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Koffman, Macdonald & Atkins' Law of Contract

Koffman, Macdonald & Atkins' Law of Contract (10th edn)

Ruth Atkins
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date: 28 September 2022

p. 56022. Additional chapter: Capacitylocked

p. 56022. Additional chapter: Capacitylocked

  • Ruth AtkinsRuth AtkinsSenior Lecturer in Law, Swansea University


This chapter considers the scope of contractual capacity, noting the tension in the law between the need to protect someone who is incapacitated and the desire to not treat too harshly the person dealing fairly with the incapacitated person. The general rule is that a minor will not be bound by a contract, although the person contracting with them will be. There are exceptions which will bind both parties unless the minor repudiates, and on becoming 18 a minor may ratify a contract made before that date. The law recognizes the general incapacity to contract of minors, the mentally incapacitated, and in certain circumstances where an individual is intoxicated. An adult of sound mind has full contractual capacity, although they may be able to claim that the contract is not enforceable on some other basis, for example undue influence.

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