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Damages

Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University

Contracts

Publication Year

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Death To Semelhago!, Bruce Ziff Apr 2016

Death To Semelhago!, Bruce Ziff

Dalhousie Law Journal

In the 1996 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Semelhago v. Paramadevan, Justice John Sopinka stated that it is no longer appropriate to assume that specific performance will issue as a matter of course to enforce a contract for the sale of land. Before performance will be ordered, it must be proven (and not assumed) that common law damages for breach of contract will not suffice to do justice. In this article, Semel hago and the case law generated in its aftermath will be reviewed, and the policy arguments pertaining to the current law addressed. In short, it …


Damages For Mental Distress And Other Intangible Loss In A Commercial Context, Shannon O'Byrne Oct 2005

Damages For Mental Distress And Other Intangible Loss In A Commercial Context, Shannon O'Byrne

Dalhousie Law Journal

As a general rule, contracts law does not permit an award of general damages for mental distress or other intangible loss. There are several rationales for this, including: plaintiffs are to bear their disappointment or upset with mental fortitude; without the rule, courts would be awash in litigation since every breach of contract brings with it some degree of emotional distress; without the rule, plaintiffs may fabricate or exaggerate the degree of their upset; and the rule simply reflects the lack of foreseeability of such loss under Hadley v. Baxendale. Notwithstanding the general rule, courts have awarded mental distress in …