Doctrine of Intention in the Law of Courts

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DOCTRINE OF INTENTION IN THE LAW OF COURTS

A contract is an agreement between two or more competent parties in which an offer is made and accepted, and each party benefits. When we look to see if a valid contract has been formed we look at the formation of the contract i.e. offer, acceptance, consideration and Intention to create legal relationships. This is an integral part of contract law. In England and most civil law countries existence of a contract depends on a theory that parties intend to be legally bound. The rule dates back to 1919’s where the court dismissed that a husband can be enforced to pay a fixed amount of sum he promised his wife. The doctrine of intention focuses primarily on whether both parties intend to be legally bounded by a contract. This area of law has become increasingly important over the year especially when there is no clear indication or mirror image in writing that the parties have a contract in place. It’s a matter of policy otherwise commercial agreements won’t be enforceable and doing business without a contract in place will be difficult and will raise doubt/fear among parties to enter into a commercial agreement. The importance of doctrine of intention becomes clear depending in what agreement the contract was formed e.g. domestic, social or commercial. Generally in domestic agreements there would have to be a clear indication for entering into a legal relationship whereas in a commercial agreement there is already a presumption that both parties intend to create legal relations unless there is concrete evidence that suggests otherwise. An agreement between a husband and wife are presumed not to be legally binding (Balfour v Balfour) similarly an agreement between a parent and child cannot be enforceable (Jones V Padavatton). Social agreements also do not give rise to legally binding contracts (lens v Devonshire social club). The common thing in all of these cases is that there was no intention of creating legal...
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