Koompahtoo Local Aboriginal Land Council v Sanpine Pty Ltd (2007) 233 CLR 115

You are here:
  • KB Home
  • Contract Law
  • Koompahtoo Local Aboriginal Land Council v Sanpine Pty Ltd (2007) 233 CLR 115
< Back

Facts

  • Koompahtoo Local Aboriginal Land Council (Koompahtoo) enters into a partnership for a development with Sanpine Pty Ltd (Sanpine).
  • $2 million of liabilities were incurred but due to a range of issues, the development never proceeded to rezoning.
  • Koompahtoo declared the contract breached due to administrative issues.
  • Sanpine sued to say the contract was still on foot.

Issue

  • Was Koompahtoo entitled to terminate the contract due to Sanpine’s breaches?

Held

  • Gleeson, Heydon, Crennan and Gummow JJ: There are 3 types of contractual terms; warranties, conditions and intermediate terms (upholding the decision in Hong Kong Fir)
  • Renunciation is when there is “conduct which evinces unwillingness or an inability to render substantial performance of the contract.”
  • Repudiation is a breach which justifies termination by the other party.
  • There can be a ‘sufficiently serious breach’ of a non-essential term to justify the contract being repudiated.
  • Kirby J disagreed with the approach of Tramways in regards to essential terms because it involves looking at subjective intentions, which is inconsistent with the rest of the law of contracts.
  • Instead, you should look at the objective result of the breach.
  • The actual consequences of a breach should be irrelevant.
  • If you have intermediate terms, then a Court will always be necessary to adjudicate them because they are not the result of some inherent characteristic.
  • Kirby J submitted that intermediated terms and the doctrine should be abolished: you can terminate when:
    • 1) there is a breach of an essential term;
    • 2) there is a serious breach of a non-essential term; and
    • 3) there is renunciation – so in essence there are only 2 types of terms.

Full Text

Full text is available here:  https://jade.io/summary/mnc/2007/HCA/61


-- Download Koompahtoo Local Aboriginal Land Council v Sanpine Pty Ltd (2007) 233 CLR 115 as PDF --


FavoriteLoadingSave this case