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Part I The General Part, 4 Internal Context: The Whole Contract Approach

From: McMeel on The Construction of Contracts (3rd Edition)

Gerard McMeel

From: Oxford Legal Research Library (http://olrl.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved.date: 14 August 2022

Subject(s):
Breach of contract — Construction of contract — Interpretation of contract — Validity of contract

This chapter examines the remainder of the instrument, or the ‘internal context’, as well as some of the constituent parts of contracts. The internal context is the first and least-controversial source of assistance for the purpose of construing particular contractual words. The chapter emphasises that it is always permissible to have reference to other provisions within the ‘four corners’ of the document. The remainder of the terms of a document are always relevant in construing a particular word, phrase, or clause. However one should not expect complete consistency and harmony in an instrument, particularly if it is not professionally drafted or if it is a standard form which has been amended over the years. The same word or phrase may have different meaning and effect in different parts of the contract.

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