What does Covid-19 teach us about English contract law? – Legal Studies

Posted March 13th, 2024 in contracts, coronavirus, news by sally

‘This paper examines how English courts have responded to the contract problems generated by the Covid-19 pandemic and considers what this tells us about future contract law development. In relation to consumers, the case law on pandemic-affected contracts, though limited, indicates that traditional contract doctrine does not necessarily produce beneficial outcomes for consumers. This further diminishes the importance of the common law in the consumer contracting context. In the commercial sector, contracting parties were encouraged by government and other organisations to co-operate with one another and act in good faith during the crisis, but this has not influenced the courts applying contract law in the pandemic aftermath. The emerging case law suggests that contract law has retained its commitment to certainty, freedom of contract and sanctity of contract, notwithstanding the extraordinary circumstances around the outbreak and its unpredictable effects on contracts. The unalloyed application of formal contract law in the post-pandemic case law augments the position of relational norms as extra-contractual in English law, putting the further judicial development of relational contract principles in doubt. The paper concludes that despite the considerable social and economic upheaval caused by the pandemic, its impact on contract law development is likely to be minimal.’

Full Story

Legal Studies, 8th February 2024

Source: www.cambridge.org