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A contract is defined as a legally binding agreement made between two or more persons. It is necessary that certain elements be fulfilled for a contract to be legally enforceable, that is, an unequivocal offer and acceptance between the contracting parties, applicable consideration, intention to create legal relations and sufficient capacity. The first issue to be resolved is whether the doctrine of frustration would discharge the contract between Edmund and Fiona and secondly, whether any monies paid or payable could be recovered.
Anticipatory breach describes a declaration by the promising party to a contract that he does not intend to live up to his obligations under the contract. Communication of the anticipatory breach can be expressly or impliedly made. There could be the possibility of anticipatory breach by Fiona for delaying the start of work. Edmund, having received communication of an anticipatory breach can treat the contract as discharged despite no actual breach occurring, provided he communicated his intention to Fiona to accept the breach and terminate the contract as per Hochester v De La Tour (1853). Edmund will thus be able to claim his expenses incurred if his claim of anticipatory breach by Fiona is successful.
A contract is rendered impossible to perform, illegal or radically different from what was originally agreed to due to an unforeseen event under the doctrine of frustration. The doctrine of frustration lightens the plausible harshness of the absolute contracts rule as per Paradine v Jane (1647), which commands performance in spite of supervening events. An unforeseen event destroying the subject matter of the contract as per Taylor v Caldwell (1863) excuses the parties to perform their contractual obligations. For the event to be unforeseen, the risk must not have been allocated, impliedly or expressly to either party and both parties…...

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