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Contract terms

Commercial Law

2014

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A Wrong Turn In History: Re-Understanding The Exclusionary Rule Against Prior Negotiations In Contractual Interpretation, Yihan Goh Jan 2014

A Wrong Turn In History: Re-Understanding The Exclusionary Rule Against Prior Negotiations In Contractual Interpretation, Yihan Goh

Research Collection Yong Pung How School Of Law

A reason justifying the exclusionary rule against prior negotiations in the interpretation of contracts is its longevity. Yet, the authorities commonly cited in support of the exclusionary rule are mostly traceable to Lord Wilberforce’s speech in the relatively recent case of Prenn v Simmonds. This article suggests that the law took a wrong turn in that case and caused later courts to support the exclusionary rule by recourse to policy-oriented justifications, instead of principle-based ones. The emphasis on policy-oriented justifications, and the recantation of Prenn v Simmonds as reason enough for the exclusionary rule, support an independent rule against prior …