This chapter concentrates on an important point relating to the way England chooses to award damages in international commercial sale contracts. It will look at the preparedness of courts to award damages for breach of contract on a substantively abstract, rather than a concrete, basis; or, looking at the matter from the other side, awarding a fixed, easily-quantifiable amount of money and being prepared to turn a blind eye to complex arguments about how great, or small, a claimant’s ‘real’ financial loss is. The issue will be looked at from the perspective of three kinds of claim: non-delivery and non-acceptance, defective delivery, and late delivery.
This chapter deals with the ability of the law of obligations to ensure that, even if a counterparty is uncooperative, a claimant gets literally what they are entitled to. It investigates not only specific performance and injunctions generally, but actions in debt and self-executing court orders generally, including the rule that equity regards as done that which ought to be done, bailees' rights to retain goods, promises not to sue and rights of self-help.