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Understanding Exemption Clauses in Contracts


Exemption clauses are contractual terms that form parts of contracts that attempt to either exclude or limit the liability of one party to the other one (Law, 2018)??? What is this?. Usually, that comes about when one of the parties makes an attempt towards cutting down their contractual duties scope or regulate the rights of the other party to remedies for possible contractual breaches. Generally, the use of the term exemption clause implies clauses in terms and contracts that appear to restrict and exclude liabilities that would otherwise come about. Careful with language here – exemption clauses are more usually express, and using the wording ‘implies’ clauses in terms and contracts is confusing.

Today, there are many consumers who find themselves entangled in the welter of provisions in situations that are hard bargain and standard form contracts. Subsequent to the vulnerability of the consumer is the inability to resist those terms that are found in standard forms and the further appreciation of their importance (Wright, 2016).what is this? There are different types of limitations in majority of the standard form contracts and these include exemptions and exclusions. Most of the times, consumers find themselves signing standard form contracts ignorantly without giving consideration to their consequences as a result of the consumers impracticability to enlist legal services. And while exemption clauses are also applicable to delictual actions, the preference of the majority of the parties is in instituting their courses of action under delict and not in contract. You should confine your answer to contract, not other actions. That is informed confirmed??? by the view that when these two are compared, the latter appears to be a more limiting factor than the former (Blackshield and Huisman, 2016). I don’t know if you are confusing this, but contractual actions are generally less limiting than tort and legally more advisable

When viewed holistically, exemption clauses are means of defined risk allocations between two or more parties through admissions that are tacit. Too vague and generalThe entertainment of such clauses that exempt the providers of services and suppliers from liability often leads to the derogation of consumer common law redress rights. Yes, possibly but there is very considerable well defined statutory protection These provisions include; the “no representations clause.” This clause excludes the contracting parties’ rights to either claim damages or rescind contracts for misrepresentations that are made by others that induced them to get into contracts (Fontain and Dilly, 2006). Misrepresentations are not relevant to this answer unless specifically related to exclusion clauses.


Statutory controls

The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977

The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 (UCTA) is applicable to situations are and is that area of control, one of the most significant Acts. Sentence does not make sense. The Act regulates the restriction and exclusion of liability for breach of contractual obligations both express and implied and the duty of care under common law, that is, tort. The title is Contract terms, so I am not sure why you think that it applies to tort. Additionally, the Act regulates terms in line with those areas of liability that they make attempts to either restrict or exclude (Farhah, 2011). This is its main function

liability for personal injury and even death that comes about from negligence cannot be excluded. This sentence is contradictory. You cannot restrict liability or exclude it. One or the other. It is worth noting that the fact that terms are void under some legislation, and as such, when they come before courts, could not have the intended harmful effects, is not something that consumers are always aware of. UCTA no longer covers consumer contracts, so this is not a legally correct comment in context. In the event damages and losses come about as a result of negligence, for instance, damage of properties or financial losses, it becomes possible to limit liability. However, that can only happen if insofar as the notices terms are able to satisfy the reasonableness test of the UCTA. It is worth noting that the rule is applicable in all circumstances and that is without regard to whether the terms existed in a non-contractual or contractual or whether the parties involved are entangled in a bespoke or standard term.

In the interpretation of reasonableness, Schedule 2 of the UCTA contains five major guidelines and these are; The material you have given above is all descriptive without making the important point that it now only applies to business contracts and the point of this question is to indicate if there is a separation between business and consumer contracts legislated for in the CRA 2015

The parties’ bargaining positions relative strengths.

Whether for acceptance of terms, inducements were offered to the customers.

Whether customers were well aware or should have been aware that the terms were included.

Whether the goods were adapted or made to the customers’ special orders.

While these guidelines are regarded as being specifically applicable to the sale and further supply of goods situations, they are regarded as having more general applications by courts. In business contracts, and that is especially where the bargaining powers of the parties involved is comparable and where the parties are capable of insuring themselves against those risks that the clause contemplated, there is reluctance in courts to make interventions and they prefer to leave the parties at will to apportion the risks as they deem fit as in the case of Watford Electronics Ltd v Sanderson CFL Limited (THOMSON REUTERS PRACTICAL LAW, 2019). Those clauses that however, attempt to leave customers without remedies that are realistic for serious contractual breaches nevertheless, run the risk of being deemed unreasonable.

Any contractual terms that make attempts towards excluding or restricting liability for pre-contractual misrepresentations or which make attempts to limit the available misrepresentation remedies would have no effects save to the extent that they satisfy the requirement of reasobleness as set out by the UCTA. That is relevant frequently in the context of entire agreement clauses which make attempts to exclude any forms of misrepresentations and any other such information that during negotiations that are pre-contractual, is disclosed.

Caution should always be taken to avoid the including of entire agreement clauses which make attempts to excluding liability for different misrepresentations and that is whether the misrepresentations are fraudulent, negligent or innocent. Any purported exclusions of fraudulent misrepresentations would be deemed as not being reasonable like was in the case of Thomas Witter Ltd v TBP Industries Limited (1996). As such, the entire clause would end up having no effect. Entire agreement clauses should be capable of carving out fraudulent concealment and fraud explicitly from their provisions.

The UCTA in its section 3 prevents the utilization of exclusion clauses which would exclude the liability for contractual breaches or which would make a claim to permitting the substantiality of a contractual performance different from the expectations and also in respect to part or entire contractual obligation/ the rule is applicable whenever there one of the parties to a contract in a business that contracts on the standard terms of the other.

Quite commonly, commercial contracts have force majeure clauses that tend to absolve parties from liability in the event an event that was not foreseeable occurs and renders performance impossible. The effect of this clause would in effect be the same as that of clauses of exemption and could be subjected to the test of reasonableness in line with UCTA section 3. And while, often, force majeure clauses are viewed as being reasonable, problems could come about in the event they are drafted widely, which is not usual, to cover issues like cost increments and events that are within the control of the involved parties. So far, all you have done is describe UCTA without any comment about how it compares with the CRA, Sale of Goods Act, Supply of Goods and Services Act etc in relation to what the question is actually asking

Consumer Rights Act 2015

Unfair terms in business-to- consumer – this is important because a customer can also be a business. You must be more accurate in your accounts. contracts are covered by the Consumer Rights Act as from October 2015. In the past, these were covered by the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. UCTA 1977 The 2015 Act deals with implied terms that are related to the quality of services and goods and these include digital content and also does regulations on the trader’s part to exclude their breach liability. A fairness test was also introduced by the CRA. Any such term that brings about imbalances that are significant in the respective positions of the parties to the consumers detriment and in ways that are detrimental to the consumers and in ways that do not augur with the good faith requirements would be referred to as being unfair. Consumers are not bound by terms that are not fair and they could decide to treat them as having been struck out of contracts. The contracts remainder would stand if it was capable of doing so in line with the severability principles. Vague descriptive material above

With regard to the Sale of Goods Act 1979 that was amended by the 1994 Supply of Goods Act, warranties are implied as to the quality of goods into contract for the sale of goods. What that implies is that those goods that are either sold by sample or descriptions have to conform to those samples and descriptions, must also be fit for purpose and their quality must also be satisfactory. The Supply of Goods Act 1973, implies terms that are similar to the contracts of hire-purchase. Liability for breach of implied terms, under the UCTA`s section 6(2), could either be restricted or excluded. It originally had different provisions for business and consumer contracts but now only covers businesses and you need to check the current provision – either restricted or excluded is not accurate enough. That however, happens in so far as the clauses I? question are able to satisfy the reasonableness requirements. Reasonability would come about if buyers were given chances to inspect the goods and to further provide inputs to their manufacture and designs. Additionally, it has been indicated by the Court of Appeal that for effective exclusion of implied terms, the term “condition” is required and words like representations, “guarantees” and “warranties” lack effectiveness. I cannot see how the material from my last comment is relevant to this answer.

The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008

This regulation came into force back in 2008 and succeeded in transposing the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive into the laws of the United Kingdom. The regulations introduce duties that are general that bar certain specified practices and also ban unfair trading. Guidance on the CPRs has been issued jointly by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the Office of Fair Trading. There is a range of earlier UK consumer protection laws repealed by the CPRs which replaces them into general duties (Laws et al. 2011). The CPRs are also applicable to the use of contract terms that are unfair. They are intended to provide protection that is broad to customers and to business practices that have a high likelihood of distorting the decisions of the consumers with regards to their purchases. There are several forms of unfair terms that have the potential of having the distorting effect, for example, through misleading consumers on what their rights are (Draycott et al. 2015). Application of such terms tends to give rise to actions of enforcement under the CPRs rather than the regulations.

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Often, disclaimers limit or completely exclude liability for implied terms` breach that are presumed by the laws as being included in contracts when there is nothing that is agreed expressly on the issues that are involved. That aids in ensuring the workability of agreements and in general are reflections of what would be considered by the law as being agreed upon by reasonable people. Their exclusion has the effect permitting one of the parties to act negligently and unreasonably without any major consequences. Any such terms that would have such effects in consumer contracts would particularly be deemed as being unfair. This last paragraph is not legally substantiated by cases or statute and is much too vague.


The fact that there are customers who are not consumers does not substantially justify the exclusion of liability that has the potential of affecting consumers. How does this relate to the statutes and the question? But, the Regulations to terms have no objection that could not affect consumers, for instance, those who exclude liability for losses in businesses and losses to customers of different businesses. Sentence does not make sense. Regulations serve to provide consumers with additional protection against those terms that could be unfair even though their use is permitted by statute and common law. As such, those terms that exclude liability as far as is permitted by the law do not have a higher likelihood of being fair in comparison to those that do not contain any such wording. To those who lack legal knowledge, they are also objectionable as lacking clarity as to their effect practically. This conclusion does not answer the question.


Watford Electronics Ltd v Sanderson CFL Ltd [2001] EWCA Civ 317

Thomas Witter Ltd v TBP Industries [1996] 2 All ER 573


The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977

Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999

Consumer Rights Act 2015

Sale of Goods Act 1979

Supply of Goods Act 1973

Supply of Goods Act 1994

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