contract law formative assignment

Topics: Offer and acceptance, Contract, Meeting of the minds Pages: 7 (1675 words) Published: April 1, 2014
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CONTRACT LAW
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Formative Assignment
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06/11/2013

CONTRACT LAW FORMATIVE ASSIGNMENT

The problem here analysed is about four different relations between Bangor University and four different textbook suppliers: Academia Ltd, Carlton Books, Lawtext Ltd and Typox Ltd. In order to differ which of these relations finally constitute concluded contracts, we will proceed to evaluate each case individually to establish whether the essential elements of a contract (offer, acceptance, consideration and intention to create legal relations) are validly fulfilled or not. As soon as one of those essential elements is not validly fulfilled, we can conclude there is no valid contract between the parties.

There appears to be a valid offer in the contract between Bangor University and Academia Ltd for the latter to supply 500 textbooks to the former at a cost of £10,000 because there seems to be a complete oral statement of the willingness of the former to be bound by the terms of that statement once these terms are, in turn, accepted by Academia Ltd . However, Academia Ltd´s response introducing a new price and asking for Bangor University´s acceptance seems not to be an acceptance but a counter-offer, which has the effect to “kill off” Bangor University´s offer, as it can be seen in Hyde v Wrench1. Then, Bangor University was entitled to accept or to reject the counter-offer made by Academia Ltd. Moreover, Academia Ltd stated that if they did not hear from Bangor University by 8 am on October 7th, they would assume that Bangor University had accepted the deal. However, the general rule is that an offeror cannot impose a contractual obligation upon the offeree by stating that, unless the offeree expressly rejects the offer, it would be understood as an acceptance, as it can be seen in Felthouse v Bindley2. Therefore, some positive action is required on the part of the offeree to provide evidence that he has in fact accepted the offer. Bangor University did not stop looking for textbooks supplier, so there does not seem to be any evidence of acceptance from Bangor University´s behaviour.

1
2

[1840] 3 Beav 334.
[1862] 11 CB(NS) 869.

Therefore, it seems that no valid acceptance has occurred so it is likely that there is no contract between Bangor University and Academia Ltd.
There seems to be a valid offer between Bangor University and Carlton Books because there seems to be a complete oral statement of the willingness of the former to be bound by the terms of that statement once these terms are, in turn, accepted by Carlton Books. However, there is a problem with the communication of the acceptance. The general rule that applies when the acceptance is sent by post, which can be traced back to Adams v lindsell3, is that acceptance takes place when the letter of acceptance is posted by the offeree, as it seems to be in this current case. Furthermore, English law is presently committed to the view that a contract is concluded on the posting of the letter of acceptance even where it gets lost in the post. Even known there are some different points of views and exceptions to the implementation of the general rule, as can be seen in Mason v Benhar Coal Co4, where the reason of the loss of the letter is that it has been incorrectly addressed by the offeree, as it has been by Carlton Books in the current case, acceptance does not take place on posting...

Bibliography: Westlaw.co.uk. *132 Hyde v Wrench (1840) 3 Beavan 334 49 E.R. 132. < http://0login.westlaw.co.uk.unicat.bangor.ac.uk/maf/wluk/app/document?src=doc&linktype=ref&conte
xt=10&crumb-action=replace&docguid=I1F3F88D061B311DCAE2ACA9795A4A3D7>.
Westlaw.co.uk. *1037 Paul Felthouse v Bindley (1862) Common Bench Reports (New Series)
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