Stewart -v- Kennedy; HL 10 Mar 1890

References: [1890] UKHL 1, (1890) 17 R (HL) 25, (1890) LR 15 App Cas 108
Links: Bailii
Coram: Lord Watson
As a general rule of Scottish law, extrinsic evidence of the parties’ intention as to whether or not they intended to be bound by obligations which they have entered into in writing is inadmissible. There may however be exceptional cases.
For a plea of error to succeed, it had to be shown that there was uninduced unilateral error going to the ‘substantials’ of the contract.
A party must take his contract as bearing whatever meaning the court will assign to it when it is called upon to interpret it. He is bound ‘by the interpretation which a court of law may put upon the language of the instrument.’
This case is cited by:

  • Cited – Percy -v- Church of Scotland Board of National Mission HL (Bailii, [2005] UKHL 73, House of Lords, Times 16-Dec-05, [2006] 2 WLR 353, [2006] ICR 134, [2006] IRLR 195, [2006] 2 AC 28, 2006 SLT 11, [2006] 4 All ER 1354)
    The claimant appealed after her claim for sex discrimination had failed. She had been dismissed from her position an associate minister of the church. The court had found that it had no jurisdiction, saying that her appointment was not an . .

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