Law of Contract Example considering invitation to treat, offer and acceptance, intoxication of alcohol and revocation of an online purchase.

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BS2153 Law of Contract

Assessment Component 1

Student Matriculation No.: 1508147

Course/Year of Study: Law and Management Stage 2

Word count*: 1698

The issues that are to be analysed within this problem are, invitation to treat, offer and acceptance, intoxication of alcohol and revocation.

An offer is a proposal from one party with the intention to be legally bound in such definite terms that, if it is accepted, a legally binding contract will be formed. An offer is the key ingredient to any analysis of contract formation. Without an offer, there will never be a contract. There are often many different communications at the negotiation stage between the parties. The courts are asked to look at these objectively to find the point in time when an offer has been made to somebody. However, there are many communications that do not reach the stage of that offer. To constitute an offer we require the subject matter, the price and who the parties are, just to name a few. However, there are many things that are being said that do not quite reach that standard and which the law labels an invitation to treat. The purpose of an invitation to treat is to invite others to make an offer which can then be accepted by the person who made the invitation.[1]

As a general rule, an advertisement is only an invitation to treat even if it calls itself an offer and quotes a price.[2] There are certain situations that are held to be invitations to treat rather than offers. These being; goods in shop windows, goods on display in self-service stores, offers to the public at large or advertisements and quotations. For example, the case of Harvey v Facey[3] was where it was objectively viewed that the communication of ‘I accept’ actually constituted to an offer. However, since the other party did not reply to that statement, the ‘offer’ stood unaccepted, and therefore there was no contract between the parties.

The advertisement of the double-decker bus on the ‘’ website was purely an invitation to treat. The advertisement provided the style, condition and the price of the bus but nothing more that would convert it into an offer. An invitation to treat cannot be accepted in the contract law sense and lead to a contract. Only a response to an invitation to treat is an offer, which in turn, can then be accepted by the person who stated the invitation to treat.
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At this stage within the case neither an offer or an acceptance has been made and therefore, no contract has been formed.

The next issue within this case is at what point an offer and acceptance was made between the parties.

For a valid contract or agreement to be formed there must be an offer, an acceptance which meets the offer and an intention to be legally bound. The Lord Prosser stated within the case of Dawson International plc v Coats Paton plc[4] that a ‘statement by one party that he will do some ...

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