Anticipatory breach of contract

Paul S Davies

in JC Smith's The Law of Contract

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print April 2016 | ISBN: 9780198733539
Published online September 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780191797842 | DOI:
Anticipatory breach of contract

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This chapter examines the doctrine of anticipatory breach. An anticipatory breach occurs where, before the time comes for A to perform his part of the contract, he declares that he is not going to do so. This repudiation of the contractual obligation is itself a breach of contract. The innocent party may choose to either accept or reject an anticipatory breach. If he accepts the breach, the contract is terminated and the innocent party can sue for damages immediately. If the anticipatory breach is rejected, then the contract remains on foot. If the innocent party elects not to accept the breach and to keep the contract alive, then he may proceed to perform his side of the bargain and sue for the contract price. However, it appears that this action for the agreed sum, or action in debt, may not succeed if the innocent party had no ‘legitimate action’ in taking such steps.

Keywords: contract law; breach of contract; anticipatory breach; repudiation; legitimate action

Chapter.  4943 words. 

Subjects: Contract Law

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