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    Hi guys,

    basically, ive got one fundamental question and ive struggled to get the answer since october.

    for contract, everyone says there are 4 elements required: offer, acceptance, consideration and intentions to create legal relations. this is just gerenal of course as there are hundreds of doctrines which make contract void, voidable etc. but generally, the four elements mentioned above are what is required for a contract.

    now, the question that is bothering me is - where exactly does it say that these are the elements required for a contract to be formed? and also other things such as oral agreements have the same force as written etc. is there an Act of Parliament for this? is this a common law?

    the reason why i am asking this question is because my tutor said for exams, we need to identify the laws and apply them to facts and he brought an example of offer being a statement showing commitment to enter into a contract subject to the 2nd party's acceptance. now, where does it say this? is this common law and is the law the lecturer is talking about just a principle born from the common or case law?

    Any help is much appreciated!
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    this is irrelevant but, how are you finding law?
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    (Original post by Lionslayer)
    this is irrelevant but, how are you finding law?
    I'd also like to know this.... :holmes:
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    (Original post by Lionslayer)
    this is irrelevant but, how are you finding law?
    im finding it very hard and too much to read but i guess thats how every barrister/judge now have worked their way trough. its very complicated, too much to read, impossible amount of information to remember etc... but i guess nobody expects you to be perfect to get high grades. overall, i think its worth it even though it is a probability that itll cause you as much stress as youve never experienced before.
    i dont know what else to answer for your question, but if you want more specifics, please do ask ill be glad to answer,
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    is there nobody who knows the answer to my question?? anybody? please?
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    Common law is the same thing as case law.

    The idea behind "Common law" is that you develop a set of rules through cases. Common law and the use of precedent are just a complicated way of putting into practice the idea that later cases must follow earlier cases unless there is a very good reason not to. Over time, applying that basic idea results in old cases actually constituting the law, because if you want to know what the law is you must look at old cases. In common law areas cases ARE the law.


    When looking to establish where a particular rule comes from, then you cite cases because those cares ARE the law.

    Because of the way it is, common law can change all the time. The law laid down by old cases might gradually change over time as new cases apply it in different ways.

    When choosing a case to cite, you often have multiple options. Broadly, you can cite 1) the case where the rule first came from, 2) a case which explains the rule (it often happens that an early case applies a rule but a later case explains that rule in a lot more detail) or 3) a case that applies the rule to a particular situation. Usually you want to go for 1) and usually you want to go for a House of Lords rather than Court of Appeal rather than High Court case, but its context dependent.

    Rules like offer and acceptance, consideration and intent are so elementary and have existed for so many years that I don't think you need to worry so much. The law is what it is because that is how courts make decisions: there is no definitive written "law" in the way that there is with an Act of Parliament or a Civil Code as in European countries, in many ways the study of law is the study of what decisions courts make and why rather than a search for anything more abstract. They are applied by hundreds and hundreds of contract cases so there is no doubt that they are the rules that are applied. One would usually cite a House of Lords case that directly applies or explains the rule - for offer and acceptance, Smith v Hughes is often cited, and for consideration, Re Pinnel's Case is a good choice since that case explained what consideration is.
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    n.b. about your query concerning exams, you cite case law as authority for your propositions, i.e. you make a statement and refer people to the case law to back yourself up. Sometimes, you will cite leading case law to establish the existence of a rule or principle. Other times, you will cite cases as illustrations of how that law is applied in practice and will use those cases to assist you in applying the facts to the rules. The below is an example of a crude short paragraph answering a problem question that demonstrates the correct approach -

    "It is not clear whether X and Y have a contract. To have a contract there are four requirements. First, one needs offer and acceptance, and this is judged objectively, Smith v Hughes. X's statement may be an offer or an Invitation to Treat. Although it is usually true that adverts are Invitations to Treat, Partridge v Crittenden, this advert has a number of unusual characteristics indicating that X did intend to be immediately bound <insert further discussion>

    Second, one needs consideration, Re Pinnel's Case. There is clearly consideration in this case as X promised to pay £100 in return for Y giving his dog back.

    Third, there must be intent to create legal relations <insert discussion>"
 
 
 
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