Relief Against Contractual Penalties: Rationality, Fusion and Incommensurability

Date & time

1–2pm Wednesday 30 October 2019


Phillipa Weeks Staff Library, Building 7, Level 4, ANU College of Law, 5 Fellows Road


Dr John Eldridge


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Visitors Committee
ANU College of Law Research Seminar
Relief Against Contractual Penalties: Rationality, Fusion and Incommensurability

The law respecting relief against contractual penalties is attended by considerable uncertainty. This seminar will survey recent doctrinal developments in this sphere, before proceeding to examine two unresolved questions. The first is whether Australian law ought to recognise two jurisdictions to relieve against contractual penalties - one at common law and another in equity - or whether the rationality and coherence of the law would best be promoted by the recognition of a unitary penalty rule. The second is whether the 'interests test' as recognised and applied by English and Australian courts is susceptible of clear and predictable application.


  • Dr John Eldridge »

    Dr John Eldridge’s research is principally concerned with the law of obligations. He has written extensively on contract codification, and is also interested in contractual interpretation and the rule against penalties. His current projects include an edited collection on the Australian law of contract. He is a graduate of the University of Adelaide and the University of Cambridge.


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