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    Hi guys, basically this is a law question - ive posted this thread in the law section but nobody replied to my question, can anybody in this section please help? i know there are more members in this section, hopefully some of you might help.

    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?

    the only laws that I found were Contract (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 (I think) and some others such as Misrepresentation Act, Unfair ... Act etc - but the most important laws - the ones mentioned in the paragraphs above - i could not find anywhere..

    Any help is much appreciated!
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    The requirements come from common law--offer, acceptance, intent to create legal relations, and consideration. There's a substantial body of case law dealing with each of these elements. You'll need to be more specific about any particular part of the requirements, and the circumstances, to know what the relevant cases are.

    The statutes you named aren't really relevant for questions about creation of contracts. The Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 gives third parties some additional rights to enforce contracts, apart from those which already existed in common law. The Misrepresentation Act deals with recision of contracts, and how to handle misrepresentation, and isn't really relevant to the other questions you've asked.

    At a more theoretical level, there's some dispute over how important intent is (and indeed some iconoclasts say intent might not be a separate piece). Finally, consideration has come under fire recently, and some commentators have argued it gets in the way of businessmen's ability to make pragmatic agreements (in particular when circumstances change).
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    If you're having trouble with the basics of offer/acceptance at this stage, I think you need to get a better textbook/casebook. What are you using at the moment?
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    Before I say whoa how can you now know this, what course is it for?
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    (Original post by jjarvis)
    If you're having trouble with the basics of offer/acceptance at this stage, I think you need to get a better textbook/casebook. What are you using at the moment?
    Judging by his username (92) and his sig, I think he's still doing A Levels and is just doing some advanced reading... could be wrong though.
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    (Original post by Jingers)
    Judging by his username (92) and his sig, I think he's still doing A Levels and is just doing some advanced reading... could be wrong though.
    I wondered, but the reference to tutor could be indicative. Some people born in 92 are at uni, and he's listed A level grades. Maybe I'm wrong here, though.
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    (Original post by Jingers)
    Judging by his username (92) and his sig, I think he's still doing A Levels and is just doing some advanced reading... could be wrong though.
    im at uni right now and just have finished the first semester! lol
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    (Original post by jjarvis)
    The requirements come from common law--offer, acceptance, intent to create legal relations, and consideration. There's a substantial body of case law dealing with each of these elements. You'll need to be more specific about any particular part of the requirements, and the circumstances, to know what the relevant cases are.

    The statutes you named aren't really relevant for questions about creation of contracts. The Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 gives third parties some additional rights to enforce contracts, apart from those which already existed in common law. The Misrepresentation Act deals with recision of contracts, and how to handle misrepresentation, and isn't really relevant to the other questions you've asked.

    At a more theoretical level, there's some dispute over how important intent is (and indeed some iconoclasts say intent might not be a separate piece). Finally, consideration has come under fire recently, and some commentators have argued it gets in the way of businessmen's ability to make pragmatic agreements (in particular when circumstances change).
    thanks! so basically there is no statute for the elements of contracts its just common law? im using Ewan Mckendrick, yep, the lecturer in your university as far as i know

    do you have time please? if you do, can i ask a few things? i really struggle with the LLB course, if you could help, i would really appreciate it
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    (Original post by jjarvis)
    The requirements come from common law--offer, acceptance, intent to create legal relations, and consideration. There's a substantial body of case law dealing with each of these elements. You'll need to be more specific about any particular part of the requirements, and the circumstances, to know what the relevant cases are.

    The statutes you named aren't really relevant for questions about creation of contracts. The Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 gives third parties some additional rights to enforce contracts, apart from those which already existed in common law. The Misrepresentation Act deals with recision of contracts, and how to handle misrepresentation, and isn't really relevant to the other questions you've asked.

    At a more theoretical level, there's some dispute over how important intent is (and indeed some iconoclasts say intent might not be a separate piece). Finally, consideration has come under fire recently, and some commentators have argued it gets in the way of businessmen's ability to make pragmatic agreements (in particular when circumstances change).
    sorryyyyyy i thought you were in Oxford thats why i said he was lecturer in your uni!
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    (Original post by vahik92)
    thanks! so basically there is no statute for the elements of contracts its just common law? im using Ewan Mckendrick, yep, the lecturer in your university as far as i know
    No problem. And yes, afaik the elements come from common law.

    (Original post by vahik92)
    do you have time please? if you do, can i ask a few things? i really struggle with the LLB course, if you could help, i would really appreciate it
    No worries. You're right, McKendrick is at Oxford, not Cambridge--though I use his text, Anson, and Burrows Casebook, all of which are mostly by people at Oxford. My land law texts are heavily Cambridge-dominated, though.

    Go ahead with questions, but please drop them in this thread (or in other threads)--I have some time to help, but there are other people around here who are also very helpful. Many of them also have studied more law than I! (I'm just at the end of my first term, so I'm pretty new to this as well.)
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    (Original post by jjarvis)
    No problem. And yes, afaik the elements come from common law.



    No worries. You're right, McKendrick is at Oxford, not Cambridge--though I use his text, Anson, and Burrows Casebook, all of which are mostly by people at Oxford. My land law texts are heavily Cambridge-dominated, though.

    Go ahead with questions, but please drop them in this thread (or in other threads)--I have some time to help, but there are other people around here who are also very helpful. Many of them also have studied more law than I! (I'm just at the end of my first term, so I'm pretty new to this as well.)
    ok, thanks whenever you have time.

    firstly, do you know what the marking criteria is for different subjects? do you get this from your uni? i struggle with exams and stuff because i dont really know what i am expected to show.

    also,the precedents. you know there are literally hundreds of precedents for each subject. i know general principles of law, for instance, past consideration is generally not a good one. however, by the time i get to estoppel, i forget all the cases and precedents regarding consideration. i forget the names, i forget what theyre about except that i remember that there is one precedent where the court ruled out that past consideration is not sufficient. so, having said this, do you have the same problem? if so, what is the solution, is it to do my best to remember the cases? because the latter solution doesnt really seem practical or even possible does it?

    Many thanks!
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    (Original post by vahik92)
    ok, thanks whenever you have time.

    firstly, do you know what the marking criteria is for different subjects? do you get this from your uni? i struggle with exams and stuff because i dont really know what i am expected to show.
    Your tutors should be able to guide you to the appropriate source; it will vary from uni to uni.

    (Original post by vahik92)
    also,the precedents. you know there are literally hundreds of precedents for each subject. i know general principles of law, for instance, past consideration is generally not a good one. however, by the time i get to estoppel, i forget all the cases and precedents regarding consideration. i forget the names, i forget what theyre about except that i remember that there is one precedent where the court ruled out that past consideration is not sufficient. so, having said this, do you have the same problem? if so, what is the solution, is it to do my best to remember the cases? because the latter solution doesnt really seem practical or even possible does it?
    There are far more than hundreds of cases, but fortunately you won't need to know anything like that many. You need to spend time studying them--some cases will stick in your head (who could forget Carlill?) but others will not. You need to find a way that works for you. Relating cases to each other helps a lot, but part of it is just a matter of taking the time to revise over your holidays, and to a lesser extent in term. I finished last week but am spending Christmas going over the term's work. That's just what you need to do to learn the material thoroughly. (Not everyone takes this approach--I know people who have earned very high 2:is and have TCs with MC firms who have never studied over Christmas--but it's not really a gamble I want to take.) You're not likely to remember every case the first time you learn it. So yes, you need to do your best to remember the important cases (there won't be hundreds--although there will certainly be dozens, perhaps more than 100), and you do that by (a) making really good notes and reviewing them and (b) using the cases to do practise problems/write essays/whatever.

    No, it's not easy, but everyone else is in the same boat. Take the time to work on it. You'll be surprised how much you remember as you go over your notes.

    Many thanks! [/QUOTE]
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    (Original post by jjarvis)
    Your tutors should be able to guide you to the appropriate source; it will vary from uni to uni.



    There are far more than hundreds of cases, but fortunately you won't need to know anything like that many. You need to spend time studying them--some cases will stick in your head (who could forget Carlill?) but others will not. You need to find a way that works for you. Relating cases to each other helps a lot, but part of it is just a matter of taking the time to revise over your holidays, and to a lesser extent in term. I finished last week but am spending Christmas going over the term's work. That's just what you need to do to learn the material thoroughly. (Not everyone takes this approach--I know people who have earned very high 2:is and have TCs with MC firms who have never studied over Christmas--but it's not really a gamble I want to take.) You're not likely to remember every case the first time you learn it. So yes, you need to do your best to remember the important cases (there won't be hundreds--although there will certainly be dozens, perhaps more than 100), and you do that by (a) making really good notes and reviewing them and (b) using the cases to do practise problems/write essays/whatever.

    No, it's not easy, but everyone else is in the same boat. Take the time to work on it. You'll be surprised how much you remember as you go over your notes.

    Many thanks!
    [/QUOTE]

    ok, thanks) and what about the most important cases, is it worth reading them in full or is the outline in the books alone enough?
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    (Original post by vahik92)

    ok, thanks) and what about the most important cases, is it worth reading them in full or is the outline in the books alone enough?
    Really depends on the case. Mostly I think reading the crucial excerpt in a casebook (Burrows is terrific on contract) is probably enough, though obviously there are more recent decisions that won't be in your casebook. Headnotes and the case analysis on Westlaw can be useful, though ideally you want to be engaging with the decision itself.

    There aren't very many cases which I would say are worth reading in full (I've read relatively few cases in full this term). I think you should look at part of the actual judgement, though--I wouldn't rely on a textbook's discussion alone. Where you do need to look at the report, you can get through a case quite quickly if you know where to look for the relevant discussion and skip discussions of unrelated points of law/the facts/big quotations from other decisions.

    Oh, and another (easily missed) point: if you're reading a case in the report without guidance from your text, make sure you figure out what the decision was--the first speech isn't necessarily the majority.
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    (Original post by jjarvis)
    Really depends on the case. Mostly I think reading the crucial excerpt in a casebook (Burrows is terrific on contract) is probably enough, though obviously there are more recent decisions that won't be in your casebook. Headnotes and the case analysis on Westlaw can be useful, though ideally you want to be engaging with the decision itself.

    There aren't very many cases which I would say are worth reading in full (I've read relatively few cases in full this term). I think you should look at part of the actual judgement, though--I wouldn't rely on a textbook's discussion alone. Where you do need to look at the report, you can get through a case quite quickly if you know where to look for the relevant discussion and skip discussions of unrelated points of law/the facts/big quotations from other decisions.

    Oh, and another (easily missed) point: if you're reading a case in the report without guidance from your text, make sure you figure out what the decision was--the first speech isn't necessarily the majority.
    ok, thanks by the way, how are we meant to really distinguish which of any two similar cases is appropriate when they have conflicting judgements?
    yesterday, i was reading about consideration - the Stilk (I think) court held there was no consideration and in another very similar case, i dont remember the name, the court held it was - when the facts were exactly the same. how should we know which one to use?

    and when solving a problem, such as advice X on this issue, is it not like essay where you have give arguments for both sides? am i right to say in problems i have to give as much argument as possible for the person asking my legal advice - like i would when defending him at court?
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    (Original post by vahik92)
    ok, thanks by the way, how are we meant to really distinguish which of any two similar cases is appropriate when they have conflicting judgements?
    yesterday, i was reading about consideration - the Stilk (I think) court held there was no consideration and in another very similar case, i dont remember the name, the court held it was - when the facts were exactly the same. how should we know which one to use?

    and when solving a problem, such as advice X on this issue, is it not like essay where you have give arguments for both sides? am i right to say in problems i have to give as much argument as possible for the person asking my legal advice - like i would when defending him at court?
    You want to explain what the most likely outcome is, and go through the various permutations/possibilities. Your advice is meant to be sound in the law, not just an attempt to show that your client has a claim (regardless of whether it's likely they do or not).

    If you have cases with similar facts and conflicting judgements, and they are in the same court, then you need to decide which is more appropriate, or explain that the law is unsettled in this area.
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    For conflicting cases, look at the latter case as being the stronger one (unless, of course, the former is a House of Lords/Supreme Court and the latter a Court of Appeal) as a starting point but explain that this may not be the case and then follow jjarvis' advice. It will help if you know of even later cases which follow one line of argument.
 
 
 
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