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A Contract is a legally binding agreement made between two distinct parties. Having been established between these two parties by mutual consent, the contract becomes binding in that certain rights and responsibilities are expected and become enforceable by the courts…
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Download file to see previous pages In the case in question simple contract applies as there was no formal legal document executed between the two parties; rather, this case belongs to the later, a simple contract as "Contracts which are not deeds are known as simple contracts. They are informal contracts and may be made in any way - in writing, orally or they may be implied from conduct" (Introduction to, n.d., n.p.). Another distinction in this particular case is that it can further be classified as a Unilateral Contract. This is demonstrated through "A's" booking of hotel accommodations from the Scarborough Hotel (Hotel) via there website with the understanding that the two-week stay booked by "A" would be at a price of 200 pounds a night. The first area of contention arises at this point as "A" was unable to complete the transaction online and instead printed a copy of the booking and posted it. This point will be thoroughly discussed in subsequent paragraphs. The first area need to be considered is that of validity - ensuring all the requisite elements are present to ascertain if, in fact, there was a legally binding contract.
The first test of validity lies in determining if there was an offer and acceptance. The first of this two-pronged question is to ascertain if there was an unconditional offer of acceptance. When "A" inquired from the Hotel as to room availability at 300 pounds per night, Hotel responded via e-mail that they would make a room available to "A" during the timeframe request at 200 pounds per night. The question here is an online e-mail, which is a valid form of communication with regard to contractual law. Although there has been no legal ruling as to the validity of email correspondence in contractual law: "In Standard Bank Ltd. v. Bank of Tokyo [1995] 2 Lloyds Rep 169, Waller J. had to consider whether three letters of credit issued by tested telex at the instigation of a fraudster who had somehow got access to the issuing bank's tested telex department, were binding upon the issuer." (Nash, 1998) The finding here was that the use of a telex even though electronic in nature did meet the test of validity for a valid offer. That being said it would stand that the electronic offer made by the Hotel was an unconditional offer. Therefore, the first point was valid an offer had been made.
"The general rule under English law is that an offer is not accepted until acceptance is communicated to the offeror." (Baker & McKenzie, n.d., n.p.) However, in this case "A" was unable to unable to send on-line booking form. Instead he filled in all the details, including the 200 pound price per night, printed the document, and posted it. Baker and McKenzie however went to on to state that "The major exception to the above general rule on acceptance concerns acceptance by post. In this case, acceptance takes place when the acceptance is posted and not when it is received by the offeror. The "postal" rule means that, even if a postal acceptance does not reach the offeror, the contract will already have been made and the offeror will be bound to perform its obligations, provided the other party can prove that it posted its letter of acceptance." (n.p., n.d.) Yates v Dalton 1938 ELD 177; (1) Cape Explosive ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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