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Law Notes Contract Law Notes

Terms Of Contract Notes

Updated Terms Of Contract Notes

Contract Law Notes

Contract Law

Approximately 1511 pages

Contract law notes fully updated for recent exams at Oxford and Cambridge. These notes cover all the LLB contract law cases and so are perfect for anyone doing an LLB in the UK or a great supplement for those doing LLBs abroad, whether that be in Ireland, Hong Kong or Malaysia (University of London).

These were the best Contract Law notes the director of Oxbridge Notes (an Oxford law graduate) could find after combing through dozens of LLB samples from outstanding law students with the highest...

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

Terms of Contract

Terms of Contract

  • Distinguish between:

  1. mere statements of opinion = no legal effect

  2. terms = failure to comply is a breach

  3. mere representations = no breach but could set the contract aide/claim damages for misrep.

  • Objective Intention Test:

  1. verification – = unlikely to be a term if maker asks the other party to verify it

  2. importance – was it so important that determined whether party contracted or not

  3. special knowledge – if maker has some special knowledge/skill, might be contractual term

  • Classification of Terms:

  1. conditionclassified by:

  1. statute

  2. courts– 3 ways

  1. term goes to the heart of performance of the contract- so must have been intended by parties as condition (Schuler v Wickman)

  2. binding precedent

  3. parties classified it as cond. in the contract not conclusive (intention + used in technical sense (The MihailisAngelos))

  • Breachentitles C to

  1. terminate &obtain damages for loss

  2. affirm & obtain damages for breach

  1. warranty - lesser, subsidiary term (e.g. colour of the car)

  • no termination but could seek damages

  1. innominatenot condition or warrantyconfusing, generates litigation etc. (Bunge Corp v Tradax) but in commercial contracts unless expressly provided it’s a condition, it will be innominate term

  • no right to terminate but court has discretion to grant it where C suffers serious consequences

  • The Parol Evidence Rule

  • Once a contract is in written form, court can’t adduce extrinsic evidence to add, vary or contradict it

  • Exceptions where need to show:

  1. written doc not intended to contain the whole of agreement

  2. terms which must be implied

  3. a custom

  4. it’s invalid due to misrep, fraud, nonest factum, mistake

  5. the need for rectification

  6. contract hadn’t yet come into existence/ceased to operate

  7. existence of collateral agreement

  • Interpretation of Terms

  • Meaning depends on context in which contract was concluded

  • Principles of Interpretation (Hoffman)

  1. ascertain the meaning which doc would convey to a reasonable person having all background knowledge reasonably available to parties at the time of contracting

  2. factual matrix = everything which would affect the way in which doc would be understood by reasonable man

  3. exclude evidence of previous negotiations + declarations of subjective intent (unless rectification/ estoppel by convention) though boundaries aren’t entirely clear

  4. the meaning which it would convey to reasonable man isn’t the same as meaning of words courts will depart from natural & ordinary meaning where

  1. it’s ambiguous

  2. context shows parties used words in different way

  3. ordinary meaning would render contract ineffective, inconsistent or absurd

  1. if court concludes from background that something has gone wrong w/the language, it’s not required to attribute to parties intent which they couldn’t have had

  • Rectification

  • Once interpretation is completed, a party could argue written doc, as interpreted, fails to reflect the agreement&ask for rectification by court (remedy the defects in recordingof the contract)

  • Equitable discretionary remedy court asks:

  1. is there convincing proof that doc fails to record true intent? highthreshold!

  2. is D guilty of unconscionable conduct

  3. is doc preceded by a concluded contract/continuing common intent?

  • Implied Terms

  • May be implied by:

  1. Custom(trade/locality/market in which contract’s made) requirements

  1. certain

  2. discoverable by outsider on inquiry

  3. recognised as binding - compliance comes from legal obligation, not choice/commercial convenience

  4. reasonable

  5. not contradicted by express terms/nature of the contract

  1. Common Law

  1. In fact – implied as a matter of fact to give effect to unexpressed intentions of the parties

  • Test:

  1. Business efficacy – implied as to give transaction necessary business efficacy (The Moorcock)

  2. Officious bystander – if would have suggested it to parties when contracting, would have gone “oh yes!”

  3. Cumulated test (Lord Hoffman in AG v Belize) – not series of independent tests but exercise in construction of contract as a whole what would doc, read against its background, could reasonably be understood to mean. Court has no power to improve upon the doc/make it more reasonable etc. Threshold for implication is high take into acc. whether:

  1. term is reasonable & equitable

  2. necessary to give business efficacy

  3. so obvious it could go w/out saying

  4. capable of clear expression

  5. not contradicted by express terms

  1. In law – implied in contracts e.g. b/w employer & employee, tenant & landlord b/c of their general nature, not that particular relationship b/w parties

  • Test: unclear but likely less stringent than officious bystander must

  1. reflect court’s perception of nature of parties’ relationship

  2. be suitable & reasonable for common implication into contracts of such kind

(Liverpool CC v Irwin)

  1. Statute

  • SGA 1979

  • Supply of Goods (Implied Terms) Act 1973

  • Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982

  • Won’t be implied if:

  1. one of the parties didn’t know of its content

  2. unclear if both parties would have agreed to it

  3. contract looks very complete, raising presumption that it actually is

  4. term is too vague & complicated

  5. it’s inconsistent w/express terms

  • Exclusion Clauses

  • Contracting party who wishes to rely on exclusion clause must show:

  1. Clause was properly incorporated into the contract

  1. By signatureperson bound by signed doc, whether he actually reads it (L’Estrange v Graucob)

  • Exceptions:

  1. non est factum – where, through no fault of singer, doc turns out to be fundamentally different from his assumption (e.g. fraud)

  2. misrepresentation – even if not fraudulent

  3. mistake

  4. undue influence

  5. duress

  6. incapacity

  7. signed doc was non contractual

  1. By Notice - parties can agree to incorporate terms by notice, depending on:

  1. its timing – must be given on/before conclusion of the contract (Olley v MalboroughCourt - notice in hotel room not seen until after conclusion at reception); Thornton v Shoe Lane - car park ticket came after conclusion of contract)

  2. must be a doc...

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