Marcus Moore, ‘Why does Lord Denning’s lead balloon intrigue us still? The prospects of finding a unifying principle for duress, undue influence and unconscionability’

Introduction
“Recently, a workshop in contract law held at the University of Oxford caused me to recall the sense I had some years ago, when I first came across duress, undue influence, and unconscionability in first-year Contract, that these doctrines had much in common despite their described differences. That point, of course, had been recognised before. Lord Denning, in Lloyds Bank v Bundy, had gone further, asserting that they were expressions of a common principle of ‘inequality of bargaining power’. Denning’s principle did not get off the ground with the House of Lords, despite much discussion of it in lower courts and academic texts. And I myself found the notion difficult to climb aboard. The question that the workshop returned my thoughts to, and which I address in this paper, is whether there is some way to fix Denning’s trial balloon – to modify it into something actually capable of taking flight …”

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Marcus Moore, ‘Why does Lord Denning’s lead balloon intrigue us still? The prospects of finding a unifying principle for duress, undue influence and unconscionability’, 134 Law Quarterly Review 257 (April 2018).

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