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Impossibility, Frustration, and Impracticability

This lesson takes a look at the doctrine of excuse. In particular, we will look at the doctrines of impossibility, frustration of purpose and impracticability. Each of these doctrines excuses performance of the parties to the agreement. This lesson sets out the basic requisites for when courts excuse contract performance and evaluating those situations that merit excuse. The general attributes of contract formation and breach are covered in other lessons.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:

  1. Distinguish between impossibility, frustration of purpose, and impracticability.
  2. Evaluate situations where the risk of a particular contingency has been allocated to one of the parties either expressly by agreement or impliedly.
  3. Analyze a fact scenario to determine to whether performance has become impossible, impracticable or frustrated.
  4. Determine the appropriate remedy when the obligation of a party has been discharged.
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