Swimming against the tide of good faith – Hardwicke Chambers

Posted January 22nd, 2014 in contracts, news by sally

‘It is largely accepted that English contract law does not acknowledge a general duty to perform in good faith. In support of this proposition most commentators refer to Interfoto Picture Library Ltd v Stiletto Visual Programmes Ltd [1989] QB 433, CA, in which Bingham LJ (as he then was) spoke of the lack of any overriding legal principle of good faith, in the following terms:

“In many civil law systems, and perhaps in most legal systems outside the common law world, the law of obligations recognises and enforces an overriding principle that in making and carrying out contracts parties should act in good faith. This does not simply mean that they should not deceive each other, a principle which any legal system must recognise; its effect is perhaps most aptly conveyed by such metaphorical colloquialisms as “playing fair,” “coming clean” or “putting one’s cards face upwards on the table.” It is in essence a principle of fair and open dealing… English law has, characteristically, committed itself to no such overriding principle but has developed piecemeal solutions in response to demonstrated problems of unfairness.”’

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Hardwicke Chambers, 14th January 2014

Source: www.hardwicke.co.uk