Unconscionable Bargains Case Study

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Doctrine of Unconscionable bargain The doctrine of unconscionable bargains can be regarded as difficult to define but various cases have succeeded in refining the doctrine to a simple understanding. In Evans v Llewllin, unconscionable bargains is a well established jurisdiction in equity to relief against transaction regarded as considerably disadvantageous to the complainant, who is in a special position of weakness compared to the defendant and where transaction was procured by the defendant in a morally culpable manner. The power to provide equitable relief from unconscionable bargains stems from the Court of Chancery’s power to set aside agreements with expectant heirs that had been pressured into entering contracts as a result of their ignorance and poverty, this was evident in Earl of Aylesford v Morris. Fry v Lane established this principle of law, with Kay J stating that ‘where a purchase is made from a poor and ignorant man at a considerable undervalue, the vendor having no independent advice, a Court of Equity will set aside the transaction’. It is not enough for the terms of an agreement to be unconscionable or unfair, making it more favorable to the defendant than the complainant; it must show defendant’s conduct is unconscionable. Capper noted, the doctrine struggled in adapting to the declining need of expectant heirs in the early twentieth century and was abandoned until its reappearance in Cresswell v Potter where the elements of the doctrine where not just incorporated to suggest a party ‘’of a lower income group and less highly educated’’ but the concept in regards to expectant heirs was disregarded. Over the years it had become significantly popular in cases where one party had been mistreated due t... ... middle of paper ... ...shold in cases where unconscionable conduct was present, see Boustany. There is no clear distinction as to when special requirement is considered significantly relevant. In my opinion, the law is uncertain and considerably misleading, if on one hand a rich woman can be classified as ‘’poor’’, in addition to the other elements of exploitation and considerable disadvantageous contracts, allowing the court hinder protection to the deserved. For instance, the doctrine of special disadvantage has been able to protect large corporations, banks and even governmental department; even when against an individual, failure to prove existence of the other elements has hindered relief in England. Although the concept of special disadvantage can be regarded as uncertain, it is vital to note it is a requirement the court may consider in granting relief to those vulnerable party’s.

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