Book

Alleviating Mistakes

E. Allan Farnsworth

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780199276110
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191699887 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199276110.001.0001
Alleviating Mistakes

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This book examines the legal issues that arise when we seek to avoid the untoward consequences of an action by claiming that our perception was flawed. We all make mistakes: we might overpay a debt, make an unfavourable contract, or be sued or accused of a crime as a result of our mistake. Claims to alleviation on the grounds of mistake are likely to arise wherever the law prescribes a state of mind (some kind of intent) as a prerequisite for the application of a legal rule. This book asks when the fact that a person made a mistake should entitle them to alleviation. This may involve the intention to enter into a contract or a payment, in which case a person could seek its reversal, or it might involve the intent to commit a tort or crime, in which case they could seek forgiveness for the offence. The book defines ‘alleviating’ mistakes as those which entitle a person to relief from untoward consequences of their mistake. There is no general ‘law of mistake’ and, despite their similarities, few discussions of mistake in one setting pause to consider mistakes in other contexts. The goals of fields as disparate as contracts and criminal law are very different: how do these differences affect the treatment of mistakes? The book sets out a new taxonomy of mistakes. Its analysis reveals that over the past century, there has been a remarkable increase in the receptivity of courts and scholars to claims for both reversal and forgiveness—a waxing of alleviating mistakes.

Keywords: alleviation; state of mind; law of mistake; contract law; criminal law; intent

Book.  232 pages. 

Subjects: Civil Law

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Alleviating Mistakes

Chapter

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Alleviating Mistakes in Alleviating Mistakes

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Meaning of Mistake in Alleviating Mistakes

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Ignorance and Mistake in Alleviating Mistakes

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Predictions and Opinions in Alleviating Mistakes

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Reactions to Mistakes in Alleviating Mistakes

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Proving Mistake in Alleviating Mistakes

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Causation in Alleviating Mistakes

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Relevance in General in Alleviating Mistakes

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Relevance of Mistakes of Law in Alleviating Mistakes

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