Abandoning Statutory Rights

July 20th, 2016 by James Goudie KC

With respect to contracting out of or waiving statutory rights, the Privy Council per Lord Clarke, enunciated the following principles in Bahamas Oil Refining Co v The Owners of the Cape Bari [2016] UKPC 20:-

  1. Someone may by their conduct contract out of or waive a provision of an Act of Parliament intended for their benefit and exclude a legal right: paragraph 23;
  2. For a party to be held to have abandoned or contracted out of valuable rights arising by operation of law the contractual provision relied upon must make it clear that this is what was intended: paragraph 31;
  3. This principle applies in very many contexts: paragraph 32;
  4. A Court is unlikely to be satisfied that valuable rights arising by operation of law have been abandoned unless the terms of the contract make it sufficiently clear that that was intended: paragraph 33;
  5. The more valuable the right, the clearer the language will need to be: ibid.

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