Module Identifier LAM0420  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Miss Elizabeth Macdonald  
Semester Semester 1  
Assessment Seminar presentation     20%  
  Essay   Two assessed essays of 2500-3000 words each   80%  

Module description

Contracts lie at the heart of business law and this module examines some of the fundamentals of commercial contracting,
allowing the student to give more detailed and focused attention to the issues than was possible at undergraduate level. This
module should combine well with most others as part of a coherent scheme of study. It will consider - standard form contracts;
pre-contractual problems; the planning of performance; the trends in interpretation of contracts;
the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977; the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations of 1999; the
position of third parties (eg in relation to their acquiring the protection of exemption clauses); and the use of liquidated damages
clauses, penalty clauses and related devices; some aspects of electronic contracting.


The objective of the course is to enhance the students' awareness and understanding of some of the problems of commercial
contracting and how to deal with, or avoid them, where that is possible. The aim is to enhance the students' abilities to analyse
legal problems and to use legal rules to achieve required commercial ends.


1. Introduction

2. Standard Form contracts

3. Pre-contractual problems

4. Planned performance

5. Interpreting contracts

6. Exemption clauses - the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977

7. Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1994

8. Third parties

9. Liquidated damages / Penalty clauses

10. Duress and Undue Influence   

Reading Lists

Beale, Bishop, Furmston. Contract Cases and Materials..
Treitel. The Law of Contract.
Koffman & Macdonald,. The Law of Contract.
Macdonald. Exemption Clauses & Unfair Terms.