Cases on Contract

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Topics: Contract
Asif Tufal Contract-Law-page CASES ON FORMATION OF A CONTRACT OFFER
Payne v Cave (1789)
The defendant made the highest bid for the plaintiff's goods at an auction sale, but he withdrew his bid before the fall of the auctioneer's hammer. It was held that the defendant was not bound to purchase the goods. His bid amounted to an offer which he was entitled to withdraw at any time before the auctioneer signified acceptance by knocking down the hammer. Note: The common law rule laid down in this case has now been codified in s57(2) Sale of Goods Act 1979.
Fisher v Bell (1960)
A shopkeeper displayed a flick knife with a price tag in the window. The Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959 made it an offence to 'offer for sale' a 'flick knife'. The shopkeeper was prosecuted in the magistrates' court but the Justices declined to convict on the basis that the knife had not, in law, been 'offered for sale'.
This decision was upheld by the Queen's Bench Divisional Court. Lord Parker CJ stated: "It is perfectly clear that according to the ordinary law of contract the display of an article with a price on it in a shop window is merely an invitation to treat. It is in no sense an offer for sale the acceptance of which constitutes a contract."
PSGB v Boots (1953)
The defendants' shop was adapted to the "self-service" system. The question for the Court of Appeal was whether the sales of certain drugs were effected by or under the supervision of a registered pharmacist. The question was answered in the affirmative. Somervell LJ stated that "in the case of an ordinary shop, although goods are displayed and it is intended that customers should go and choose what they want, the contract is not completed until, the customer having indicated the articles which he needs, the shopkeeper, or someone on his behalf, accepts that offer. Then the contract is completed."
Partridge v Crittenden (1968)
It was an offence to offer for sale certain wild birds. The defendant had

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