The defence of hardship to specific performance actions

Duncan, Bill (2014) The defence of hardship to specific performance actions. Australian Property Law Bulletin, 29(3), pp. 55-56.

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The decision of Evans v Robcorp Pty Ltd[2014] QSC 26 is of interest as being an instance where the defence of hardship, in this case, financial hardship, was successfully pleaded in defence to a summary application for specific performance of a contract for the sale of land. Equity has always recognised the defence of hardship in response to an action for specific performance which, as an equitable remedy, might be refused in the discretion of the Court (Hewett v Court (1983) 149 CLR 639 at 664). However, whilst the remedy is discretionary, there are certain accepted principles which have guided the courts in their application of this defence to particular facts. It is not a blanket defence to a claim for specific performance where the buyer simply does not have the funds to complete the contract at the time when settlement is called for. Occasionally, a radical change in, say for instance, the health of the defendant between contract and completion, perhaps coupled with a long delay by a seller in calling for completion not being the fault of the buyer might enliven the defence (Patel v Ali [1984]1 Ch 283)

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ID Code: 78273
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Keywords: defence of hardship, contract law, property law
ISSN: 0817-2854
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Commercial and Contract Law (180105)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Property Law (excl. Intellectual Property Law) (180124)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Commercial & Property Law Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Lexis Nexis Butterworths
Deposited On: 02 Nov 2014 23:17
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2014 04:15

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