Man is by nature a social animal. An individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human…Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of the society, is either a beast or a god.This quote by Aristotle poignantly points out the fact that interactions with ourselves as human beings is a must, and the need for this interactions often lead to the necessity of an agreement based on a contract. However, owing to human foibles, there are times when this "agreement‟ is different from the intention either party had as regards the contract.
This study therefore examines the effect that law, especially the doctrine of NON EST FACTUM has on a contract.
It further examines the principle of MISTAKE which is a precursor to NON EST FACTUM, the effect of consent, which is central to the world of contracts and most especially the plea of NON EST FACTUM.
It also takes a look at its applicability in criminal cases and whether or not the plea itself can be used as a sword or a shield by either party.
Finally, this essay gives recommendations as to how the plea of NON EST FACTUM can be improved upon.
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