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Time of the essence

Paragraph 6(g) of the 2011 GMRA states that “Time shall be of the essence in this Agreement”.  The effect of making ‘time of the essence’ depends on whether contractual rights or contractual obligations are being considered.

If time is of the essence for exercising a contractual right, then the right is generally lost if not exercised within the time set.

If time is of the essence for performing a contractual duty, then the time limit is a condition of the contract, so that any breach is repudiatory. In other words, any delay in performing the duty will be grounds for terminating the contract at common law, in addition to any other available remedy (such as a contractual right to terminate and/or an ability to claim damages).

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