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Contract LawText, Cases and Materials

Contract Law: Text, Cases and Materials (10th edn)

Ewan McKendrick
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date: 26 September 2023

p. 2466. Formalitieslocked

p. 2466. Formalitieslocked

  • Ewan McKendrick


Requirements of form (such as writing) are not as important today as they were in the past. As a general rule, contracts can be made in any form and can be proved by any means, although there remain exceptional cases where the law does insist upon requirements of form. This chapter, which considers the reasons for continued reliance upon requirements of form, along with the criticisms levelled against such requirements, begins by explaining why legal systems impose formal requirements upon contracting parties. It then outlines the formal requirements in English contract law, followed by a discussion of the future of formal requirements, including deeds, noting the distinction between cases where the contract must be made in writing and cases in which contracts must be evidenced in writing.

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