In English contract law, a minor is any individual under the age of 18 years old. Historically, the age had been 21, until the Family Law Reform Act 1969. As a general rule, a minor is not bound by contracts he makes, though the adult party whom he contracts with is. Once a minor reaches the age of majority however, he can elect to ratify a contract made as a minor in full capacity. This rule is subject to several types of contracts which a minor will be bound by, and his right to repudiate such contracts. Contracts for necessaries
"..the classes being established, the subject-matter and extent of the contract may vary according to the state and condition of the infant himself. His clothes may be fine or coarse according to his rank; his education may vary according to the station he is to fill; and the medicines will depend on the illness with which he is afflicted, and the extent of his probable means when of age. So, again, the nature and extent of the attendance will depend on his position in society."
| Alderson B, in Chapple v Anne Cooper (1834) 153 ER 105
Minors are legally bound where a contract supplies them with "necessaries", or goods and services which are deemed necessary or beneficial to them. This obligation is codified in the Sale of Goods Act 1979, in section 3, where it is stated: Where necessaries are sold and delivered to a minor ... he must pay a reasonable price for them. Whilst the onus of proof that a contract is for necessaries falls upon the supplier, contracts in this form have been found in a wide range of situations, including expensive and far reaching purchases. The definition of necessaries includes obvious purchases, such as food and clothing, but also services or goods which are in furtherance of education or apprenticeship. The necessaries of one minor will not necessarily reflect those of another. The particular circumstances, such as...
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