Dawson, pp. 190-191: Sharp, Pacta Sunt Servanda

41 Colum.L.Rev. 783, 784-786, 788-790 (1941).

 

Two competing theories of contract enforcement are presented:

 

1.     A promise represents a “fixed purpose” in the mind of the promisor.

2.     Enforcement is necessary to give people the power to make promises that others can really depend on.

 

Promises should be enforced unless there is a practical reason not to do so.

 

There are many conditions under which a promise may not be enforced:

 

1.     Duress

2.     Fraud (c.f. statute of frauds)

3.     Misrepresentation

4.     Non-disclosure (sometimes)

5.     Mistake

6.     Impossibility

7.     Forfeiture (don’t know what this means yet)

8.     The promise goes against a statute

9.     The promise goes against public policy

 

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