This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Law Notes Contract Law Notes

Terms Of The Contract Essay Plans Notes

Updated Terms Of The Contract Essay Plans 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:

1. ‘Interpretation is not the same as the implication of terms. Interpretation of the words of a document is the precursor of implication. It forms the context in which the law may have to imply terms into a document, where the court concludes from its interpretation of the words used in the document that it must have been intended that the document would have a certain effect, although the words to give it that effect are absent.’ (LORD HODGE, Trump International Golf Club Scotland Ltd v. The Scottish Ministers (2015)). Examine the roles of interpretation and implication of terms in the light of this statement.

Thesis: I argue, in agreement with Lord Hodge, that interpretation is not the same as implication; the two have different roles in the law of contract. (1) I begin by acknowledging conceptual similarities between the two exercises: in particular, as O’Sullivan notes, to give effect to the intentions of the parties, judged objectively – so that at a high enough level of abstraction the difference between them is merely one of degree. (2) It does not follow, however, that they are so similar as to justify assimilation. I argue that it is possible to articulate a stable conceptual distinction between interpretation and implication: in brief, as Davies argues, interpretation is concerned with ascertaining the meaning of words which are contained in a written document; implication is to supplement the document with terms that are additional to the express terms chosen by the parties. (3) It follows that interpretation and implication must remain distinct in two senses. First, they should be sequentially differentiated: the terms of the contract must first be interpreted before the court can sensibly decide whether additional terms should also be implied. (4) Second, different rules should apply to each exercise: because they are not identical in character, anomalies would result if implication is seen merely as an aspect of, and controlled by the same principles as, interpretation. (5) In particular, I demonstrate that implication is a more intrusive power than interpretation, and should be governed by more stringent rules out of respect for the freedom of contract.

(1) Conceptual similarities between interpretation and implication

  • Lord Hoffmann in AG of Belize v Belize Telecom argued: “In every case in which it is said that some provision ought to be implied in an instrument, the question for the court is whether such a provision would spell out in express words what the instrument, read against the relevant background, would reasonably be understood to mean… There is only one question: is that what the instrument, read as a whole against the relevant background, would reasonably be understood to mean?”

  • Expressing support for this approach, Arden LJ remarked in Stena Line Ltd v Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund Trustees Ltd: “This development promotes the internal coherence of the law by emphasizing the role played by the principles of interpretation not only in the context of the interpretation of documents but also in the field of the implication of terms…. The internal coherence of the law is important because it enables the courts to identify the aims and values that underpin the law and to pursue those values and aims so as to achieve consistency in the structure of the law.”

  • Finally, in Trump International Golf Club Scotland Ltd v The Scottish Ministers, Lord Mance resisted the retreat from Belize in Marks & Spencer plc v BNP Paribas Securities, saying: “I would not encourage advocates or courts to adopt too rigid or sequential an approach to the processes of consideration of the express terms and of consideration of the possibility of an implication… It appears to me helpful to recognise that… the processes of consideration of express terms and of the possibility that an implication exists are all part of an overall, and potentially iterative, process of objective construction of the contract as a whole”.

  • This raises the question as to whether conceptual similarities between interpretation and implication can be identified.

  • According to Kramer, linguistic philosophy suggests that in the same way that meaning can be inferred, by reference to context, from words, meaning can be inferred, by reference to context, from silence. Much of interpretation is about supplementing the linguistic meaning of the words used by a process of pragmatic inference, against the broader context, because it is prohibitively costly (and probably impossible) to convey all intended meaning by “encoding” it linguistically. In particular, a communicator can intend what goes without saying and what does not cross his mind. As Lord Hoffmann puts it, “We use words in daily life against a background of knowledge which we assume that our listeners share and we need not therefore specifically mention”. This does not even depend on conscious thought. The formulation of thoughts into words is an unconscious, reflex process. Kramer uses a famous example of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein: if someone asks me to “teach the children a game” they do not intend me to show them how to gamble with dice. This is true even though excluding unsuitable games with die was not present in the speaker’s mind when he made the request. Every communicator intends his utterances to be interpreted using the background of social norms, understandings and expectations. Accordingly, the distinction between interpretation and implication breaks down. Both set out to ascertain what would reasonably be intended in the situation that has arisen, which is what the parties’ (objectively ascertained) intention is.

  • Hooley also argues that there is a clear linkage between interpretation and implication. Whether you are interpreting the express words of a contract, or whether you are interpreting the gaps between the words of the contract as a whole, you are, in both cases, seeking to identify and give effect to the meaning or...

Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our Contract Law Notes.

More Contract Law Samples