Videos: Part 4: Enforcing contracts: Overview

The focus of Part IV of the textbook is on the remedies that are available to a party when the other side breaches their obligations under the contract.  As Part IV has discussed, there has in recent years been a move towards developing new and innovative remedies for breach of contract in consumer transactions.  Courts and legislators have contributed to this: the courts by developing new heads of damages such as ‘loss of amenity’ or ‘disappointment damages’, and legislators by developing new remedies, such as the right to repair or replacement under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.  These have been accompanied by new approaches to defining breach, which focus on compliance with standards set by the law.

The focus of the three online videos for this Part are on illustrating why these new approaches to breach and remedies came to be seen as necessary.  Each of the sets of videos deals with one specific type of situation.  The first looks at how consumers perceive the harm they suffer when their holidays are cancelled or disrupted, thus providing some context to the recognition by the courts of remedies for disappointment and loss of amenity, which began in holiday cases.  The second deals with situations where defects in goods are discovered after the contractual warranty period has expired, but in a period where statutory remedies still apply.  The third looks at the difficulties consumers can have in obtaining remedies in complex cases, using a series of deliberate misstatements by Volkswagen as the example.

As with the other parts, each video is accompanied by an introduction and commentary on the situation set out in the video.  Treat these as setting out points for further discussion and reflection, and as a guide to working through the legal issues arising out of the situations described in the videos.