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Bisset v Wilkinson

[1927] AC 177

Case summary last updated at 02/01/2020 14:58 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Bisset v Wilkinson

D sold P land for farming, stating that the believed that the land could carry 2000 sheep when in fact it was less than this. Prviy Council held that this was an honest statement of opinion, not a statement of fact and therefore P could not rescind the contract. 
Lord Merrivale: Unless fraud is established, an opinion (i.e. an honest opinion) is not actionable, whereas a statement of fact is actionable. A statement of opinion is not a representation unless the opinion of the person making the representation has some special weight, e.g., he or she is a professional employed to give such opinion. In this case there was no such special weight to be given to D who was not a farmer. It was therefore an honest opinion and could not be fraud. Ordinarily a claim as to the capacity of one’s own land would be a statement of fact since one has knowledge of ones own land, but the circumstances here (lack of knowledge as to sheep farming) meant there was no such knowledge. 

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