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It is a long standing principle that contract terms will be upheld unless there is a specific reason they should not be, for example if they were made under duress or their terms are unconscionable. Penalty clauses are not in the "safe' clauses category. They are often at risk of being invalidated.
When two or more people, or companies, have a dispute that needs to be resolved, they have a couple of options. If they decide to go to court, they get the benefits of seeing all of the other side's evidence, presenting their claims or defenses before a judge or a jury and the ability to appeal.