Watteau V Fenwick Case Study

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Q. Is the decision in Watteau v Fenwick imminently just? Discuss. An agency agreement is a tripartite agreement between principal,agent and third party.Agency agreements are common place within the dealings in the commercial world.It is usual for a company,or even an individual,to employ a third party to negotiate a contract on their behalf.The agent acts on the behalf of the principal in completing the contract,usually following the guidelines outlined by the principal.The agent may act for the principal under different types of authority such as actual,usual or apparent.However,a problematic issue within this area is found in the decision of Watteau v Fenwick.This case has been criticised and not overruled yet making it a part of the English Law. The case centered on an agent,H who was appointed licensee of a hotel by principal,F.The agent had restrictions placed upon his authority by the principal,including that he could not purchase anything except mineral water and bottles of beer.However,the agent did purchase cigars on credit from W,who believed he was the owner of the hotel.F was held liable for the price of the cigars of cigars.The court decided that the principal was liable for acts of his agent,even if the agent acted beyond his actual authority.The principal…show more content…
Therefore,considering the fact that the decision being exactly in accordance with commercial expectations of the parties is considered good enough to still exist in English law.Nevertheless Bingham J called the decision of Watteau v Fenwick ''puzzling'' but has not been yet overruled by the English courts.However,the Canadian court has expressly overruled it and majority of academics have criticised it.The main contention of the criticisms is that the reasoning behind the decision is incorrect.Although the reasoning may be flawed but the fact that it still exists in English law shows the decision is quite just,fair and equitable,had it been decided otherwise more serious problems could
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