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Acceptance Notes

GDL Law Notes > GDL Contract Law Notes

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A more recent version of these Acceptance notes – written by Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students – is available here.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our GDL Contract Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Revision: Tort

[AGREEMENT - ACCEPTANCE]
Requirements:
? Acceptance must be unqualified

*

Acceptance must be unqualified correspond exactly with terms of the offer : Hyde v Wrench - "the mirror image rule" (counter-offer: Hyde killed original offer when he offered PS950 rather than PS1000)

*

Examination of the communication btw the parties o

Court will examine whether at any one time, one party may be deemed to have assented to all the terms, express and implied, of a firm offer by another party

o

Objective test - Smith v Hughes

? Must be made in response to the offer

*

No valid acceptance can be made by someone who is not an offeree: Boulton v Jones

*

R v Clarke : offeree must act on the faith of /in reliance upon the offer - no valid contract if offeree did not know of the offer when they performed the act (unilateral contract)

*

When a unilateral offer is made to the world at large - valid acceptance can be by anyone with notice of the offer - their motivation for performing the act is irrelevant o

Williams v CarwardineWilliams was dying + feared the possibility of eternal damnation unless she confessed her sin

*She knew who had killed Carwadine + also knew of PS20 reward for informationHeld - she was entitled to reward despite ulterior motive

Gibbons v Proctor - Seems like exception - but isn't o

Handbills distributed 29 May offering reward money for information leading to arrest

o

Before he knew of reward Gibbons had passed information

o

One of his 'agents' informed the Superintendent after the distribution 1

Revision: Tort

[AGREEMENT - ACCEPTANCE]
o

Gibbons was entitled to reward - 'agents' - info reaching Superintendent is acceptance of the offer -at which point Gibbons did know about the offer

*

Criticism of the rule - can penalise an individual who gives information out of moral duty - whilst rewarding those who do it for monetary reward + may allow offeror to refuse legal consequence of his offer

? Acceptance must be communicated

*

Applies from the moment it is communicated - mental assent is insufficient

*

Offeror cannot stipulate that he will take silence as acceptance

*

Felthouse v Bindley: F offered to buy his nephew's horse - wrote 'If I hear no more about him. I consider the horse mine at PS30 15s' - nephew didn't reply - there was no contract (although by telling the auctioneer that it was sold - acceptance by conduct?) (no written evidence of the contract which was required at the time under the Statute of Frauds 1677) o

Rule that silence cannot amount to acceptance makes sense because otherwise the offeror would not know if they were bound - places unnecessary burden of offeror

o

*

Cannot impose positive obligation on the offeree to reject the offer

Communication by conduct o

Some occasions where silence constitutes acceptance if it can be discerned from conduct (Taylor v Allen)

o

Brogden v Metropolitan Railway Company: Counter offer accepted by conductAppellant had supplied coal for a long time to the defendant - they decided to have a more-long term agreement - the appellant approved a draft - sent it to the defendant who merely signed it - acceptance by conductParties commenced performance of the agreement which HL interpreted as an acceptance by conduct

2

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