Definition of a contract
A contract is an agreement (usually between two persons) giving rise to obligations on the part of both persons which are enforced or recognised by law.
Generally speaking, an agreement is made when one person accepts an offer made by the other.
1. The law is also concerned with the objective appearance, as well as the actual fact, of agreement.
2. In some contracts eg contracts for the sale of goods, some terms are implied by law into the contract so it can be said that the parties do not agree to those terms. Nevertheless the contract is still binding.
Have you ever made a contract? Write down examples of contracts you have made today, this week, this month.
Definition of an offer
An offer is a proposition put by one person to another person made with the intention that it shall become legally binding as soon as it is accepted by the other person.
Definition of an invitation to treat
An invitation to treat is said to be a statement made by one person asking the other to make the first person an offer.
Goods on display in a self-service shop are an invitation to treat
Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain v Boots Cash Chemists (Southern) Ltd (1952)
Goods on display in a shop window are an invitation to treat
Fisher v Bell (1961)
Advertisements are an invitation to treat
Partridge v Crittenden (1968)
A request for information is not an offer
Harvey v Facey (1893) and
Gibson v Manchester City Council (1979)
In an auction the auctioneer normally intends to invite offers from the public. A bid...