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LAW OF CONTRACTS INTRODUCTION

We have here the same question as in the preceding chapter: how are local circumstances influencing the development of the law?

In Ramasingh v Janakdai Bacchus, Civil Appeal No 4 (1995), Kennard C dealt with the law on the repudiation of contracts in the following terms:

The law as to repudiation as I understand it is this: if before the time arrives at which a party is bound to perform a contract, he expresses an intention to break it or acts in such a way as to lead a reasonable person to the conclusion that he does not intend to fulfill his part, this constitutes an anticipatory breach of the contract and entitles the other party to take one of two courses: (1) He may accept the renunciation, treat it as discharging him from further performance and sue for damages forthwith…or he may wait till the time for performance arrives and then sue. If the breach is accepted the innocent party is relieved from further performance of his obligation under the contract. If the breach is not accepted, the contract subsists at the risk of both parties and the anticipatory renunciation is ineffective… Where there is an anticipatory breach or the breach of an executory contract, and the innocent party wishes to treat himself as discharged he must normally make his decision known to the party in default (‘accept the repudiation’)… Unless and until this is done, the contract continues in existence for (‘an unaccepted repudiation is a thing writ in water’)… Acceptance of a repudiation must be clear and unequivocal.