obligations by an intervening event but was actually in control. The contract was not frustrated and the court held that the company was bound to pay for hire of the vessel. 

Where the contract is merely more burdensome to perform.

¤        Davis Ltd Contractors v Fareham UDC

¤        Here, the builders wanted to claim that the contract was frustrated in


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