5.2.1 Mistake Lecture – Introduction

Welcome to the fifth lesson of this module guide – mistake! The law of mistake refers to where both parties have entered a contract under the same fundamental mistake, which will render the contract void as if it never existed. This is different to when a contract becomes voidable, which will be explored within this chapter. There are three main categories of mistake which will be discussed; non-agreement, mutual agreement and unilateral mistake.

The chapter begins with an examination of non-agreement mistake, considering mistake as to subject matter, ownership and quality. The chapter then moves on to discuss mutual agreement mistake and the relevant test. Finally, unilateral mistake is considered as well as the surrounding case law.

Below are some goals and objectives for you to refer to after learning this section.

Goals for this section

  • To understand what mistake is
  • To understand the difference between ‘void’ and ‘voidable’
  • To understand and be able to distinguish between the different types

Objectives for this section

  • To understand the need for the doctrine of mistake
  • To be able to distinguish between the three main types of mistake
  • To understand the distinction between mistake and frustration
  • To be able to apply and understand the case law surrounding mistake

Start the Lecture

We have three lengths of lecture to suit varying study needs. Select one of the options below to get started (if you have already chosen a study level you will see the option highlighted in violet):

Summary Notes Standard Lecture Detailed Lecture

Problem Questions

Each lecture is also accompanied by hands on examples of problem questions for the subject. You can jump directly to the questions below:

Hands on Examples


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