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Associate Professor Andrew Hutchison


Dr Hutchison is an Associate Professor in the Department of Commercial Law at the University of Cape Town.  He has been a member of this department since January 2007.  Dr Hutchison is a contracts specialist and has convened the course on commercial contracting at UCT since 2010.  He has also taught the interpretation of statutes (2009-2014), which remains a side interest.  Dr Hutchison’s affinity for contract law began during his LLM studies at UCT (2005-2006), and this was carried through to his PhD thesis on fundamental change of circumstances in contract law (hardship), completed in 2010.  Dr Hutchison has published a body of work in leading South African and international peer-reviewed law journals on contract law.  A theme running through all of these papers is the role to be given to good faith or fairness in South African contract law.  Dr Hutchison is interested in the comparative and historical angles to this question, as well as (more recently) the constitutional dimension, with particular emphasis on social justice.  Dr Hutchison is interested in the curriculum review movement in South Africa and the potential role which black consciousness/decolonisation may play in the development of the common law of contract.  From 2016, Dr Hutchison has also focused on relational contract theory, which fits nicely within the context of his existing scholarship and interests.

Dr Hutchison presented a guest lecture series at the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida in January 2014.  He was a visitor at the Centre for Private Law at Edinburgh University in March and November 2016; and at Deakin Law School and the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales in May 2016.  In October 2016, Dr Hutchison visited the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg.


BA (2001) LLB (2004) LLM (2006) PhD (2010) (University of Cape Town)

Research interests:

  • General principles of contract law 
  • Specific and commercial contracts
  • Insurance law
  • Constitutional development of contract law
  • Customary/informal contract ‘law’
  • Comparative contract law
  • Legal Interpretation


  • Commercial Transactions Law (LLB level)
  • Interpretation of Statutes (LLB level)
  • Advanced Contract Law (LLM level)
  • Comparative Contract Law (at JD level at the University of Florida)
  • Contract Law for Civil Engineers (masters level, engineering faculty)
  • Business Law I (for commerce students, under-graduate level)
  • Business Law II (for commerce students, under-graduate level)

Select Publications

For open access to selected works, visit:

Peer-reviewed journal publications:

  • “What’s so wrong with Williams v Evans? An examination of the concept of the supposition in futuro” (2008) 125 SALJ 441.
  • “Change of circumstances in contract law: The clausula rebus sic stantibus” (2009) 72 THRHR 60.
  • “The doctrine of frustration: a solution to the problem of changed circumstances in South African contract law?” (2010) 127 SALJ 84.
  • “Gap filling to address changed circumstances in contract law – when it comes to losses and gains sharing is the fair solution” (2010) 21 Stellenbosch LR 414.
  • “Agreements to agree: can there ever be an enforceable duty to negotiate in good faith?” (2011) 128 SALJ 273.
  • “Liability for breaking off contractual negotiations?” (2012) 129 SALJ 104.
  • “Reciprocity in contract law” (2013) 24 Stellenbosch LR 3.
  • “Misrepresentation in consumer insurance: the United Kingdom legislature opts for a ‘reasonable consumer’ standard” (2013) 130 SALJ 705.  (Co-authored with Mrs Helena Stoop.)
  • “Simulated Transactions and the fraus legis doctrine” (2014) 131 SALJ 69.  (Co-authored with Prof Dale Hutchison).
  • “Judicial review of exercises of contractual power: South Africa’s divergence from the common law tradition” (2015) 79 Rabels Zeitschrift 222. (Co-authored with Dr Alistair Price).
  • “Constitutionalism, good faith and the doctrine of specific performance: rights, duties and equitable discretion” (2016) 133 SALJ 73.  (Co-authored with Dr Luca Siliquini-Cinelli).


  • Luca Siliquini-Cinelli & Andrew Hutchison (eds) The Constitutional Dimension of Contract Law: A Comparative Analysis (forthcoming, early 2017).  Chapters contributed:
    • Luca Siliquini-Cinelli & Andrew Hutchison “Introduction”;
    • Andrew Hutchison “The Decolonisation of South African Contract Law: An Argument for Synthesis”.
  • Andrew Hutchison “Contractual interpretation: the South African blend of Common, Civil and indigenous law in comparative perspective” forthcoming chapter in PG Monateri (ed) Comparative Contract Law (Edward Elgar Publishing, March 2017).
  • Andrew Hutchison “Relational theory, context and commercial common sense: views on contract interpretation and adjudication” (2017) 134 SALJ (forthcoming – accepted for publication).
  • Andrew Hutchison “A customary insurance law?” (forthcoming 2017 – accepted by the SA Merc LJ).
  • Terry Boxall, Andrew Hutchison & Michelle Wright “NEC3ECC Clause 10.1: An Enforceable Contractual Duty of Trust and Co-operation in the Construction Industry?” (forthcoming 2017 – accepted by the Stell LR). 
  • Helena Stoop & Andrew Hutchison “Post-commencement finance: domiciled resident or uneasy foreign transplant?” (2017) Potch Elec LJ (forthcoming 2017 – accepted for publication).