Held : ‘At common law … the contracts of an infant were voidable except such as were necessarily to his prejudice; these last were void.’ However, infants have a limited capacity to contract. To succeed, the plaintiff had to prove the contract within this limited capacity, which his Honour defined as follows: ‘an infant may contract for the supply at a reasonable price of articles reasonably necessary for his support in his station in life if he has not already a sufficient supply. To render an infant's contract for necessaries an enforceable contract two conditions must be satisfied, namely, (1.) the contract must be for goods reasonably necessary for his support in his station in life, and (2.) he must not have already a sufficient supply of these necessaries.’ This could not be satisfied here. Education; Accommodation 2
2. Beneficial Contracts of Service (Employment Contracts) Enforceable as any other employment contract as long as it is beneficial; hire and fire; claim damages for breach. Case: ( Bojczuk v Gregorcewicz ) 3. Enduring Contracts Where minor obtains a lasting benefit. (e.g. acquires interest in land; shares or partnership) These are binding on the minor unless repudiated while they are under the age of 18 or within a reasonable time of turning 18. Case: ( Steinberg v Scala (Leeds) Ltd ) – Minor not receive any benefits. 3
Mentally ill persons/ intoxicated persons If a person is so drunk, mentally ill or senile that they have no idea that they are involving themselves in a contract, they will lack the necessary contractual capacity. Mentally ill persons Persons who are seriously mentally and institutionalised have no capability to enter into a contract. They are liable to pay a reasonable price for necessaries, as the case of minors. The contracts are voidable by persons with the mental conditions: At the time of contracting they were incapable of understanding the nature of the contract. The other party knew, or should have known their condition. Case: ( York Glass Co Ltd v Jubb ) Facts : Jubb contracted to purchase the plaintiff’s company business. On the date of contracting, he was technically insane and shortly thereafter was placed in a lunatic asylum.
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