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Pre contract dealings
The first 200 words of this essay...
PRE CONTRACT DEALINGS
Traditionally pre-contractual dealings are not recognised as a place for contractual remedies. This is certainly still true even when the terms "subject to contract" is used as seen in the judgement provided by Rattee J1, if "subject to contract" is used or not "each party is free to withdraw from negotiations at any time". This is commonly known as the freedom of contract principle. Freedom of contract is a "negative freedom"2
It is easy to see how some contracting parties would be tempted into securing their negotiations through contract, or an agreement to agree. In May & Butcher v R3 and agreement for the sale of tentage provided that the price, dates of payment and manner of delivery should be agreed "from time to time". On these facts, the House of Lords held that the agreement was incomplete, as it was open ended. It was famously upheld by Lord Denning4 that the law would categorically not recognise a contract to negotiate and he went on to say if there was a fundamental term left to negotiate then there would be no contract at all.
If the law does not recognise a
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