Jill Poole

in Textbook on Contract Law

Edition 13

Published on behalf of © Jill Poole 2016

Published in print April 2016 | ISBN: 9780198732808
Published online September 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780191797620 | DOI:

Series: Textbook on


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Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on series provides an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. This chapter explains how to determine whether parties have reached an agreement. Traditionally, the existence of agreement is determined objectively on the basis of an offer and corresponding acceptance. However, this approach has been challenged for being artificial and inflexible, and even in the absence of these traditional criteria the courts have occasionally found agreement, particularly where there has been performance. For formation there needs to be an offer (as opposed to an invitation to treat) and that offer must be accepted before it has been rejected or otherwise lapsed. In order to be effective, offer and acceptance must be properly communicated, which normally means ‘received’. The chapter also considers the mirror image rule, whereby an acceptance must be unconditional and correspond with the exact terms proposed by the offeror.

Keywords: agreement; objective approach to determining agreement; offer; invitation to treat; acceptance; mirror image rule; counter offer; communication; postal rule of acceptance; actual receipt rule; electronic communications; email and website contracting; revocation; unilateral contracts

Chapter.  30803 words. 

Subjects: Contract Law

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