So now, let's examine what is a contract at English law. Before we actually go into the details of the characteristics of English contracts, it is necessary to define what precisely a contract is.
Essentially, in English law, a contract is an agreement between two or more parties that
the law will enforce (that is to say an agreement to which the law will give effect). In other
words, a contract is an agreement which is binding on the parties (that is to say, it binds the two or more parties who agreed to it).
Once the parties have exchanged their promises in accordance with the prerequisites as to
the formation of English contracts, they are bound by those promises. In the case they do not perform the obligations they promised that they would or in the case they performed them partially or poorly, the Law will enforce the contract. That is to say, judges will hear the case brought to court by the party who suffered a damage as a result of none or partial or poor performance by the other party. Depending on the court's decision, damages may have to be paid by the non performing party or the party at fault for partial or poor performance, for the loss suffered by the other party to the contract (...)
[...] On the other hand, there are strong arguments to advocate a change in law so as to minimize the impact of the rule of privity. Changing the rule would probably reduce the amount of litigation, since the third party beneficiaries would then be able directly to sue the party to an original contract that is at the source of his prejudice. For instance, imagine the situation in which a customer has suffered a prejudice as a result of a manufacturer's faulty production: as the law stands today the customer cannot sue the manufacturer directly because he has no contract with him. [...]
[...] In a famous case decided in 1934 l'Estrange v. Graucob ltd, Miss l'Estrange bought a cigarette machine under a sales agreement, which stated that express or implied condition, statement or warranty, statutory or otherwise not stated here in is thereby excluded After the machine broke down and was no use at all, she took her case to court and lost her action since all or most of miss l'Estrange contractual rights or remedies were removed as a result of the existence of an exclusion clause. [...]
[...] The third exception results from the relationship between the parties to the contract. If two parties are on a fiduciary relationship63, then they will have a duty to disclose any information that they may think necessary to the other party so that they make up their minds about the contract totally safely. Courts have established such a duty in contracts involving a parent and his child, a solicitor and his client, a trustee and a beneficiary, and a principle and his agent. [...]
[...] After 8 years of many individual contracts by the parties that all incorporated the terms of the standard form, Evans proposed that the machinery be transported in containers and Merzario's manager in the course of discussion in Portsmouth with Evan's manager assured him that such containers would not be carried on date because the machinery might go rusty. Nothing concerning the oral conditions that the containers be carried below deck was put in writing and contracts kept on being made between the 2 parties. Eventually one container failed into the sea and was lost and the 2 parties disagreed over the exact terms of the contract. Page 76 sur 123 CAVEJ 2009/2010 Cours d'anglais de Madame Mouton The court of appeal held that Evans was entitled to damages for breach of contracts on 2 grounds. [...]
[...] that is to say to convince the other party Page 67 sur 123 CAVEJ 2009/2010 Cours d'anglais de Madame Mouton party will rely on his statement. The Misrepresentation Act of 1967 does not give a precise definition of negligent misrepresentation. Yet it establishes that in cases where the representor made a false statement, he shall be considered as having committed a negligent misrepresentation and will be liable to pay damages to the innocent party unless he can prove that he believed or had reasonable grounds to believe that at the time he made them his statements were true. [...]
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