Ryledar Pty Ltd v Euphoric Pty Ltd: 20 Apr 2007

Campbell JA asked rhetorically: ‘If two negotiating parties each had a particular intention about the agreement they would enter, and their intentions were identical, but that intention was disclosed by neither of them, and they later entered [into] a document that did not accord with that intention, what would be the injustice or unconscientiousness in either of them enforcing the document according to its terms?’
Campbell JA said that, in order to form a common intention, parties might come to know of each other’s intentions without those intentions being directly stated, through various other means, and ‘Those means can sometimes involve a process of conscious and deliberate inference. Those means can sometimes involve simply perceiving a gestalt in a series of events. Those means can depend to some extent on the people involved sharing a common understanding of how particular bodies of knowledge or markets or social institutions they are operating in work – the experienced surgeon, or the experienced chess player, can sometimes see what another surgeon, or chess player, is seeking to do, in a way that an inexperienced person cannot. What matters for present purposes is that for a negotiating party to perform actions or say words from which the other party can gather his or her intention is itself a form of communication. Negotiation of any contract takes place in a context in which various facts are known or assumed by the negotiating parties. Sometimes, for example, if a contract is negotiated in a context where there are well understood business practices and conventions, and nothing is said about those practices and conventions not applying, it can be legitimate to conclude that both parties to the contract intended to act in accordance with those practices and conventions, even if they did not expressly communicate to each other that they intended to act in accordance with those practices and conventions. This view of what is needed before an intention is a common intention, accords, it seems to me, with the Australian case law since Joscelyne.’

Mason P Tobias JA Campbell JA
Cited by:
CitedFSHC Group Holdings Ltd v Glas Trust Corporation Ltd CA 31-Jul-2019
Rectification – Chartbrook not followed
Opportunity for an appellate court to clarify the correct test to apply in deciding whether the written terms of a contract may be rectified because of a common mistake.
Held: The appeal failed. The judge was right to conclude that an . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 20 November 2021; Ref: scu.640341