Writing most simple contracts do not have to be in

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Writing Most simple contracts do not have to be in writing but there are exceptions. In Australia, for example, contracts for the sale or other disposition of land must be evidenced in writing and signed by the party to be bound before they are enforceable. Hire purchase contracts, cheques, bills of exchange and promissory notes, assignments of copyright, marine insurance contracts and contracts transferring shares in a company must also be in writing
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© Stephen Graw 2012 6 to be enforceable. These requirements are, however, all statutory rather than common law based obligations. The Statute of Frauds In common law countries the equivalent of the Statute of Frauds 1677 (UK) may also require a number of other contracts to be in writing before they will be legally enforced. Those contracts include: contracts under which one person guarantees another’s performance; an executor promising to pay a deceased person’s creditors; agreements made in consideration of marriage; agreements not to be wholly performed within one year; and contracts for the sale of goods valued at $20 or more where the buyer has neither accepted part of those goods nor given the seller something in part payment for them. In most cases statute has abolished of modified these requirements for writing and the only contracts that must now commonly still be in writing are contracts involving transfers of land and contracts of guarantee. Part performance as an exception Simple contracts that have to be in writing will not generally be enforced unless the writing requirement is met. However, in certain circumstances a promisee or offeree (the person to whom the promise or offer was made) may be able to have an agreement enforced even though it is not in writing if he or she has at least partially performed the contract and if not enforcing it would result in real injustice. The elements of a valid contract Because contracts are legally enforceable agreements they must be created in such a way that the nature and substance of the parties’ agreement as well as their intention to create a legally binding obligation are clear. For this reason all valid contracts contain the following elements: an offer (the basis for any eventual agreement); an acceptance (which, together with the offer, constitutes the agreement ); consideration (unless the contract is under seal); an intention to be legally bound ; mutuality (meaning the parties must be agreeing about the same thing and in the same terms); legal capacity (meaning that the parties must be capable in law of entering into the contract in question); and legality (meaning that both the object of the contract and the proposed means of performing it must be legal).
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© Stephen Graw 2012 3.2 Contractual Agreement and Legal Intention 3.2.1 Meaning of offer An offer is a promise to do or refrain from doing something , usually upon condition that the offeree (the person to whom the offer is addressed) does or refrains from doing something in return. Offers will be ‘express’ if they are expressly communicated to the offeree (either
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