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Case 5 - A broken engagement

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 August 2009

John Cartwright
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
Martijn Hesselink
Affiliation:
Universiteit van Amsterdam
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Summary

Case 5

In 1997 A and B became engaged to be married. The wedding was planned for June 2000. At the beginning of the engagement B gave A a diamond engagement ring which cost him €750. In April 2000, B paid a (non-returnable) deposit of €1,500 to the caterers who were to prepare the food for the wedding reception; and in May he made a (non-returnable) advance payment of rent (amounting to €2,000) on a flat which he and A were to rent as their first home together after their marriage. The day before the wedding was due to take place, A told B that she no longer wished to marry him. What liability (in contract, tort, restitution, or any other form of liability), if any, does A have to B?

Discussions

Austria

The ABGB includes two provisions on engagements and the consequences of the unjustified breaking-off of negotiations. For some authors the engagement is a form of precontractual obligation, but the majority opinion is that the ‘betrothal’ is a preliminary contract to a marriage with certain characteristic features, such as its lack of enforceability.

§1247 ABGB states in its second sentence that, ‘if one betrothed party promises or makes a present to the other party, in view of the future marriage, such donation can be revoked if, without any fault on the part of the donor, the marriage does not take place’.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2009

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  • A broken engagement
  • Edited by John Cartwright, University of Oxford, Martijn Hesselink, Universiteit van Amsterdam
  • Book: Precontractual Liability in European Private Law
  • Online publication: 10 August 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511575679.009
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  • A broken engagement
  • Edited by John Cartwright, University of Oxford, Martijn Hesselink, Universiteit van Amsterdam
  • Book: Precontractual Liability in European Private Law
  • Online publication: 10 August 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511575679.009
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • A broken engagement
  • Edited by John Cartwright, University of Oxford, Martijn Hesselink, Universiteit van Amsterdam
  • Book: Precontractual Liability in European Private Law
  • Online publication: 10 August 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511575679.009
Available formats
×