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Fundamental Breach

Law and Sea.
The Treatment of Breach of Contract by Lord Devlin

Logically, if there is a fundamental breach, there must somewhere be a fundamental term. A breach must mean a breach of promise and there cannot be a fundamental breach of promise without a fundamental promise that is broken.

Fundamental Term
Last updated: 06-Oct-2014

Suisse Atlantique Societe d'Armement Maritime S.A. v N.V. Rotterdamsche Kolen Centrale [1966] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 529 per Viscount Dilhorne:

Although the terms are sometimes used as if their meaning was the same, a fundamental breach differs from a breach of a fundamental term. In Smeaton Hanscomb & Co., Ltd. v Sassoon I. Setty, Son & Co. (No. 1), [1953] 1 W.L.R., at p. 1470, [1953] 2 Lloyd’s Rep., at p. 584 Mr. Justice Devlin said that he thought a fundamental term was :

…something which underlies the whole contract so that, if it is not complied with, the performance becomes something totally different from that which the contract contemplates…

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