In Ong on Rectification, Professor Denis SK Ong brings his customary penetrating analysis of the authorities to the equitable remedy of rectification.
Topics discussed include: the nature of rectification; a detailed exploration of the principles of contractual construction; the difference between construction and rectification; rectification of both common and unilateral mistakes; and rectification of wills.
Professor Ong very carefully sets out both the Australian and English authorities, highlighting the differences between them as well as remaining “grey” on unresolved areas. His analysis of the High Court decisions on construction, following the House of Lords decision in Chartbrook Ltd, is particularly illuminating in this regard. He quotes extensively, though judiciously, from the cases and is unafraid to point out problems he perceives in the reasoning contained therein. As such this book will be an invaluable resource for all those involved in contractual construction, disputes and adjudication.
The book is Professor Ong’s seventh major book in the field of equity and is the perfect supplement to his earlier works which now include: Trusts Law in Australia (now in its fourth edition); Ong on Equity; Ong on Specific Performance; Ong on Subrogation; Ong on Rescission and Ong on Contribution.
* View Detailed Table of Contents
Table of Cases
Table of Statutes
1. Concept of Rectification
2. Construction of Documents
3. Construction of Documents Distinguished from Rectification of Documents
4. Rectification of a Document to Remove a Common Mistake
5. Rectification of a Document to Remove a Unilateral Mistake
6. Rectification of a Voluntary Settlement or of a Will
7. Situations where Rectification of Documents Not Available
This book examines the equitable doctrine of rectification. It purports to provide the status of the law in Australia as at 8 September 2017. It cites a number of recent High Court decisions and extensively refers to English decisions. There is also some reference to developments in the United States and New Zealand. …
It appears that the author has written this book with the working lawyer in mind. It is a highly practical, logically structured and academically accessible piece of work. The book contains, for the most part, statements of legal position or legal propositions as sub-headings throughout the book. This is immediately followed by discussions of the relevant legal principles in support of the position or proposition. The book, therefore, to an extent reads like an outline of submissions, with the author’s critique of the current legal position appropriately dispersed throughout the text.
The author has taken a welcome holistic approach to a complex and at times misunderstood area of the law.
David Kim, InPrint, Law Institute Journal Victoria, June 2018
Professor Ong of Bond University is a prolific author of texts and articles covering the gamut of equitable doctrines and concepts. … In 2017, Professor Ong added to his collection a treatise on rectification, Ong on Rectification.
It, like many of Professor Ong’s works, is a slim volume which provides, in effect, a summary of the key elements of the equitable doctrine of rectification. It commences with an examination of the concept of rectification, making the point that rectification is designed to remove a mistake and not to make an alteration to the parties’ contractual intentions. It then considers the approach to construction of documents as a necessary backdrop to the ensuing discussion between the construction of documents and the rectification of documents recently explored by the High Court of Australia in Simic v New South Wales Land and Housing Corp.
The principles and approach relevant to the rectification of a document to remove a common mistake forms the subject matter of ch 4 of the book. Chapter 6 contains an interesting examination of the circumstances in which rectification is available for a voluntary settlement or a will.
The work concludes with a consideration of the circumstances in which rectification of documents will not be available. In particular, it considers the circumstances in which the right to rectification, being a mere equity, is defeated by a bona fide purchaser or may be extinguished by acquiescence, laches, change of position and waiver.
The work contains a useful summary of the essential legal principles by reference to the latest primary source material and, in doing so, provides a basis for further detailed research if required.
Anthony Lo Surdo, Australian Banking and Finance Law Bulletin, April 2018
At its core, Professor Ong’s work on rectification is a comprehensive and helpful guide to the principles to be applied in an action for rectification. Equitable relief of that nature is, in relative terms, infrequently sought. … [T]his book would be a useful library addition for practitioners with a focus on equity or the resolution of disputes arising from commercial contracts, in particular.
Queensland Law Reporter – 30 March 2018 –  12 QLR