Making a contract
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Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball
- Issue 1: intention to be legally bound
- 2: offers made to world at large
- 3. acceptance by conduct
- 4. performance of an act as consideration
Cohen v Cohen
dress allowance, not legally enforceable.
Merritt v Merritt
not in amity - goodwill broken down, intend agreement to be legally binding
Ermogenous v Greek Orthodox Community of SA
intention to be legally bound - presumptions refuted.
Esso Petroleum v Commissioners of Customs and Excise
- intention to be legally bound; commercial agreements
- Facts: commemorative coins, subject to purchase tax
- Issue: Did Esso have intention to be legally bound by offer to give coins to motorists who purchased petrol?
- Decision: Yes - legally binding promise, subject to purchase tax.
- Reason: commercial promotion, Esso gained. Commercial circumstances - intention to be legally bound.
Masters v Cameron
- intention to be legally bound, condition intention
- Facts: Cameron agreed to sell farm to Masters. Both parties signed written agreement, subject to preparation of formal contract by lawyer.
- Decision: Cameron not intended to be bound until a formal contract prepared, signed.
Perri v Coolangatta Investments
- Facts: Perri agreed to buy property, but first needed to sell. Failed to do so within reasonable time.
- Issue: Breach of contract?
- Only performance of contract made conditional - rather than completion of contract. Contract itself already in existence.
Thomas v Thomas
- token consideration insufficient
- Facts: promise to pay $1 a year, keep house in good condition. Sufficient consideration?
- Yes. Enforceable. Requirement that consideration be of some value.
Stilk v Myrick
- insufficiency of past consideration
- Facts: seamen deserted from ship, captain promise to crew to share deserters pay if they worked extra hard.
- Issue: Had crew given consideration for captain's promise, so to create binding contract?
- Decision: crew given nothing of value in exchange. -> no binding contract/
- Reason: when originally signed on for voyage, crew made promise to do whatever necessary in case of emergencies - already bound to do extra work -past consideration.
Placer Development v Commonwealth
- illusion of promise
- Facts: imported timber products, "at an amount or at a rate to be determined by Commonwealth from time to time"
- Issue: Was what government said about paying subsidy legally enforceable?
- Decision: No. Not a promise at all.
- Reason: unspecified amount of money.
Partridge v Crittenden
- Facts: advertisement in newspaper. Unlawfully 'offering' wild birds for sale.
- Issue: Was advertisement offer in legal sense?
- Decision: No. Only invitation to treat. Buyers themselves offer to buy advertised birds.
- Reason: invitations to treat are not offers for sale.
Henthorn v Fraser
- acceptance by post
- Facts: letter of acceptance posted, but whilst in transit, Fraser received higher offer.
- Issue: Had Henthorn already accepted offer?
- Decision: Yes. Effective as soon as letter of acceptance posted.
- Reason: acceptance by post need not be specifically authorised for it to be effective as soon as letter posted.
Brinkibon v Stahg Stahl und Stahlwarenhandels-gesellschaft mbH
- contract; acceptance by telex
- Issue: acceptance sent by telex in London, received in Vienna, when did acceptance take effect?
- Decision: Took effect when telex received in Vienna.
Coulls v Bagot's Executor and Trustee
- contract; formation; privity; rights of third parties
- Facts: royalities given to wife, Doris. Coulls died. Contract was not of personal nature, not terminated by death. Contract remained enforceable against estate.
- Issue: Did Doris have legally enforceable right to payment?
- Decision: No contractual obligations owed, because she was not a party to contract.
- Reason: She had not provided any consideration, no contractual right to sue. Royalties should be paid to estate, distributed to beneficiaries.
Price v Easton
- contract; formation; privity; parties
- Facts: builder owed money to Price, did not have money. If builder did work for Easton, Easton would pay Price money. Easton failed to pay.
- Price bought action against Easton.
- Issue: Was Price entitled to enforce promise?
- Decision: No.
- Reason: Price not party to agreement, doctrine of privity, Price did not acquire legally enforceable rights.
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