English translation: DATE OF CONCLUSION OF THE CONTRACT
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PAPER 5. INTERNATIONAL SALES
« . International Sales
(a) Classification and definition; problems of contract formation. »
« . Contract Formation: Proposal forms (briefly), but some attention to the peculiarities of Lloyd's. »
« In this substantial topic we will consider the rules which concern the formation of simple contracts. »
Formation is more specific and precise than « drawing up » and « concluding. »
- Drawing up may be insufficient as could be taken to mean just the drafting of the agreement. If you read "formation" to mean signed, then although this can be read into drawn up, it is not necessarily the case. Drawing up is ambiguous.
- Concluding a contract could include performance of its terms which may be too far down the line, ie, the parties to it have acted upon it. In ordinary parlance though, it is true to say that people do talk about having "concluded" a contract with X to mean that they have signed a contract. It does not however have specific legal meaning in my experience. I'm a hard sell on this one !
When is a contract a contract? English law basically provides that any legally binding agreement is a contract. It generally arises as a result of offer and acceptance but must also include other elements such as consideration and the intention to create legal relations, for example. A contract may be written or oral, although specific rules have to be respectd in the case of certain contracts (some DO have to be in writing).
One good authority on formation of contracts in UK law is the case of Blackpool Aero Club Ltd –v- Blackpool BC (1990] 3 All ER 25.