On 16 February 2017 the Contract and Commercial Law Bill passed its third reading.
The Bill consolidates 11 contract and commercial acts into a single piece of legislation. The drafters have also taken the opportunity to update the legislation to simplify the language used and make it more accessible and easier to understand. The Bill does not change the substance of the existing law.
This Bill signals the government’s intention to modernise our legislation as part of its statute revision programme.
The key rules now dealt with under the Contract and Commercial Law Bill include:
- carriage of goods, relating to the rights and obligations of transport carriers and their customers;
- privity of contract, where a person who is not a party to a contract may still have rights to enforce promises made in it for their benefit;
- contractual mistakes, allowing a court to grant relief in certain circumstances where a party enters into a contract after some mistake;
- contractual remedies, relating to rights to cancel a contract or seek compensation when buying products or services from a private seller or for business use;
- electronic transactions, relating to the legal effect of information communicated electronically;
- frustrated and illegal contracts;
- contracts with minors; and
- sale of goods, covering, amongst other things, default rules relating to the sale of goods in the absence of an express contract.
The new Act will come into force on 1 September 2017.