Define Doctrine of Frustration. How It Is Applicable to Executory Contracts

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The doctrine of frustration is a legal principle that applies to executory contracts when circumstances arise that make it impossible for one or both parties to fulfill their obligations. In essence, frustration occurs when an unforeseen event occurs that makes the completion of a contract impossible or impracticable.

This doctrine typically arises in situations where contractual obligations cannot be fulfilled due to events outside the control of either party. Examples of such events include natural disasters, wars, strikes, and government actions. In these circumstances, the doctrine of frustration provides a solution to the parties involved in the contract, as it allows them to end the contract without any liability for breach of contract.

It is important to note that frustration is not the same as when a contract becomes difficult or costly to perform. For the doctrine of frustration to apply, the occurrence must make the performance of the contract impossible, not simply hard or expensive.

It is also important to note that frustration does not automatically terminate a contract. Instead, it allows the parties to be discharged from their contractual obligations. The parties may negotiate new terms or enter into a new agreement if they wish to continue their business relationship.

To determine whether the doctrine of frustration applies, courts will examine the circumstances of the case and decide whether the event in question was unforeseeable and beyond the control of either party. If so, the court may allow the contract to be terminated without any liability for breach of contract.

In conclusion, the doctrine of frustration is an important legal principle that applies to executory contracts when unforeseen events occur that make contractual obligations impossible. It allows the parties involved in the contract to be discharged from their obligations without any liability for breach of contract. It is, therefore, essential to take into consideration this doctrine when entering into a contract and ensure that any unforeseen event that may occur is contemplated in the contract.