Appraising the Scope and Application of the Market-Price Rule in Upheld Contracts

Author: Paul Nkoane

ISSN: 1996-2185
Affiliations: Lecturer in Criminal and Procedural Law, University of South Africa
Source: South African Mercantile Law Journal, Volume 32 Issue 2, 2020, p. 253 – 276


The use of the market price for determining liability in contract lacks dedicated attention in South African law. Even far scanter is the holistic literature on the use of the market-price rule in contracts that are not terminated on breach of contract. Although, there has been suggestions that the market-price rule can be used to determine damages in upheld contracts, this was never technically demonstrated. Thus, the argument that the market-price rule can be used in contracts that are not terminated remains moot. This article presents various methods that illustrate how the market-price rule should apply in upheld contracts. The article undertakes a comprehensive analysis of the market-price rule to determine its efficacy in contracts that are not terminated, with the focus on the determination of the degree of liability. Regarding the determination of liability, the article to some extent discusses contracts with latent defects and those with items of questionable quality. Various methods and techniques are discussed to enlighten about how the market price can affect the determination of liability in upheld contracts, and to illustrate that this principle is suitable for determining damages in contracts that are not terminated.