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Recission Notes

Irish BCL Notes > Irish Equity Notes

This is an extract of our Recission document, which we sell as part of our Irish Equity Notes collection written by the top tier of Trinity College Dublin students.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Irish Equity Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Recission Grounds for recission Mistake
? Cooper v Phibbs (HL)
? The plaintiff entered into a contract to rent land from his nieces, which in reality belonged to him.
? Later, believing the property to belong to himself, he sought an order for recission of the contract.
? Held that, the parties concluded the agreement under a mutual mistake and misapprehension as to their relative and respective rights and the plaintiff, though there was no fraud, was entitled to have it set aside.
? Solle v Butcher
? A landlord restored a war damaged house which, prior to the war, had been let in flats subject to the Rent Restrictions Acts.
? The landlord, having restored the flat, could have increased the rent if he served the appropriate notices but chose not to do so after the tenant indicated to him that he understood the house to be sufficiently altered to be removed from the remit of the Acts.
? The tenant later sued for the difference between the rent he had been charged and the maximum rent under the Acts and won.
? Bucknill LJ (concurring)
# The parties had addressed their mind to the material issue of the identity of the new flat and their mistake (as to whether the alterations had destroyed the identity of the earlier flat) was a mistake of fact, allowing the contract to be set aside.
? Denning LJ (concurring)
# There are two kinds of mistake those that render the contract void (common law) or those that render it voidable (equity) - in the latter case the court can set the contract aside on such terms as it deems fit.
# The correct interpretation of Bell is that where, objectively and regardless of subjective intentions or beliefs, two parties appear to have contracted on the same terms and the same subject matter, the court will not interfere unless it must be set aside for breach of some condition (e.g. nonexistence of subject matter) or for fraud or on grounds of equity.
# Where the parties are under a common and fundamental misapprehension, and the party seeking to rely on it was not himself at fault, then the courts may set the contract aside in equity - in this case there was such a fundamental mutual mistake that the contract and equity should impose what terms are just.
? Jenkins LJ (dissenting)
# The parties knew all the material facts they had not made a mistake as to fact, but rather a mistake as to the effect the facts with which they were acquainted had on their legal relationship.
? Great Peace Shipping v Tsavliris Salvage (CA)
? The plaintiffs contracted with the defendants to provide salvage services, with both parties believing that the plaintiffs' vessels was considerably closer to the salvage site than it actually was.
? When the defendants discovered this they sought another vessels before terminating the contract and, when sued by the plaintiffs, claimed that the contract was void for mistake.
? Held that, Solle v Butcher does not constitute a true equitable doctrine (i.e. discretionary rules which follow the common law to ameliorate its harshness), rather it runs contrary to the common law in Bell v Lever Bros.
? O'Neill v Ryan (No. 3) (SC)
? The defendants were being sued by the plaintiff on a number of separate grounds and

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