What happens when the offeror decides he is no longer interested in the contract? How does he terminate his offer? Or does an offer remain forever after it is made? To put things simply, an offer can become terminated if the offeree hasn’t accepted it.
Although this is simple enough, like in all things related to law, there is more involved in the termination of an offer.
You can simply define acceptance as the unqualified concession to the terms of an offer as conveyed by the offeror.
You can also define acceptance as an offeree’s assent, either by express act or by implication from conduct, to the terms of an offer in a manner authorized or requested by the offeror, so that a binding contract is formed.
It is the elements of acceptance that underscores the bilateral nature of a contract. In Orient Bank vs Bilante Intl the court identified three ways by which acceptance can be inferred: By words, by conduct and by correspondence passing between the parties. Read More…
Before the courts can decide to enforce a contract, it has to fulfil some requirements. The first of these requirements is the offer. Without the offer, there won’t even be a contract because the offer starts the whole process.
To better understand what an offer is, you should also know the difference between an offer and an invitation to treat.
When you hear of the word “contract”, the first thing that comes to mind is a document full of legalese and is sacred to the parties.
While this is not entirely wrong, it doesn’t paint the full picture of what a contract is.
To be clear, you can simply define a contract as an agreement that can be enforced by law. The agreement doesn’t have to be in writing, under seal or contain legal language. It can even be an oral contract.
If you want a more concrete definition of a contract, that of Tobi JCA in Orient Bank (Nig) Plc vs. Bilante International Ltd (1997) 8 NWLR (pt 515) would be apposite. He defined a contract as:
…an agreement between two or more parties which creates reciprocal legal obligations to do or not to do a particular thing.
Classifications of Contract
The following are the different classifications of contract:
- Formal and simple contract
- Express and implied contract
- Bilateral and unilateral contract