23. Compromises and family arrangements.

23.     Compromises and family arrangements.

Agreements to compromise litigation or to avoid disputes are contracts governed by the ordinary rules of the law of contract1. Hence in principle they should be capable of being vitiated by common mistake of law2. However, it will be a question of construction whether an alleged mistake has that consequence3. For example, general words are unlikely to be interpreted as giving up rights of which the parties were then unaware4. Moreover, there are public policy considerations to be taken into account5. Thus, where there is a 'give-and-take' settlement of claims, a compromise