Conditions

A condition is a term of a contract that is so important to the contract that a failure to perform the condition would render the contract meaningless and destroy the whole purpose of the contract. In other words a condition ‘goes to the root of the contract’. Â

Where there has been a breach of a condition the courts allow the claimant (i.e. the party that has suffered the breach) the full range of remedies. These include damages, the option to repudiate the contract etc. Â

In Poussard v Spiers and Pond (1876) 1 QBD 410 an actress was contracted for a lead role. The actress was taken ill and missed the early performances. When she did turn up an understudy had been appointed. The actress sued the producers for breach of contract but the court held that in fact it was her that had breached the contract by missing the first night. As the lead her presence was essential and was a condition of the contract.

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