UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The development of the implied terms on quality and fitness in sale of goods in Britain and Canada Sutherland, Elaine Elizabeth


Historically, in sale of goods transactions, the law has implied terms in the contract. These terms have varied in their content and application and have been subject to change. The implied terms concerning the quality of goods sold and their fitness for particular uses are considered in this thesis. The provisions of the common law in Scotland and England are examined historically, developmentally and comparatively, and the application of the English approach in Canada is noted. The effect on the common law of statutory provisions is then considered: first in Britain, and then in the adoption of the statutes in Canada. The content of the statutory provisions, their interpretation and amendment, and the criticisms of their operation, are reviewed. It becomes apparent that, in both Britain and Canada, these provisions have been the subject of criticism from various quarters. The precise meaning of the terms, their application in consumer and non-consumer contracts, their suitability to the variety of types of goods sold and the remedies available in cases of dispute, have all been questioned. The effect of this, in leading to calls for reform in Britain and Canada, is then examined. The work of the various law reform bodies and their proposals are considered from both the historical perspective and comparatively. It is concluded that, if the proposals for reform are fully implemented, they will provide a workable framework for modern conditions. Nonetheless, it is submitted that such a position could have been reached by the development of Scots common law.

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