Discharge of a Contract
• By Performance: Actual Performance
• By mutual consent or agreement
• Discharge by supervening or subsequent
impossibility or illegality:
- Destruction of subject matter
- Death or personal incapacity of promisor
- Change of Law
- Outbreak of war
• Case not covered by supervening impossibility
- Difficulty of Performance
- Commercial impossibility
- Impossibility due to the default of a third person
- Strikes and Lock-outs
- Failure of one of
the objects,
• By lapse of time
• By operation of Law
- Death
- Insolvency
- Merger
- Unauthorized material alteration
• By breach of contract,
Practical Cases
• The unloading of a ship was delayed
beyond the date agreed with the shipowners
owing to a strike of dock labourers. On a
suit by the shipowners for damages, the plea
of impossibility was raised. Advice the
• A agrees to sell his scooter to B a month
after the date of the contract. But just after
the 10 days of the contract he sells the
scooter to C. Thereupon B sues for breach
of contract. A contends that he could still
perform the contract by repurchasing the,
scooter from
Practical Cases
• A contracts to marry B in 2 yrs. time.
Shortly afterwards he breaks off the
engagement without B’s consent. B writes
repeatedly begging him to adhere to the
contract. Just before the expiry of 2 years, a
change in the law makes it illegal for A to
marry B. On the expiry of 2 years, B sues A
for breach of contract. Will she succeed?,
Practical Cases
• A wine merchant contract to sell to a
customer five dozen bottles of a particular
brand of Champagne. At the time of
contract the wine merchant’s whole stock of
wine had been destroyed by fire, but he was
not aware of this fact. What is the effect on
the legal rights of the parties.,
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