AuthorJeffrey Berryman
The equitable remedy of rectif‌ication is one of great antiquity: it pro-
vides for the correction of documents th at, until corrected, inaccur-
ately record the intention of the parties. Although it is common to
f‌ind the remedy included with the law of mistake, rectif‌ication only
corrects errors in recording the intentions of the parties. It does not
correct or provide relief for mistakes in subject matter or ter ms of a
contract. Where the parties agree that they have inaccurately recorded
their agreement, you would expect that t hey would agree to voluntarily
correct the document. But because one part y has a vested interest in
resisting such a correct ion, these cases are continually litigated. The
party pleading rect if‌ication may be trying to e scape a bargain made
improvident through a change of circumst ances and will argue that
the document does not record the parties’ ag reement. The opposing
party wi ll argue that it does, and that the other part y is labouring under
Adding further conf usion is the fact that Canadian cour ts have
been opposed to allowing pa rol evidence to either alter, vary, or contra-
dict a written contract.1 A plea of rectif‌icat ion provides an exception to
the parol evidence rule. Even if the plea is unsuccessful, the probative
value of the now admitted evidence may have a bea ring on the other
1 See Haw rish v. Bank of Montreal, [1969] S.C .R. 515.

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