The Application of Contracts

Dr Ryan Catterwell

Time and date: Thursday 29 June, 2023, 1-2pm (Brisbane Time)

Location: Law School Board Room (W353), Level 3, Forgan Smith Building, The University of Queensland, St Lucia
And via Zoom:


Much has been written about how contracts are interpreted, but relatively little attention has been directed to how a contract is applied to the facts. This paper analyses the nature of contract application. It examines the aim of the process and its mechanics. It seeks to explain why and how we apply a contract.

About the Speaker

Profile of Dr Ryan CatterwellRyan Catterwell is an adjunct senior lecturer in law at the TC Beirne School of Law and now practices privately at the Bar in Adelaide in the field of commercial law and equity, as a member of Howard Zelling Chambers. He is the author of A Unified Approach to Contract Interpretation (Oxford, Hart, 2020) and has written a number of associated articles and book chapters on particular aspects of contractual interpretation, as well as on tricky interactions between contract, commerce and developing technologies. His most recent article, ‘Autonomy and Institutionalism in the Law of Contract’ appeared in the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies in August, 2022.

About Australian Centre for Private Law Events

The mission of the ​Australian Centre for Private Law is to foster the development and understanding of the private law through advanced theoretical, doctrinal, empirical and historical research, and the dissemination of that research through education and professional outreach. By supporting the work of its Fellows, the ACPL seeks to promote research in all areas of private law and to establish itself as a research centre of national and international importance. The core initiatives of ACPL are:

Research: To advance a deeper understanding of the structure, principles and policies of the private law through advanced theoretical, comparative, and empirical analysis.

Education: To promote, facilitate and disseminate the results of that research for the benefit of Australia’s social and economic fabric.

Professional Outreach: To engage the judiciary and members of the legal profession in discussion about the values, goals and methods of private law and the respective roles of the judiciary, the legal profession and the academy in the interpretation and reform of private law.

The ACPL embraces all branches of private law, including the law of contract, torts, trusts, equity, property, unjust enrichment, including theoretical and jurisprudential dimensions and contextual applications thereof.


Level 3, Forgan Smith Building, The University of Queensland, St Lucia
And via Zoom
Law School Board Room (W353)