Ticket cases

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In contract law, ticket cases are a series of cases that stand for the proposition that if you are handed a ticket or another document with terms, and you retain the ticket or document, then you are bound by those terms. Whether you have read the terms or not is irrelevant, and in a sense, using the ticket is analogous to signing the document. This issue is an important one due to the proliferation of exclusion clauses that accompany tickets in everyday transactions.

Contract agreement having a lawful object entered into voluntarily by multiple parties

A contract is a legally-binding agreement which recognises and governs the rights and duties of the parties to the agreement. A contract is legally enforceable because it meets the requirements and approval of the law. An agreement typically involves the exchange of goods, services, money, or promises of any of those. In the event of breach of contract, the law awards the injured party access to legal remedies such as damages and cancellation.

Exclusion clause

An exclusion clause is a term in a contract that seeks to restrict the rights of the parties to the contract.

The case of Parker v. The South Eastern Railway Co (1877) 2 CPD 416 illustrates restrictions on this concept:

The test of whether a document fits within the description of a ticket is an objective test, that is, whether a reasonable person in the position of the ticket-holder would perceive it to be contractual in nature. For instance, if exclusion clauses accompany a docket, it may be held that it is not contractual in nature since it is just a receipt.

Furthermore, Interfoto Picture Library Ltd v. Stiletto Visual Programmes Ltd [1989] 1 QB 433 held that if a party wishes to incorporate onerous terms into a document that is to be just accepted by the other party, reasonable notice must be given to make it a term of the contract.

Other ticket cases include:

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Freedom of contract is the freedom of private or public individuals and groups to form nonviolent contracts without government restrictions. This is opposed to government restrictions such as minimum- or maximum-wage laws, competition laws, economic sanctions, restrictions on price fixing, or restrictions on contracting with second-class citizens or undocumented workers. The freedom to contract is the underpinning of laissez-faire economics and is a cornerstone of free-market libertarianism. Through freedom of contract, individuals possess a general freedom to choose with whom to contract, whether to contract or not, and on which terms to contract.

<i>Parker v South Eastern Rly Co</i>

Parker v South Eastern Railway [1877] 2 CPD 416 is a famous English contract law case on exclusion clauses where the court held that an individual cannot escape a contractual term by failing to read the contract but that a party wanting to rely on an exclusion clause must take reasonable steps to bring it to the attention of the customer.

<i>LEstrange v F Graucob Ltd</i>

L'Estrange v F Graucob Ltd [1934] 2 KB 394 is a leading English contract law case on the incorporation of terms into a contract by signature. There are exceptions to the rule that a person is bound by his or her signature, including fraud, misrepresentation and non est factum.

<i>Thornton v Shoe Lane Parking Ltd</i>

Thornton v Shoe Lane Parking Ltd [1970] EWCA Civ 2 is a leading English contract law case. It gives a good example of the rule that a clause cannot be incorporated after a contract has been concluded, without reasonable notice before. Also, it was held that an automatic ticket machine was an offer, rather than an invitation to treat.

Contractual term any provision forming part of a contract

A contractual term is "Any provision forming part of a contract". Each term gives rise to a contractual obligation, breach of which can give rise to litigation. Not all terms are stated expressly and some terms carry less legal gravity as they are peripheral to the objectives of the contract.

<i>George Mitchell (Chesterhall) Ltd v Finney Lock Seeds Ltd</i>

George Mitchell (Chesterhall) Ltd v Finney Lock Seeds Ltd [1982] EWCA Civ 5 and [1983] 2 AC 803 is a case on the sale of goods and exclusion clauses. It was decided under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and the Sale of Goods Act 1979.

English contract law Law of contracts in England and Wales

English contract law is a body of law regulating contracts in England and Wales. With its roots in the lex mercatoria and the activism of the judiciary during the industrial revolution, it shares a heritage with countries across the Commonwealth, and to a lesser extent the United States. It is also experiencing gradual change because of the UK's membership of the European Union and international organisations like Unidroit. Any agreement that is enforceable in court is a contract. Because a contract is a voluntary obligation, in contrast to paying compensation for a tort and restitution to reverse unjust enrichment, English law places a high value on ensuring people have truly consented to the deals that bind them in court.

<i>Smith v Eric S Bush</i>

Smith v Eric S Bush [1990] UKHL 1 is an English tort law and contract law case, heard by the House of Lords. First, it concerned the existence of a duty of care in tort for negligent misstatements, not made directly to someone relying on the statement. Second, it concerned the reasonableness of a term excluding liability under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, s 2(2) and s 11.

Agreement in English law

In English contract law, an agreement establishes the first stage in the existence of a contract. The three main elements of contractual formation are whether there is (1) offer and acceptance (agreement) (2) consideration (3) an intention to be legally bound.

Contractual terms in English law is a topic which deals with four main issues.

<i>Hollier v Rambler Motors (AMC) Ltd</i>

Hollier v Rambler Motors (AMC) Ltd [1971] EWCA Civ 12 is an English contract law case, concerning the incorporation of terms into a contract and the contra proferentum rule of interpretation. It shows an example of a very hostile interpretation of exclusion clauses.

Interpreting contracts in English law is an area of English contract law, which concerns how the courts decide what an agreement means. It is settled law that the process is based on the objective view of a reasonable person, given the context in which the contracting parties made their agreement. This approach marks a break with previous a more rigid modes of interpretation before the 1970s, where courts paid closer attention to the formal expression of the parties' intentions and took more of a literal view of what they had said.

Incorporation of terms in English law is the inclusion of terms in contracts formed under English law in such a way that the courts recognise them as valid. For a term to be considered incorporated it must fulfil three requirements. Firstly, notice of the terms should be given before or during the agreement of the contract. Secondly, the terms must be found in a document intended to be contractual. Thirdly, "reasonable steps" must be taken by the party who forms the term to bring it to the attention of the other party. The rules on incorporating terms in English law are almost all at a common law level.

Unfair terms in English contract law are regulated under three major pieces of legislation, compliance with which is enforced by the Office of Fair Trading. The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 is the first main Act, which covers some contracts that have exclusion and limitation clauses. For example, it will not extend to cover contracts which are mentioned in Schedule I, consumer contracts, and international supply contracts. The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 partially lays on top further requirements for consumer contracts. The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 concerns certain sales practices.

South African contract law

South African contract law is ‘essentially a modernised version of the Roman-Dutch law of contract’, which is itself rooted in canon and Roman laws. In the broadest definition, a contract is an agreement two or more parties enter into with the serious intention of creating a legal obligation. Contract law provides a legal framework within which persons can transact business and exchange resources, secure in the knowledge that the law will uphold their agreements and, if necessary, enforce them. The law of contract underpins private enterprise in South Africa and regulates it in the interest of fair dealing.

Certainty in English law sets out rules for how judges will interpret, sever or put contracts, trusts and other voluntary obligations into effect.

<i>Thompson v London, Midland and Scottish Rly Co</i>

Thompson v London, Midland and Scottish Railway Co Ltd [1930] 1 KB 41 is an English contract law case, concerning the exclusion of liability. It was described by Lord Denning MR in George Mitchell (Chesterhall) Ltd v Finney Lock Seeds Ltd as part of "a bleak winter for our law of contract." Although the same decision would not be reached today because of the application of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, English courts continue to assess on an objective basis whether reasonable notice has been given of terms and conditions so as to incorporate them in the contract.

Anglo Continental Holidays Ltd. v. Typaldos Lines (London) Ltd. is a notable English legal case with a judgement by Lord Denning which clarified much of he common law relating to small print conditions.