LAW 501-001 – Foundations of Law I

Unconscionability


Unconscionability is when "in light of general commercial background . . . the clauses are so one-sided as to be unconscionable under the circumstances at the time of the making of the contract"

Some courts have said, “shocks the conscience.”

Esau sold his birthright and was not able to nullify it. Genesis 25; Hebrews 12.

The Bible commands people not to oppress the poor.

  • Proverbs 14:31
    He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
  • Proverbs 22:22
    Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:

Jesus cast out the moneychangers for price gouging temple-goers.

  • Matthew 21:12–13
    And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
    13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

The Bible says not to make contracts that would be unconscionable or unfulfilled.

  • Ecclesiastes 5:5
    Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.
  • Luke 6:34–35
    And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
    35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
  • Proverbs 14:31
    He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
  • Proverbs 22:22
    Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate: