Consent is the foundation of any agreement or contract. It is the voluntary acceptance of the terms and conditions of an agreement by both parties involved. However, there are instances when consent is not freely given, and this can render the agreement invalid. One such instance is when consent is caused by mistake.
When a person gives their consent to an agreement without fully understanding its terms and conditions, it is considered consent by mistake. Mistake can take many forms, such as a misunderstanding of the terms of the agreement, a misinterpretation of the agreement, or a failure to appreciate the consequences of the agreement. Whatever form it takes, mistake can invalidate a contract or agreement.
Consent by mistake occurs when there is a mutual mistake or a unilateral mistake. A mutual mistake is when both parties to the agreement make a mistake regarding the terms of the contract, while a unilateral mistake is when only one party to the agreement makes a mistake. In both cases, the agreement is considered invalid if the mistake is a vital element of the agreement.
For example, if a person signs a contract to buy a used car, thinking that it has low mileage, when in fact, it has high mileage, this is a mistake. If the mistake is significant enough that the person would not have agreed to the contract if they had known the true facts, then the agreement is invalid. This is because there was no true consent given to the agreement.
Another example of consent by mistake is when a person is induced to sign a contract through misrepresentation or fraud. In such a case, the consent given is not genuine, and the agreement is considered invalid.
When consent is not freely given and is caused by mistake, the agreement is invalid. It is essential to ensure that both parties fully understand the terms and conditions of an agreement before giving their consent. If you are unsure about the terms of an agreement, seek legal advice before signing to avoid any unnecessary legal complications down the road.