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Chapter

This chapter examines the legal requirements relating to the formation of a contract. It discusses the five essential elements of a contract, namely offer, acceptance (offer and acceptance are collectively referred to as ‘agreement’), certainty, consideration, and the intention to create legal relations. It analyses these individual requirements in detail and considers the courts’ approach in determining whether an enforceable contract is present or not. This chapter also explains the principles of different types of contracts, namely the distinction between bilateral and unilateral contracts, and how the normal rules of contractual formation are modified in the cases involving unilateral contracts.

Chapter

Jack Beatson, Andrew Burrows, and John Cartwright

A contract consists of an actionable promise or promises. Every such promise involves at least two parties, a promisor and a promisee, and an outward expression of common intention and of expectation as to the declaration or assurance contained in the promise. This outward expression of a common intention and of expectation normally takes the form of an agreement. This chapter discusses the establishment of an agreement by offer and acceptance; uncertain and incomplete agreements; and the intention to create legal relations.

Book

This book offers a major new means of conceptualizing law and legal relations across the world. National laws are placed in the broader context of major legal traditions, those of chthonic (or indigenous) law, talmudic law, civil law, Islamic law, common law, Hindu law, and Confucian law. Each tradition is examined in terms of its institutions and substantive law, its founding concepts and methods, its attitude towards the concept of change, and its teaching on relations with other traditions and peoples. Legal traditions are explained in terms of multivalent and non-conflictual forms of logic and thought.

Chapter

This chapter deals with leases and how they relate to the content, acquisition, and defences questions. It first considers the distinction between a lease and a licence, noting that such a distinction reflects the most fundamental distinction in land law: between a property right and a personal right. It then tackles the content question by focusing on the concept of exclusive possession, the requirement that a lease must have a certain term, the nature of a ‘Bruton lease’, the question of rent, and the intention to create legal relations. It also examines the acquisition question by explaining how leases may be created or transferred, and the defences question by distinguishing between legal leases and equitable leases. Finally, it discusses the nature and operation of leasehold covenants and consequent forfeiture if a leasehold covenant is breach. Finally it explains the use of leases in the ownership of flats.

Chapter

The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions. Each book includes typical questions, answer plans, suggested answers and other features. This chapter explains the doctrine of consideration and other elements necessary for the enforceability of an agreement, such as an intention to create legal relations. The doctrine of consideration is shaped by three important rules: traditionally consideration must move from the promisee (a party must provide consideration if he is to sue on a promise); consideration must be sufficient but need not be adequate (both parties need only contribute something of value in the eyes of the law to the bargain, however disproportionate); and performance of an existing contract does not normally constitute sufficient consideration for any modification in the terms of that contract. The chapter also looks at the equitable doctrine of promissory estoppel.

Chapter

Stuart Bell, Donald McGillivray, Ole W. Pedersen, Emma Lees, and Elen Stokes

This chapter describes the development, scope, and application of international environmental law, which has expanded significantly since the late 1960s. The focus is on international treaties relating to environmental protection. The chapter is restricted to discussing public, rather than private, international law—that is, the law between states, rather than the conflict of legal systems. International law has often been regarded as something rather closer to international relations due to the fact that there is no single body with the power to make and enforce law against states, companies, or individuals effectively. In the UK, international law does not necessarily have a direct impact on domestic law or on individuals. Treaties need to be given effect to through national legislation and are concerned with the action of states, not individuals within states—with some notable exceptions, such as the law on war crimes.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the various methods available for the peaceful settlement of international disputes. These include diplomatic methods (negotiation, mediation, inquiry, and conciliation), and legal methods (arbitration, the International Court of Justice, other courts and tribunals, and the place of legal methods). The role of the United Nations and regional organizations is also considered. Discussion covers the role of international law and its place in international relations, and dispute settlement generally. The text is illustrated with analysis of current and past disputes in which the various methods have been used—either successfully or unsuccessfully. The historical record shows first, that over the last two hundred years huge progress has been made in developing and refining the methods for handling international disputes, and secondly, that despite, or perhaps because of, differences between the various methods, their interaction and use in combination are often important factors in determining their effectiveness in practice.

Chapter

4. Contracts and informal relations  

The intention to create legal relations

This chapter focuses on the requirement that the parties to a contract must have the intention to create legal relations for it to become legally binding. It considers how we decide whether the parties to a particular agreement had the intention to enter into legal relations, showing that English law operates by means of rebuttable presumptions. It then examines cases where the presumption is that the parties did not intend to create legal relations—that they intended their transaction to be merely friendly or social, rather than legal. It also discusses commercial transactions, where the presumption is reversed, and more specifically the types of commercial transactions that are structured to place them outside the bounds of legal enforcement. The chapter includes the case of Balfour v Balfour [1919] 2 KB 571 (CA).

Book

TT Arvind

Contract Law provides a uniquely practical approach to the topic; enriched with scenarios to support deep understanding of legal principles, analysis, and critique. The text is divided into four parts. Part I covers forming contracts. It looks at bargaining and agreeing, and the requirements of mutuality, legal relations, and non-contractual promises. Part II considers issues related to keeping contracts. It examines the assembling of the contract, interpreting the terms of a contract, flexible terms, and changes in contracts. The next part is about regulating contracts. It looks at untrue statements, the limits of hard bargaining, controlling contractual terms, and protecting the public interest. The final part is about enforcing contracts. The text here examines issues relating to breach of contract, compensatory remedies, non-compensatory remedies, and third party matters.

Chapter

Titles in the Core Text series take the reader straight to the heart of the subject, providing focused, concise, and reliable guides for students at all levels. This chapter examines the applications of the general principles of the offer and the acceptance requirement in the law of contract in two specific problem areas which raise offer and acceptance principles. These issues concern intention to create legal relations and unilateral (or ‘offer and acceptance’) mistake, including the doctrine of non est factum.

Book

Cheshire, Fifoot & Furmston’s Law of Contract is a classic text on contract law. The first edition was published over seventy years ago. The book combines an account of the principles of the law of contract with analysis and insights, and the narrative brings understanding of complex contractual issues to a wider readership. It starts by providing a historic introduction, and goes on to look at issues such as modern contract law, agreement, consideration, and legal relations. The book details the contents of the contract and looks at unenforceable contracts, mistake, misrepresentation, duress, and undue influence. Chapters then examine contracts rendered void under statute, contracts illegal by statute or at common law, and contracts void at common law due to public policy. The text moves on to look at privity, rights and liabilities, performance and breach, and discharge under the doctrine of frustration. Finally, the book looks at remedies for breach of contract.

Chapter

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the history and nature of international law. Rather than regulating the behaviour of individuals in their relations with one another, international law is usually portrayed as a legal framework to govern the relations between ‘States’, the organized political entities which are the primary subjects of international law. ‘Public international law’ is to be distinguished from ‘private international law’, which describes the principles that determine the applicability of a certain law or set of laws to situations involving individuals with a foreign or transboundary element. Indeed, private international law regulates the conflicts between rules of different domestic legal orders, while public international law concerns relations between States. Today, public international law has exceeded its foundations as the law of inter-State relations and operates as an integral part of the daily lives of individuals.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the notion of ‘diplomatic protection’, or the idea that a State may espouse the claims of its nationals and claim on their behalf. Because diplomatic protection by a State to persons necessarily extends beyond its territory, its exercise has potential ramifications for the sovereignty of other States. Certain rules have therefore emerged to avoid the uncomfortable situation where States submit legal claims as a strategic tool in international relations. Many of these are reflected in the Articles on Diplomatic Protection proposed by the International Law Commission (ILC) in 2006. In such situations, even if locus standi or ‘standing’ can be established, the admissibility of a claim before an international tribunal is precluded. The chapter then studies the rules relating to the admissibility of claims of diplomatic protection.

Chapter

This chapter describes the law of treaties. As defined in Article 2(2) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT), a treaty can be embodied in a single instrument, or in two or more related instruments. It is a written agreement; between international legal subjects; and governed by international law. In short, a treaty must be written in order to fall under the scope of the VCLT. Though this does not mean that oral agreements have no effect in international law, it does mean that the law of treaties embodied in the VCLT does not govern oral agreements. While States are the most active actors entering into treaty relations, international organizations may also enter into treaties, whether between them or with a State. Ultimately, because a treaty’s purpose is to create binding international legal obligations, the law of treaties applies to agreements governed by international law.

Chapter

How does contract law determine whether the parties have committed to the contract and what each has committed to? This chapter discusses: the primacy of the objective test of intentions; the offer and acceptance test of agreement and what happens when one party appears to be mistaken about what is in the contract; when an offer is terminated so that any purported acceptance is ineffectual; assessment of the mirror image approach; the requirement of certainty; the nature of the requirement of intention to create legal relations; and the law’s approach to the benefits conferred in anticipation of contracts that do not materialise.

Book

Robert Merkin QC and Séverine Saintier

Course-focused and comprehensive, Poole’s Textbook on Contract Law provides an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. This book has been guiding students through contract law for many years. It places the law of contract clearly within its wider context, including the growing distinction between commercial and consumer contracting, before proceeding to provide detailed yet accessible treatment of all the key areas encountered when studying contract law. Part 1 considers formation, looking in detail at agreement, certainty and agreement mistakes, the enforceability of promises and the intention to be legally bound. Part 2 looks at content, interpretation, exemption clauses and unfair terms, performance, and breach. Part 3 considers the enforcement of contractual obligations including remedies, detailed treatment of damages for breach of contract, privity and third party rights, and discharge by frustration. Part 4 looks at methods of policing the making of a contract, such as non-agreement mistakes which render the contract void, misrepresentation, duress, undue influence, unconscionable bargains, and illegality. The book also includes references to relevant EU consumer legislation and introduces students to the various attempts (international and European) to produce a harmonized set of contract principles.

Book

Driven by exposition of the leading cases, JC Smith’s The Law of Contract offers the perfect balance between accessibility and authority. The strong focus on cases guides the reader through the intricacies of contract law with expert analysis ensuring key points are clear. The text begins with an introduction to contractual rights and duties. It looks at objectivity in contract law, the formation of bilateral and unilateral contracts, contract as agreement, offeror and offeree, estoppel, legal relations, and the role of third parties. It also considers the terms of the contract, interpretation of the contract, implication and rectification, and exclusion clauses and unfair terms. It goes on to look at issues such as duress, undue influence, good faith, capacity, illegality, contractual assumptions, breach of contract, remedies and damages, and remedies beyond compensatory damages.

Chapter

How does contract law determine whether the parties have committed to the contract and what each has committed to? This chapter discusses the following: the objective test of intentions; offer and acceptance; termination of the offer; assessment of the mirror image approach; certainty; intention to create legal relations; and restitution for benefits conferred in anticipation of contracts that do not materialise.

Chapter

4. Contracts and informal relations  

The intention to create legal relations

This chapter focuses on the requirement that the parties to a contract must have the intention to create legal relations for it to become legally binding. It considers how we decide whether the parties to a particular agreement had the intention to enter into legal relations, showing that English law operates by means of rebuttable presumptions. It then examines cases where the presumption is that the parties did not intend to create legal relations—that they intended their transaction to be merely friendly or social, rather than legal. It also discusses commercial transactions, where the presumption is reversed, and more specifically the types of commercial transactions that are structured to place them outside the bounds of legal enforcement. The chapter includes the case of Balfour v Balfour [1919] 2 KB 571 (CA).

Book

TT Arvind

Contract Law provides a uniquely practical approach to the topic. The text is divided into four parts. Part I covers forming contracts. It looks at bargaining and agreeing, and the requirements of mutuality, legal relations, and non-contractual promises. Part II considers issues related to keeping contracts. It examines the assembling of the contract, interpreting the terms of a contract, flexible terms, and changes in contracts. The next part is about regulating contracts. It looks at untrue statements, the limits of hard bargaining, controlling contractual terms, and protecting the public interest. The final part is about enforcing contracts. The text here examines issues relating to breach of contract, compensatory remedies, non-compensatory remedies, and third party matters.