Custom English Contract Law essay paper sample

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These events describe the various contracts under the English law that have been developed and refined through court cases.  Various case laws will be cited here-in so as to qualify a scenario as either an invitation to treat or an offer.  An offer must constitute certainty whether it is unilateral or bilateral. Thus, both parties must honor their ends else the contract is invalid.

The first event is that the laptop is open for sale to the general public, that is, ‘invitation to treat.’ Andy stated his intent of selling his laptop via an advertisement on the University Notice Board. This constitutes an invitation to treat and serve to invite offers for the stated product so that the seller can decide which are of interest to him or her then accept the offer or choose to negotiate. It should be noted that such notices do not offer themselves but are rather open to anyone if the contract terms are agreed and settled. Such specifications in this case would entail price and any additional after sale service. An invitation to treat is therefore differentiated from an offer which would otherwise be an obligation to the seller to supply an identical product to each and every person who replied and accepted the offer. Partridge v Crittenden 1968 best describes this scenario where the defendant had placed an advertisement stating that he had certain birds which he offered for sale. This contravened the Protection of Birds Act 1954 and he was thus arrested. The court ruled that the number of birds offered was not specified and he could therefore not be held liable under law to provide more birds than he possessed. This merely implies that Andy is thus under no obligation to supply each an every person with an identical laptop to that which he is selling and he can chose to either reject ort accept an offer.

In the second event, Andy was willing to accept an offer of 350 which was below the asking price of 400. However, Belinda was not available so as to receive either the acceptance call or a message that would have otherwise sealed the deal. In the English Contract Law, once an offer is made and accepted, the ‘buyer, must read the message of acceptance, else the deal is null and void. In this case, Belinda did not receive the message of acceptance and thus the deal was not concluded. Thus, Andy is not legally bound to supply the laptop or an identical laptop to Belinda.Entores Ltd v Miles Far East Corporation EWCA Civ 3 clearly exemplifies this scenario. In this case, a company based in London had offered to buy goods from an Amsterdam-based company via telex. This offer was instantaneously accepted via telex as well. The crux of the matter was whether this contract had been made in London or Amsterdam considering that the law did not extend into covering telex communication by then. The court ruled that it was only sensible that a contract should be deemed to have been accepted at the origin of the invitation not the origin of acceptance. Thus, in the Andy-Belinda scenario, it is only when Belinda reads the message or receives a call from Andy that the contract will be said to have been made.

In event three, Carol said ..."as long as"- lack of certainty. Both parties must honor their ends so that the contract may be sealed.  There is uncertainty as to whether Carol will meet her end of the bargain. In English contract law, certainty lays down the guiding principle as to how judges should interpret or deem contracts to be in effect. Therefore, if the terms laid down in the contract are incomplete, then the contract under the law is said to have failed. An agreement made for later pay (although Andy was not in favor of such) could not have constituted a contract. However, courts treat commercial contracts in a more flexible manner as the attempt to construe a practical construction of a given contract. If Andy would have accepted Carol’s offer in that he should wait for the desired amount, the contract would only have held void in the event that Carol failed to meet her end of the bargain. In May and Butcher Ltd v The King, the court ruled that since the price and related agreements had not been agreed nor met, such as would have been the case if Andy had accepted Carol’s offer and later failed to receive the monetary compensation, then the contract was nullified and the crown was no longer under liability to dispose its goods that remained after the War which were no longer required.

In event four, David left the full payment in Andy’s room but in an unacceptable mode. Andy, having rejected this mode, albeit in silence, nullifies the deal. In the English Contract Law, silence is not taken as consent to a contract. Although David deposited the full amount to Andy, albeit in a means not acceptable to Andy, the contract was void since there was no further communication between the two parties. Thus, Andy cannot be held legally liable of supplying the laptop or an identical one. In Felthouse v Bindley 1862, a nephew discussed the sale of a horse with his uncle. After some considerable argument, the uncle wrote that he would consider the horse his if he did not hear from his nephew. The auctioneer, having forgotten that he had been instructed not to auction the horse, went ahead and sold it. Legal proceedings against the auctioneer were instigated. However, the court ruled that the contract between the uncle and the nephew was not valid since the nephew had not replied to his uncle’s message. Thus, Andy having not replied to David’s proposal renders this contract null and void.

In event five, the consideration under evaluation is that Edward has been helping out Andy. However, this is prior to the making of the contract which essentially nullifies all such considerations. In English Contract law, there must be ‘consideration’ which emanates from the party who is accepting the offer be it monetary or otherwise. However, such a consideration is bound by various principles. First, the person making an offer should be expecting a return which must of value to the ‘person offering a product. Secondly, this consideration should place its obligation in the future and should not base its consideration in the past at all. The consideration between Andy and Edward under no doubt fails to qualify under this principle. Edward’s consideration is based on what he has already done rather than what he is going to do. In the case Re mc cardle [1951] Ch 669, during their tenancy, occupants carried out improvements and the owner promised to adequately compensate them. However, the owner died before this and the owner’s representatives refused to honor this. The court stood by the decision of the representatives since this had been carried out at the tenant’s behest not under the request of the owner. Therefore, Edward having helped out Andy in his coursework does not hold water as a valid consideration.

In event six, both Andy and Ros came into an agreement which both parties honored. Thus, the contract was rightfully and legally sealed.

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