The Doctrine Of Privity, Developed By The Common Law, Worked Before The 1999 Act

955 WordsMar 14, 20164 Pages
The doctrine of privity, developed by the common law, worked before the 1999 Act. Cases such as Tweddle v Atkinson, Dunlop v Selfridge, Beswick v Beswick clearly elucidate the above statement. However, the doctrine of privity wasn’t without its flaws for even though it provided certainty, it led to socially unjustifiable results. The 1999 Act was passed to mitigate the harsh results that the courts came to using the doctrine. The doctrine of privity operates to exclude claims from third parties by emphasizing the lack of relationship between parties to a contract and the third party. Under the doctrine, third parties neither have rights under the contract nor can rely on exclusion clauses that the contract contains. Beswick v Beswick clearly demonstrates the former by not allowing the plaintiff to bring a claim against the nephew for stopping payments he promised under a contract with her husband (Courts came around the problem by holding her as the administratrix of the estate). In Scruttons, the latter can be seen clearly as the stevedores were not allowed to rely on the exclusion clause due to their third party status. Consideration, a core doctrine in the law of contract, is intertwined with the doctrine of privity. A classic case that demonstrates this link is the 1861 high court case of Tweddle v Atkinson, where a third party beneficiary was unable to succeed in his claim due to him being a third party to the contract and also, due to the lack of consideration from
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