Can the body commissioning an artwork subsequently terminate the agreement?
Invariably when undertaking a public commission you should have a written agreement with the commissioning body before you undertake any work.
Unless the agreement specifically addresses the possibility of the agreement either being terminated or performance of it being denied due to circumstances beyond the control of either part, the courts will require that you receive a fair and reasonable sum for the work which you have undertaken and compensation for any expenditure incurred or losses suffered as a result of having committed yourself to a now defunct project.
The County Courts have a quick a cheap method for deciding disputes involving claims not exceeding £5,000. This is sometimes referred to as the ‘small claims court’ – but actually refers to the special processes of the County Courts.