OfferAcceptance - NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE Faculty...

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Unformatted text preview: NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE Faculty of Law LAW OF CONTRACT 2004/2005 (I) OFFER AND ACCEPTANCE 1. OFFER: A. Theoretical Definition: Cheshire, Fifoot and Furmston: ‘An offer, capable of being converted into an agreement by acceptance, must consist of a (1)definite promise to be bound provided that certain (2)specified terms are accepted’ . See also per Salleh Abbas FJ (as he then was) in the Malaysian decision of Preston Corporation Sdn Bhd v Edward Leong [1982] MLJ 22 at 23: ‘ An offer is an intimation of willingness by an offeror to enter into a legally binding contract. Its terms either expressly or impliedly must indicate that it is to become binding on the offeror as soon as it has been accepted by the offeree '. B. The Nature of an Offer Illustrated in the context of a unilateral contract : *Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company [1893] 1 QB 256: (i) The nature of a unilateral contract; A unilateral contract is a promise for an act or an act for a promise made by the offeror with the intention to be bound, with the outstanding obligation only on the offeror. (ii) What does a 'definite promise to be bound' mean? It is an objective test of the offeror’s intention to be bound; the intention is that which the offeree is reasonably entitled to conclude from the attitude of the offeror. (iii) Can one make an offer to the world at large? An offer can be made to the world at large, but contract only exists with those who accept the offer. Bowen LJ said : “It is an offer made to all the world; and why should not an offer be made to all the world which is to ripen into a contract with anybody who comes forward and performs the condition?” However, depending on how the offer is worded, the offer might be closed upon acceptance by specific performance of the required task. (Eg. A request for information cannot possibly intend to reward more than one person with the same information.) C. Offer vs Invitation to Treat: The distinction described. The touchstone of intention. Specific examples: (i) Priced goods on display: *Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain v Boots Cash Chemists [1953] 1 QB 401 - note context and analyse critically. Displays are invitations to treat because : (1) it is unfair for shop owners to be bound to sell the goods even when it is out-of- stock; (2) shoppers who place the items in their baskets or remove it from the shelves would be bound to buy it; (3) shops are a place for bargain and it would not be fair for the shop owner to have to sell it to their nemesis (however, this reasoning is shaky in light of anti-discrimination laws.) Displays CAN be offers if it is explicitly worded such that it promises to sell upon acceptance of the conditions (price.)Warwickshire C.C. v. Johnson Compare Chapelton v Barry UDC [1940] 1 KB 532 The offer was the notice on the wall. The acceptance of the contract was the act by the defendant to take the chair. Therefore, the disclaimer on the receipt is ineffective because the receipt is considered a non-contractual document and was not part of the offer. (ii) Requests for tenders:...
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OfferAcceptance - NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE Faculty...

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