Unlike coercion and undue influence in cases of illegitimate pressure or alleged unlawful influence, which depends on an abuse of trust, other cases of a vulnerable person avoid an agreement simply because they are vulnerable and exploited. In the Medina, the Court of Appeal found that a group of pilgrims who had sunk on a Red Sea rock did not have to pay $4,000 promised to a rescue ship because the “saviors” had taken advantage of the vulnerable situation of the pilgrims. To avoid unfair enrichment, the Court replaced an arbitration award of $1800. Similarly, in Cresswell, Ms. Cresswell gave her ex-husband her share of her common assets in exchange for the release of mortgage repayments, which then earned her a profit of $1400. As Potter took advantage of Ms. Creswell`s ignorance of real estate transactions, Megarry J felt that the agreement was void.  One possible exception to this model, which is now very limited, is the “no is factum” defence, which originally applied in the 19th century in favour of illiterates who allowed a person to invalidate a signed contract if it was fundamentally different from what he intended to do.  In Lloyds Bank Ltd/Bundy, Lord Denning MR suggested that it was time to place all cases in a single doctrine of “unequal bargaining power”.  This would have allowed an agreement to be avoided if, in the absence of independent advice, a person`s ability to negotiate on better terms had been seriously compromised and had essentially given the courts more leeway to amend contracts for the benefit of weaker parties. The idea of a uniform general doctrine was rejected by some members of the House of Lords from 1979.
 However, specific legislation such as the Consumer Credit Act 1974, the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1985 or the Employment Rights Act of 1996 create specific rights for contracting parties that lack bargaining power, as well as specific legislation that rewrites a disclosure obligation and good faith. Just as there is no uniform theory of bargaining power, a uniform doctrine of contractual freedom was dismantled long ago, where the parties do not do business in the course of business.  Common law cases concluded that the performance of a contract should always take place. Whatever difficulties the contracting parties faced, they were absolutely responsible for their obligations.  In the 19th century, the courts developed a doctrine that contracts that were impossible to comply would be frustrated and would automatically end. In Taylor v Caldwell, Blackburn J found that when Surrey Gardens Music Hall burned down unexpectedly, the owners did not have to pay compensation to the company that had rented it for an extravagant performance because it was not indebted to any of the parties. One hypothesis that underlies all contracts (a “pre-condition case”) is that they can be executed. People would not normally be under contract to do something they knew would be impossible. Beyond the physical impossibility, the frustration might be that a treaty would become illegal, for example, when a war broke out and the government banned trade with a country at war, or perhaps if the whole purpose of an agreement was destroyed by another event, such as renting a space to attend a cancelled coronation parade.  But a contract is thwarted not only because a subsequent event makes the implementation of the agreement more difficult than expected, such as at Davis Contractors Ltd/Fareham UDC, where a developer unfortunately had to spend more time and money on work than he would be paid for due to an unforeseen shortage of labour and supplies.
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