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Contrast in cases

Now in this lecturer we will look at the contrast in cases of Stora and Gibson and what will also do is to consider further the situations which are distinct from an offer and which amount to an invitation to treat now before we consider the case again I will remind you that you should go to their source materials in order to ensure that you know what It Is you are dealing with source materials will be the cases and they will of course be any academic commentary now then let’s return to stora and Gibson. In Stara and Manchester City Council Mr scorer received a letter from the council’s representative and the letter said “I understand you wish to purchase your councils house an so we enclose the agreement for sale, If you signed the agreement and return it to tee I will send you the agreement, signed on behalf of the corporation. Meaning of course the council. In exchange we will ensure that you get the agreement, now Mr Stora signed and returned the council’s standard form agreement for sale before control of the council changed from the conservatives to the labour government, now the council sought to argue that this did not amount to an offer, but the court disagreed as the firm tone of the letter to Mr Stora indicated otherwise. What the case of store shows us is that if there is a clear willingness to be bound by the communication then that will amount to an offer. Now consider for a moment, what if the council’s letter wasn’t so clear what if the councils letter had instead said the council may be prepared to sell you your council house at X price? would that communication have been an offer? well that is exactly what the court had to consider in deciding Gibson and Manchester City Council. You see unfortunately for Mr Gibson the communication he had received from the council was not as far along the continuum as that which Mr Stora had received, now as such although Mn Gibson them received a sympathetic judgement from Lord Denning, Master of the Rolls, as he then was, in the Court of Appeal decision. When it got to the House of Lords, the House of Lords. In agreeing with the stance taken by Lord Lane in the Court of Appeal. The House of Lords are of the view that the statement may be prepared to sell was far too imprecise to warrant a clear willingness to be bound. And as such the communication to Mr Gibson was not on offer at all. Now, this therefore brings us to the types of communications which passed between parties who are engaged in contractual negotiations. Examination questions In this area generally tend to require you to consider the status of a particular communication. Now here’s a word of warning. Do not let the examiner tell you what the status of the communication is. Make sure you are working it out for yourself in your discussion. Now what I mean by that Is don’t take the examination questions, words at face value or being decisive.
So, for example if the exam if the examination questions says. A. place the sign on his car. Offering the car for sale at E10,000. And then the examination question says. B. accepted A. offer and brought E10,000 to A’s house. Now, Just because the exam question uses the words offer for A’s communication and acceptance for these communication does not mean that, that is decisive as to what it is. That is all part of the exam testing process. Now notice that I keep using the term communication. That’s because you have to consider the actions of the individuals. So if A. writes to B, if C, post a fetter, if X calls, Y. on the telephone? If Z. mails A. All of these are communications which warrants a discussion as to whether they amount to an offer or not. So, what if a specific communication is not an offer? Well, If a particular communication from one party to another is not sufficient to amount to an offer, it may qualify as what is termed an “Invitation to Treat”.


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