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Eleven Acts in One - Overhaul of Contract and Commercial Law

Written by Darryl King, PARTNER; David Alizade, PARTNER on August 16th, 2017.    


The Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017 (CCLA) will come into force on 1 September 2017.  The CCLA repeals a number or Acts relating to contract and commercial laws and replaces them in one consolidated Act.  The CCLA is intended to be clearer and easier to understand – it is not intended to make substantive changes to the law.

What Acts are affected?

The CCLA repeals the legislation set out below and re-enacts them in consolidated form in the CCLA:

1.   Carriage of Goods Act 1979;
2.   Contracts (Privity) Act 1982;
3.   Contractual Mistakes Act 1977;
4.   Contractual Remedies Act 1979;
5.   Electronic Transactions Act 2002;
6.   Frustrated Contracts Act 1944;
7.   Illegal Contracts Act 1970;
8.   Minors' Contracts Act 1969;
9.   Sale of Goods Act 1908;
10. Sale of Goods (United Nations Convention) Act 1994;
11.  Wages Protection and Contractors’ Liens Act Repeal Act 1987.

The CCLA also revokes the Electronic Transactions Regulations 2003 and repeals sections from other Acts.  For example, the Mercantile Law Act 1908 is repealed other than Part 5 (unpaid vendors of warehoused goods).

The CCLA sets out the repealed Acts in four parts:

1.   contracts legislation;
2.   sale of goods;
3.   electronic transactions; and
4.   other commercial matters.

The purpose of the CCLA is to modernise and bring together important law underpinning contracts and commercial transactions in one consolidated piece of legislation.  The CCLA is a revisionary Act so it is not intended to change the effect of the law, it will only:

  • make minor changes to clarify Parliament’s intent or reconcile inconsistencies (Schedule 2 of the CCLA lists these changes); and

  • update the language to make it more accessible.

You can view the full CCLA here.

When does the CCLA apply?
What should organisations do?
  • Existing contracts do not need to be changed as any references to the repealed legislation will be deemed (by the CCLA) to refer to the relevant provisions in the CCLA.

  • New contracts entered from 1 September 2017 need to refer to the CCLA instead of the repealed legislation. 

You should review your standard terms and conditions and template contracts and documents to ensure any references to the affected legislation are amended to reflect the CCLA’s introduction. 

If you use standard form consumer contracts, and you have not already reviewed these, we recommend you undertake an unfair contract terms review at the same time to ensure your contracts comply with the recent changes made to the Fair Trading Act 1986. Please refer to our earlier articles here for further information on the unfair contract term provisions.

It is good practice to review and update your standard terms on a regular basis anyway so this is a timely opportunity.

Further help

If you have any questions or need assistance reviewing your contracts, please contact one of the key contacts listed above.

Comparison table:  Where to find the replaced Acts in the CCLA


Disclaimer: The information contained in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended as legal advice.  It is important that you seek legal advice that is specific to your circumstances.
All rights reserved © Jackson Russell 2017

Darryl King Publications2
Darryl King, PARTNER

David Alizade Publications2
David Alizade, PARTNER
Topics: All, Business , Contract

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