LAWCOMM 427 - Vendor and Purchaser

Credit points: 15 points
Offered: First Semester
Contact hours: Lectures – 3 hours per week
Course Coordinator: Professor Francis Dawson
Corequisite: LAW 301
Restriction: LAW 454

Course Description

A study of the law relating to contracts for the sale and purchase of land, including the formation of the contract, the application of relevant statutes, the basic terms of such contracts and their significance, matters of title, settlement and completion, and remedies for breach.

Content Outline

The course will begin by considering what differentiates the contract for the sale of land from other contracts of sale. It will be suggested that the major distinguishing feature is that the contract for the sale of land was historically regulated by courts of equity and in particular by reference to the remedy of specific performance.

The course will then proceed to consider the vendor’s liability for pre-contractual statements, issues relating to formation of contracts, especially the role of writings and the admissibility of parol evidence to add to, vary or contradict the writing, the doctrine of part performance, issues raised by options, the function of deposits, their recovery and their forfeiture, specific performance with compensation for mis-descriptions, the vendor’s duty to make good title and the risk allocation in the ADLS contract in respect of matters prior to the completion of contract, (including making time of the essence) and remedies for breach including Lord Cairns damages.


1500 word assignment (20%)

2 hour open book exam (80%)

Open book means that you may, if you wish, bring into the exam and refer to any materials such as casebooks, textbooks and study notes.

Recommended text

D W McMorland, Sale of Land, 3rd ed., 2011. There will be a case book prepared for this course.