Paradine v Jane [1647]

March 08, 2024
Micheal James

Jurisdiction / Tag(s):


Paradine v Jane [1647] is a landmark case in legal history, shedding light on fundamental principles of contract law during the 17th century. The case involves a dispute between Robert Paradine and Jane over a leased property, highlighting the complexities of contractual obligations in historical contexts. Despite its age, the case remains relevant today, offering valuable insights into the evolution of contract law jurisprudence.


In the backdrop of Paradine v Jane [1647], Robert Paradine leased a property from Jane under specific terms and conditions. However, during the lease period, unforeseen circumstances arose when enemy forces seized the property during a time of war. This rendered the property unusable and led to a dispute between the parties regarding their respective obligations under the lease agreement.

Facts of the Case

The crux of Paradine v Jane [1647] lies in the contention between Robert Paradine and Jane regarding the payment of rent for the leased property. Paradine argued that he should not be held liable for rent payments as he was unable to occupy and enjoy the property due to circumstances beyond his control. On the contrary, Jane insisted that Paradine was still obligated to pay rent as per the terms of the lease agreement.

Legal Issues

At the heart of the case were significant legal questions pertaining to absolute liability in contracts. Specifically, the court had to determine whether Paradine remained liable to fulfill his contractual obligations, including the payment of rent, despite the occurrence of unforeseen events, such as the property being taken over by enemy forces.

Applicable Law

During the 17th century, contract law was primarily governed by common law principles and customary practices. In the absence of modern statutory laws, judges relied on precedents and established customs to interpret and enforce contractual agreements. This context is crucial in understanding how legal decisions were made in cases like Paradine v Jane [1647].

Court Proceedings

In the court proceedings, Robert Paradine argued his case, asserting that he should be excused from paying rent due to the circumstances surrounding the property’s occupation by enemy forces. On the other hand, Jane presented her arguments, maintaining that Paradine was contractually bound to fulfill his obligations under the lease agreement, regardless of external factors.


After considering the arguments and evidence presented by both parties, the court rendered its decision in Paradine v Jane [1647]. The judges ruled that Paradine was indeed liable to pay rent for the leased property, notwithstanding the fact that he was unable to occupy it due to the war. This decision underscored the principle of absolute liability in contracts during that time.

Significance and Impact

Paradine v Jane [1647] holds significant historical and jurisprudential importance in the development of contract law. It serves as a testament to the principles of contractual obligations and absolute liability prevailing during the 17th century. Moreover, the case offers valuable insights into the evolution of contract law and its enduring impact on legal thought and practice.


In conclusion, Paradine v Jane [1647] stands as a noteworthy case study in contract law, highlighting the complexities of contractual obligations and the principle of absolute liability in historical legal contexts. By examining the background, facts, legal issues, and implications of the case, we gain a deeper understanding of the nuances of contract law and its application in different circumstances throughout history.

Why Choose Us:

Seeking Law Dissertation Proposal Help? Look no further! Crafting a robust proposal requires meticulous planning and expertise. Our service offers tailored assistance in formulating clear research objectives, defining methodology, and conducting comprehensive literature reviews. We guide you through each step, ensuring your proposal meets academic standards and showcases originality. Whether you need assistance with topic selection, structuring your proposal, or refining your research questions, our team of experts is here to support you. With our Law Dissertation Proposal Help, you can confidently present a compelling proposal that sets the stage for your research journey.

Cite This Work

Select a referencing style to export a reference for this article:

All Answers ltd, 'Paradine v Jane [1647]' (, September 2012 ) <> accessed 23 April 2024
My, Law, Tutor. (September 2012 ). Paradine v Jane [1647]. Retrieved from
"Paradine v Jane [1647]." 9 2012. All Answers Ltd. 04 2024 <>.
"Paradine v Jane [1647]." MyLawTutor., September 2012. Web. 23 April 2024. <>.
MyLawTutor. September 2012. Paradine v Jane [1647]. [online]. Available from: [Accessed 23 April 2024].
MyLawTutor. Paradine v Jane [1647] [Internet]. September 2012. [Accessed 23 April 2024]; Available from:
<ref>{{cite web|last=Tutor |first=MyLaw |url= |title=Paradine v Jane [1647] | |date=September 2012 |accessdate=23 April 2024 |location=UK, USA}}</ref>

Related Cases

Dick Bentley v Harold Smith

. Last modified: April 15, 2024

Introduction to Dick Bentley v Harold Smith The world of contracts can be a complex one, especially when it comes to the interpretation of statements made during negotiations. Dick Bentley Productions Ltd v Harold Smith (Motors) Ltd [1965] stands as a significant case in English contract law, offering valuable insights into the distinction between a […]

Performance Cars v Abraham

. Last modified: April 15, 2024

Introduction to Performance Cars v Abraham Performance Cars Ltd v Abraham (1962) stands as a landmark case in English tort law, specifically regarding the concept of causation in negligence claims. This case study delves into the factual background, the legal issue at stake, the court’s decision and reasoning, and the lasting impact of the case […]

R v Hennessy – 1989

. Last modified: April 15, 2024

Introduction to R v Hennessy – 1989 The criminal justice system grapples with complex issues when a defendant’s actions seem involuntary due to a medical condition. R v Hennessy (1989) stands as a significant case in English law, delving into the boundaries of the defense of automatism in the context of diabetic hypoglycemia. This case […]

go to top