In a setting, a mistake is an error in the meaning of words, laws, or facts which causes one or both parties to enter into the contract without fully understanding the outcomes or responsibilities implied by the contract. A “unilateral mistake” is such an error that is held by only one party and not shared by the other party.
The bloody and unsuccessful experiment of Socrates disciple, Critias, showed that the rule of law, not men, was correct. This renewed the question “What law, who's law.” Not all laws are arbitrary, there must be laws universally applicable, because of the universal nature of man. Laws governing human affairs, or at least some of those laws, must derive from some objective and external reality, not subject to the arbitrary will of the ruler or the people. If this was not so, then it would be impossible to make an unlawful law. Any law duly decreed by a legitimate ruling body, such as the Athenian assembly, would necessarily be lawful, yet history shows that this was obviously false. Some laws are clearly unlawful. Proof by contradiction.
The following section of this essays shows that the courts'interpretation of at-will employment contracts is consistentwith conventional contract law, which is yet another reason tochange the way courts treat at-will employment.
Today's church leaders assert that the mainstream Mormon church has nothing whatsoever to do with fundamentalist polygamists. Yet there is a contradiction in the fact that a sitting apostle in the 1950s had a polygamous Father-in-law living in full fellowship in the church and was a temple worker, more than half a century after church leaders claimed to have abandoned polygamy. ~Randy Jordan
Whenever the ugly ideas of the absolutists are put into practice the absolutists change their name and rhetoric, from absolutist to romantic to relativist to post modernist, Whenever the pleasant and attractive ideas of the utilitarians are put into practice, the utilitarians shrug their shoulders and say, “but that is not what we intended, it was all a mistake, Stalin's analysis of utility was faulty. If our ideas were put into action properly all would be well,” claiming that professed good intentions outweigh any number of foul deeds. By their fruit you will know them. Since the Cambodian irrigation project and the World Bank African assistance program the utilitarians have been unable to shake the stink quite so easily, and some utilitarian factions are now trying out new names. The phrase “the greater good” is at last starting to sound like a polite euphemism for lawless state violence. People are becoming embarrassed to use it, whereas a decade or so ago there was no such embarrassment.
If you have discovered a unilateral mistake in your contract agreement, there may be a number of remedies available to you. You may wish to contact a lawyer who can represent you in court so that you obtain the proper relief. You may also wish to work with an attorney before contract negotiations begin, so that your lawyer can for you.
In order to avoid unilateral mistakes in a contract, it is essential that the contract be written as clearly as possible. During contract negotiations, the parties should review the contract thoroughly and double check each other’s interpretation of the clauses. This will allow them to determine if there are any terms or provisions that they do not agree upon or that might cause misunderstandings.
In other words, it makes a significant difference whether the non-mistaken party is aware that the other party does not understand a term in the contract. If the non-mistaken party knows that the other party has made a unilateral mistake, the result is usually contract rescission (cancellation). On the other hand, if the other party was not aware of the mistake, the contract can usually be reformed (rewritten).
Working with a lawyer during contract formation can help the parties avoid a unilateral mistake. A lawyer can help a party draft and review the contract to identify any problematic terms. Ending up in a can be costly for both parties.
If a unilateral mistake occurs during the contracting process, it could affect the outcome of the contract. It is unfair if one party understands the contract while the other party does not- therefore a court will usually issue one of two remedies to correct the unilateral mistake:
For example, in a contract for the sale of screws, one party may incorrectly believe that the word “screw” refers to Phillips-head screws, when in fact the term refers to standard-type screws. If only one party holds this mistaken belief, but the other is clear on the meaning of “screw”, then this could be called a unilateral mistake.
Unilateral mistakes can occur with regards to any of the terms and provisions contained in a contract. Most unilateral mistakes involve the definition of a phrase or word.
The varying definitions of natural law are clearly consistent on the issue of individual violence. On the topic of collective violence, the questions of what are just grounds for making war, how may a just war be conducted, and what may a just victor do with an unjust loser, the various definitions of natural law often seem cloudy and contradictory. There are two reasons for this apparent cloudiness. One is that there is no natural definition of a collective entity, so it all depends on what gives the collective entity its substance and cohesion, how the individual is a participant in the acts of the collective entity. The Nuremberg trials contain extensive discussions of this point. The other reason is that there is a large difference between what the victor should do and what the victor may lawfully do. The victor should be magnanimous and lenient, as at Nuremberg, but may lawfully be strict and harsh. On the questions that most commonly arise in practice, all the different definitions of natural law give clear, consistent and straightforward answers: The usual reason for war is that one group defines another group as enemy, and then uses organized collective violence to seize the property of the members of that group, and to enslave or kill them. In such case it is open season on the aggressor because they constitute a clear danger to their neighbors. In a just war it lawful to napalm bomb enemy civilians in a defended city, though not to intentionally target enemy civilians, unlawful to bombard an open city, and unlawful to massacre prisoners under any circumstances, though individual prisoners may be executed for broad reasons. It is sometimes lawful to refuse to take prisoners, depending on the circumstances. The contradictions usually evaporate when we ask the questions that we are actually interested in, about the kind of situations that actually occur in practice. Arguments about whether a given military action was in accordance with the laws of war usually involve appeal to the facts, and arguments about the intentions and capabilities of the combatants, rather than appeal to differing concepts of the laws of war, indicating that our uncertainty concerning the laws of war is less than other sources of uncertainty.