1. Margaret owned an antique store that specialised in rare porcelain dolls. When she opened the business in 1989, it was at a shop in an eastern suburb of Melbourne. In 1999 she started to advertise...

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1. Margaret owned an antique store that specialised in rare porcelain dolls. When she
opened the business in 1989, it was at a shop in an eastern suburb of Melbourne. In 1999
she started to advertise on the Internet and by 2006 the business had grown to the point
where she needed help to keep the business going. After a family discussion one night at
the kitchen table in July 2006, it was agreed that Margaret would probably keep the
business going for another couple of years and then retire. Emily, her youngest daughter
and aged 16, would work in the shop as long as was needed and in return, she would
receive any unsold dolls. When Margaret retired at the end of 2009, she decided that she
would give the unsold stock to charity and they could auction it and keep the proceeds.
Advise Emily.
2. Richard, an impoverished university student, and his millionaire father enter into an
arrangement where Richard agrees that he will keep the front- and backyards of the
family property mowed, and he will ‘do a bit’ to keep the gardens looking tidy. In return,
his father agrees to pay him a weekly allowance of $200. His father had previously used a
garden contractor to do the job and paid him $350. They live on a one-hectare property,
and the mowing alone takes half a day a week. After four weeks, Richard’s father tells him
that he can’t afford to pay $200 a week. He says that Richard should be doing the work
for nothing, as it is the responsibility of the whole family to look after the property;
besides, he says, Richard is getting free board and lodging. Advise Richard.
3. Jenny received a circular from Beauty and the Beast Hair Salon advertising massages and
manicures for $10. Realising that this was an exceptionally good deal, but not surprised
because she knew that they had only just opened and were running a number of good
opening specials, she rang and made a booking. When Jenny arrived at the salon she was
told that there had been a mistake on the circular and it should have said $100. The
manager of the salon explained that this was still a good price because normally a
massage and manicure would have cost $150. Jenny was furious, as it had taken her 30
minutes to get to the shop by car and if she had known it would cost $100, she would
never have made the booking. Advise Jenny. Would your advice have been any different if
Jenny had the massage and manicure before being told that the cost was $100? Would
she have to pay the full price?
4. Bruce, while he was so drunk that he didn’t know what he was doing, bid successfully at
an auction for the purchase of a house. It was clear to the auctioneer that Bruce didn’t
know what he was doing. However, after Bruce sobered up he confirmed the contract
with the auctioneer. He then subsequently refused to complete the contract. Is Bruce
bound?
Answered Same DayDec 20, 2021

Solution

Robert answered on Dec 20 2021
3 Votes
Answer to Question no. 1
As per the common law, a minor cannot enter into any contract. The general
ule at common law is that a contract made by a minor who is under the age of
18 is voidable. S49 of Supreme Court Act 1986 Vic, gives some exception to
this rule which reads as follows:
“ The following contracts entered into by a minor are void-
(a) Contracts for the repayment of money lent or to be lent;
(b) Contracts for payment for goods supplied or to be supplied, other than
necessaries;
(c) Accounts stated.”
In the light of above section, when Emily agreed to help her mother in her shop,
she was 16 years old and hence a minor. Therefore, as per s49 of Supreme
Court Act 1986, Vic, the contract made with Emily is void. The giving of
unsold dolls to Emily does not fall in the criteria of “necessities” which was
essential for Emily. The claim for such contract is not legal but more of
obligation on Margaret because that was agreed. Margaret on the other hand
has all the rights to give away unsold stock to charity because there was no
valid contract exists.
S19 of Minors (Property and Contracts)Act 1970 do give some benefit to minor
y saying that where a minor participate in a civil act and his/her participation is
for his/her benefit at the time of participation, the civil act is presumptively
inding on minor. But Emily action does not meet the definition of “civil act”
under sec 6 of Minors (Property and Contracts) Act 1970. Therefore, Emily
does not have right to enforce this agreement.
Answer to Question 2:
It is the general rule of common law that any contract with a person below the
age of 18 ( minor) is voidable. However, some exception have been added to
this rule . Some of these exceptions are now have statutory force . One of the
exception of the rule applicable to the given situation is :
Contract for necessities:
As per Australian contract law, a contract entered by a minor for necessities is
inding on both parties entering the contract. Necessities are determined by
eference to the minor‟s „existing life style‟ and must be necessary for
maintaining that lifestyle. This is given statutory force in Victoria by the Goods
Act s 7. In the case of Nash v Inman, lord Buckley LJ, mentioned the
following in his judgement:
“An infant may contract for the supply at a reasonable price of articles
easonably necessary for his support in his station in life if he has not already a
sufficient supply. To render an infant's contract for necessaries an enforceable
contract two conditions must be satisfied, namely, (1.) the contract must be for
goods reasonably necessary for his support in his station in life, and (2.) he
must not have already a...
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