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Cover JC Smith's The Law of Contract

8. Intention to create legal relations  

This chapter discusses the intention to create legal relations in the formation of a contract in domestic or social and commercial transactions. In a domestic or social context, there is a presumption that the parties do not intend to create legal relations. In a commercial context, however, the reverse applies and it is presumed that the parties do intend to create legal relations. No matter which presumption initially applies, that presumption may be rebutted by evidence to the contrary. The chapter concludes that it will not always be easy to decide whether an arrangement is more ‘social’ than ‘commercial’ due to the lack of unanimity in cases such as Esso Petroleum Ltd v Commissioners of Customs and Excise. Courts continue to be split on whether or not an intention to create legal relations is present in particular disputes.


Cover Commercial Law

10. An introduction to the sale of goods  

This chapter discusses the law relating to the sale of goods, which lies at the heart of commercial law and regulates sales of different kinds from domestic retail to cross-border internet transactions. Sale of goods law also lies at the heart of other aspects of commercial law, such as the law of agency, where agents are often appointed solely for the purpose of selling their principal’s goods. Contracts for finance and for insurance are further examples of transactions that often depend on the sale of goods for their entire purpose. It must be noted that a contract of sale is still a contract, even if it has special features. Therefore, all elements for establishing the contract must be present, these being offer, acceptance, consideration, certainty, and the intention to create legal relations.