Business Law

Topics: Contract, Contract law, Contractual term Pages: 6 (2709 words) Published: April 22, 2014
Case Study
You arrange to meet your boyfriend at the Patio Hotel on Saturday night. Your best friend witnessed the two of you making the arrangement. It is to celebrate your birthday and you buy a new dress, shoes and accessories for the date. He does not turn up and does not text you with an explanation. Can you sue him?

If so, why?
If not, why not?
She would be unable to sue him as this is a social agreement which is unenforceable by law. Neither party has entered into a legally binding contract. Should you chose to break such an agreement, the consequences will be no more serious than upsetting or dissappointing your friends. This is similar to the case of Spellman v Spellman, in which a husband purchased a new car and told his wife that it was for her in an attempt to save their Marriage. The marriage eventually broke down and during sthe divorce Mrs Spellman tried to get the car. Unfortunately for Mrs Spellman, as no legally binding contract was entered into and this was only a domestic agreement, the car was awarded to Mr Spellman. While Spellman v Spellman is a domestic agreement and the above case is a social agreement, they are both still unenforceable by law. Therefore, she would be unable to sue her boyfriend for breaking their agreement.

Case Study
You get up early on a Saturday morning and take the train to Glasgow. In the window of Next store in Argyle Steet, you see the leather jacket of your dreams; a little Victoria Beckham number, just what you have always wanted. The price tag says £4.00. You run in the store, find the apporpriate rail, check for your size and colour and wow! the price tag still reads £4.00. You rush to the point of sale and present the jacket and a fistful of pound coins to the girl. Does she have to sell you the jacket at that price?

If so, why?
If not, why not?
The shop assistant does not have to sell the boy the jacket at that price as it is well established that shops do not offer goods for sale, they indicate a willingness to negotiate. However, a shop owner does not have to sell anything against his will and has an absolute right to refuse an offer to buy. This means the offer is not made by the seller to sell, the offer is made by the buyer to buy. The case which is similar to this was the case of The Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain v Boots Cash Chemists (Southern) Limited (1952). The outcome of this case was that the goods on the shelf constituted an invitation to treat and the offer was made by the customer and accepted at the cash desk by the salesperson as agent for the employer. The confusion arises where shops themselves use expressions such as “special offer” which are incorrect. In more recent times, however, the cash desk is referred to as the “point of sale” which, in law, is an accurate description. Therefore, the shop assistant does not have to sell him the jacket as he was merely making an offer and it is the shops decision if they wish to accept this offer.

John is fifteen years old. Last weekend his mother gave him money to buy a heavy coat to wear to school during the Winter. In a moment of weakness he bought a leather jacket, which was reduced in a sale. Fearful of his mothers wrath, he tied to return the jacket, but the shop refused to refund the money. How might age have affected John’s contractual capacity?

The Age of Legal Capacity (Scotland) Act 1991 provides a basic rule that children under the age of 16 have no contractual capacity. Thus a contract made by or with such a young person will be null and void. However, there are important exceptions to this rule. A person under 16 can enter into transactions “of a kind commonly entered into by persons of his age and circumstances” provided the terms are reasonable. This is designed to allow a younger person to acquire increasing contractual capacity as he grows older as social circumstances change and in accordance with the level of independence which the parent or guardians...
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