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Repudiation

Repudiation is a remedy available for breach of contract. Repudiation


involves bringing an end to the contract. It is only available for breach of
condition as oppose to breach of warranty:

Poussard v Spiers (1876) 1 QBD 410

Madame Poussard entered a contract to perform as an opera singer for three


months. She became ill five days before the opening night and was not able
to perform the first four nights. Spiers then replaced her with another opera
singer.

Held:

Madame Poussard was in breach of condition and Spiers were entitled to end
the contract. She missed the opening night which was the most important
performance as all the critics and publicity would be based on this night

Rescission

Rescission is an equitable remedy available at the discretion of the judge.


Rescission seeks to place the parties back in their pre-contractual position and
thus represents an unraveling of the contract. Rescission is available where a
contract is voidable as a result of a vitiating factor such
as misrepresentation, undue influence or duress. The right to rescind may be
lost if the claimant affirms the contract, where a third party acquires rights in
the goods, through lapse of time or where restitutio in integrum is not
possible.

Leaf v International Galleries [1950] 2 KB 86

The claimant purchased a painting from the defendant. Both parties believed
that the painting was by the artist Constable. In fact 5 years later the claimant
discovered the painting was not a Constable. The claimant brought an action
based both on misrepresentation and mistake.

The claim based on misrepresentation was successful however, since it was


an innocent misrepresentation, the claimant had lost the right to rescind the
contract through lapse of time. With innocent misrep the time starts to run
from the date of the contract not the date of discovery.
The claim based on mistake was unsuccessful as the mistake related to the
quality and did not render the subject matter something essentially different
from that which it was believed to be. He believed he was buying a painting
and he got a painting.