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Entores v Miles Far East Corp

[1955] 2 QB 327

Case summary last updated at 03/01/2020 14:22 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Entores v Miles Far East Corp

P, in the UK, made an offer to D in Holland by telex and D accepted by telex message. P claimed that the contract was to be governed by UK jurisdiction and D claimed it was in Dutch jurisdiction. CA said that it was to be in UK jurisdiction because in cases of instantaneous communication (UNLIKE postal communication) the contract only has effect once it is received. This is because of the general rule that a contract has effect once acceptance is communicated, whereas postal acceptance is an exception for policy reasons. Telex is analogous to phone conversation: if someone phoned acceptance but there was a glitch in the phone and one couldn’t hear the acceptance then there would be no contract- why should it be different for telex? In cases of instantaneous communication, a communication breakdown only voids the acceptance of the offer where it is the offeree who should have detected and rectified the problem: Lord Denning’s examples: If a noisy aircraft drowns out the spoken acceptance in a conversation where both are present, the offeree’s acceptance is void and must be repeated. If a phone goes dead before acceptance is completed, the acceptance is void and must be repeated. If the offeror’s fax runs out of ink and can’t print the offeree’s acceptance, the acceptance is valid and there is contract. He also said that where neither party is at fault and the acceptance is not received by the offeror, there is no contract i.e. the simultaneity rule favours the offeror.

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