Intention to Create Legal Relations
The fact that the parties have reached agreement does not necessarily mean that they have concluded a legally enforceable contract, even where the agreement is supported by consideration. The following fact situation will demonstrate the point. I promise to pay my wife £50 if she will type the manuscript of this chapter of the book. My wife agrees. Does this agreement create a legally enforceable contract? On the face of it there appears to be no reason why it should not. We have reached agreement and the agreement is supported by consideration. But it is likely that an English court would conclude that we had not entered into a legally binding contract because we lacked an ‘intention to create legal relations’, which has been held to be an essential element in any contract. Before examining the relevant case law, we must stop and contemplate the juristic basis of this doctrine of intention to create legal relations.
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