Purposive Contractual Interpretation

Free Public Lecture

Purposive Contractual Interpretation

Room 920, Level 9
Law 106
185 Pelham Street


It is now well recognised that contractual purposes play an important role in the construction of contracts. The role of contractual purposes in interpretation and implication, and the ways in which they are taken into account have not, however, been systematically explored. This lecture will consider three central issues in the purposive construction of contracts: first, the reasons contractual purposes are relevant to the interpretation of express terms and the identification of implied terms; secondly, the way in which contractual purposes are identified and distinguished from individual party interests; and, thirdly, the different ways in which contractual purposes inform the processes of interpretation and implication. It will be argued that contractual purposes can both raise and resolve interpretive choices, and that purposive construction plays a significant and under-recognised role in the identification of implied terms.


  • Professor Andrew Robertson