1. I'm nonplussed. Please see the subject line of this question, and emboldening below.

  2. How can you know which older statute is being referenced (by the newer statute)?

  3. What statute is s 11(4) of UCTA 1977 referencing? Do you see why I'm nonplussed? If s 11(4) of UCTA 1977 explicitized which older statute it was referencing, I wouldn't have to ask.

      Finally, you will identify any cases that discuss or clarify the application or content of the statute in question, again relying on your lecture notes and reading materials to point you in the right direction. You also need to know the extent to which other acts relate to the statute in question. For example, the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 incorporates, by reference, the concept of the common duty of care under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 and the Occupiers’ Liability Act (Northern Ireland) 1957 (see section 1(1)(c)). The 1977 Act also relates to obligations arising under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and the Supply of Goods (Implied Terms) Act 1973 (see section 6(1)). However, a statute need not refer to another statute specifically

Page 16.

to bring it into the sphere of influence (see, for example, section 11(4) of the 1977 Act).
      Again, in a simple statute, the cross-referencing to other enactments may be easily identifiable. In those cases, you would simply highlight the cross-references. You would not need to make a separate list of the potential areas of statutory overlap, as you would do with a complex statute such as the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977. However, no matter how complex your statute is, it is always good to make a single list of the cases which discuss your statute and the statutes/ sections to which they relate. Compilation of a single list is necessary because you may learn about the cases at different points over the term. It is astounding how much more easily you can remember a series of cases if you have them all listed in a single place.

Now I copy and paste section 11(4) of the 1977 Act.

(4) Where by reference to a contract term or notice a person seeks to restrict liability to a specified sum of money, and the question arises (under this or any other Act) whether the term or notice satisfies the requirement of reasonableness, regard shall be had in particular (but without prejudice to subsection (2) above in the case of contract terms) to—

(a) the resources which he could expect to be available to him for the purpose of meeting the liability should it arise; and

(b) how far it was open to him to cover himself by insurance.

Page 17. Stacie Strong. BA English literature (UC Davis 1986), MPW (USC 1990), JD (Duke 1994), PhD Law (Cambridge 2002), DPhil (Oxford 2003). How to Write Law Essays & Exams 5th Edition (2018).

2 Answers 2


What statute is s 11(4) of UCTA 1977 referencing?

Any and all current statutes (already in force or that may be enacted in the future but before the event occurs) that bear on the reasonableness of the attempt to limit liability.

In theory, this is all current statutes. In practice, the vast majority of statutes will be self-evidently non-applicable. In this example, we are talking about contract law so statutes about crime, defence, fishing, aerospace, farming etc. are clearly not relevant. So, a practitioner needs to know which statutes will bear on contract law, and specifically on limitation of liability, and look at those.

No one said studying law was easy.

  • Also, while strictly speaking, the reference is to any and all current statutes, in practice, the universe is plausible statutes to look at is far smaller because there aren't all that many statutes addressing the relevant subject area, and fewer still that will have been discussed in a law school course. This is also inherently easier in the U.K. than the U.S. where there is only one jurisdiction's statutes to look at.
    – ohwilleke
    Dec 6, 2020 at 20:47

The "newer statute" isn't referencing older statutes. It's referencing all other statutes.

To summarize the section you quote: "whenever the question of reasonableness arises (regardless of which act causes the question to arise), reasonableness shall be determined by the following..."

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