Business Law

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  • Topic: Contract, Offer and acceptance, Gentlemen's agreement
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University of Macau
BBEL 230 –Business Law I
Macau, 28 March 2010

|Write your full identification, Western name and section. | |Only the legislation, without any forbidden notes, can be used. | |Dictionaries are allowed. | |Do not repeat the facts of the cases in your answer: analyze them. | |Do not rewrite entire articles of the law in your answer: just refer to them. | |( Write clearly (clear ideas and readable words). | |(Qualified answers are required: they must be complete, legal-based, well supported. |

I. Please state whether the following statements are correct and why (not)?

a) “All the rules in the Civil Code are default rules”; The statement is wrong. Although a lot of rules of the civil code are indeed default rules which may be set aside by the parties to a contract, some rules are imperative and have always to be respected so that the parties cannot decide otherwise in the contract. b) “A criminal law can never have retroactive or retrospective effect”; The statement is wrong. Although generally criminal cannot work back in time, there is an exception for criminal laws that benefit the accused; such laws may work back in time. c) “The Chief Executive of Macau has legislative power”; This statement is correct. The Chief executive can make administrative regulations. Complementary administrative regulations only give effect to a law of the Legislative Assembly. However, next to complementary administrative regulations, the Chief Executive may also adopt independent administrative regulations that need not to be based on any law. Law 13/2009 reserves some areas to the legislature so that independent administrative regulations cannot regulate those domains. d) “A minor can never conclude valid contracts”.

This statement is not correct. Minors in general cannot conclude contracts and need to assistance of their parents or guardians. However, Article 116 Civil Code lays down three exceptions, namely minors can conclude contracts dealing with daily transactions that they understand and that do not involve a lot of money; they can conclude contracts dealing with the transfer and management of goods they have obtained through their work; and they can conclude contracts for acts related to their work, art or profession that the minor was authorized by his parents to perform.

II. Bitter tea to swallow

Ms. Ng owns a nice Cantonese restaurant in Macau. On March 17th she contacts by telephone a tea dealer Mr. Lee to buy tea for her restaurant. Mr. Lee is busy at the time, but promises Ms. Ng to send an email in which he will make an offer for different teas she can order and indicating the price for each tea per kilogram. One hour later Ms. Ng receives an email that indeed contains a list of all sorts of tea, which she has to print out and fill in.

Discuss the following situations:

a) Ms. Ng decides to send the list later and on March 22nd she sends a letter to Mr. Lee. Mr. Lee however says that his offer does not stand anymore. Is this correct? What would your answer be if Ms. Ng had sent the list by email? This involves a situation where an offer was made to another party where the offeror did not demand an immediate answer or indicated a time period in which the offer has to be accepted. The parties are not communicating face by face. In that case Article 220...
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