Framework for Determining Unconscionability

In CEX v CEY and another [2020] SGHC 100 (2010), a performance bond was called to pressurize a contractor to proceed and continue with work in circumstances which would have been illegal because the relevant permits had lapsed. The court granted an order to restrain the employer from calling on the bond on the ground of unconscionability. The court laid down a 3-step framework for determining unconscionability: (a)  identify the nature of the performance bond; (b) ascertain whether the call falls within the terms of the bond; (c) evaluate whether the “overall tenor and entire context of the conduct of the parties support a strong prima facie case of unconscionability”.

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