Offer and Acceptance

Topics: Contract, Offer and acceptance, Contract law Pages: 11 (4000 words) Published: November 15, 2011
Offer and acceptance
Contract law|
Part of the common law series|
Contract formation|
Offer and acceptance · Mailbox rule
Mirror image rule · Invitation to treat
Firm offer · Consideration|
Defenses against formation|
Lack of capacity
Duress · Undue influence
Illusory promise · Statute of frauds
Non est factum|
Contract interpretation|
Parol evidence rule
Contract of adhesion
Integration clause
Contra proferentem|
Excuses for non-performance|
Mistake · Misrepresentation
Frustration of purpose · Impossibility
Impracticability · Illegality
Unclean hands · Unconscionability
Accord and satisfaction|
Rights of third parties|
Privity of contract
Assignment · Delegation
Novation · Third party beneficiary|
Breach of contract|
Anticipatory repudiation · Cover
Exclusion clause · Efficient breach
Deviation · Fundamental breach|
Specific performance
Liquidated damages
Penal damages · Rescission|
Quasi-contractual obligations|
Promissory estoppel
Quantum meruit|
Related areas of law|
Conflict of laws · Commercial law|
Other common law areas|
Tort law · Property law
Wills, trusts and estates
Criminal law · Evidence|
v · d · e|
Offer and acceptance analysis is a traditional approach in contract law used to determine whether an agreement exists between two parties. Agreement consists of an offer by an indication of one person (the "offeror") to another (the "offeree") of the offeror's willingness to enter into a contract on certain terms without further negotiations. A contract is said to come into existence when acceptance of an offer (agreement to the terms in it) has been communicated to the offeror by the offeree and there has been consideration bargained-for induced by promises or a promise and performance. The offer and acceptance formula, developed in the 19th century, identifies a moment of formation when the parties are of one mind. This classical approach to contract formation has been weakened by developments in the law of estoppel, misleading conduct, misrepresentation and unjust enrichment.

Treitel defines an offer as "an expression of willingness to contract on certain terms, made with the intention that it shall become binding as soon as it is accepted by the person to whom it is addressed", the "offeree".[1] An offer is a statement of the terms on which the offeror is willing to be bound. It is the present contractual intent to be bound by a contract with definite and certain terms communicated to the offeree. The "expression" referred to in the definition may take different forms, such as a letter, newspaper, fax, email and even conduct, as long as it communicates the basis on which the offeror is prepared to contract. Whether two parties have an agreement or a valid offer is an issue which is determined by the court using the Objective test (Smith v. Hughes). Therefore the "intention" referred to in the definition is objectively judged by the courts. In the English case of Smith v. Hughes [2] the court emphasised that the important thing is not a party's real intentions but how a reasonable person would view the situation. This is due mainly to common sense as each party would not wish to breach his side of the contract if it would make him or her culpable to damages, it would especially be contrary to the principle of certainty and clarity in commercial contract and the topic of mistake and how it affects the contract. As a minimum requirement the conditions for an offer should include at least the following 4 conditions: Delivery date, price, terms of payment that includes the date of payment and detail description of the item on offer including a fair description of the condition or type of service. Without one of the minimum requirements of condition an offer of sale is not seen as a legal offer but rather seen as an advertisement. Unilateral contract

The contract in Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co[3]...
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