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Fibrosa Spolka v Fairbairn [1943] AC 32

An English company which manufactured textile machinery agreed by contract dated 12th July 1939 to supply some machines to a Polish company. The machines were to be delivered in 3-4 months. £1,600 was payable up front and the balance of £3,200 payable on delivery. The Polish company paid £1000 on 18th of July on account of the initial payment due. On 1st Sept Germany invaded Poland and on 3rd Sept Great Britain declared war on Germany. On 23rd of September Orders in Council made Poland an enemy territory making it illegal for British companies to trade with Poland.

Held: the contract was frustrated as it was no longer possible to perform the contract because of the supervening illegality.

Back to lecture outline on Frustration in Contract Law