Explain the main principles of the law of contract

The learning outcomes assessed in these assignments include the student’s ability to:
1. Explain the main principles of the law of contract
2. Apply the principles of business law in a problem solving situation
Read the case study below and then apply the laws of contract to complete the task in bold italics at the
Jay, a student and musician, is selling his ukulele so he can concentrate on playing guitar in the
university band. He advertises it on a Facebook page run by the student union for those with items to
sell. He advertises the instrument as “Ukulele for sale: £100 or near offer”.
A few days later, on Friday, Jay is in the student union bar when he is approached by a young man
calling himself Boris. Boris tells him that his cousin is Lisa. Lisa is Jay’s best friend at university. Boris
says that Lisa told him Jay was selling his ukulele, that he (Boris) recently lost his ukulele, and that as he
has a concert the following week he is very keen to buy a new one. He offers the full £100 for the
ukulele, and Jay agrees. Jay and Boris bond over a few beers and have a detailed discussion of their
favourite musicians. The pair then go back to Jay’s flat to collect the ukulele. Boris then finds that he
only has £20 on him. Jay says not to worry and tells Boris to give the rest of the money to Lisa, from
whom Jay will collect it in class on Monday. Boris leaves with the ukulele.
Jay wakes up the next day with a bit of a sore head and a concern about whether letting Boris take the
ukulele was a good idea. He immediately texts Lisa to check that she has a cousin called Boris. She texts
back that she does not have any male cousins, and has never heard of Boris. Jay is very upset.
When Jay turns up at band practice on Monday night there is a new member, Keir, who has the ukulele
with him. He tells Jay that he bought the ukulele at the weekend from a second hand shop on the High
Jay goes to the second hand shop, where the owner Sandra tells him that a young man matching the
description of Boris sold her the ukulele on Saturday morning for £75 cash. She then sold it on to Keir on
Saturday afternoon for £90.
Using principles of the law of contract, advise Jay on whether legally he is the owner of the ukulele or
whether it now belongs to Keir, and what action Jay should now take as a result.
Your answer should consider how contracts are formed, the idea of ‘invitation to treat’,
misrepresentation, and error. You must refer to the source of any legal rule you rely on when giving
your advice to Jay. For further guidance, see below.
(100 marks)
The Harvard system of referencing
Please ensure that your font size is at least size “11” and that the line spacing within your paragraphs is
1.5 width.
Reading List
There is a variety of text books available on this subject. Use a selection from the following list (in
alphabetical order not in order of preference). Remember to make sure that any textbook or online
source that you use relates to Scots Law and that it is sufficiently up to date. Do not use references
that discuss different legal jurisdictions.
 BLACK G. 2018. Woolman on Contract. 6th edition. Edinburgh: Greens Concise Scots Law
 CROSSAN S. J. 2017. Scots Law Theory and Practice 3rd ed Hodder Gibson
 GIBB A. 2012. Contract. In: ASHTON C., et al. Understanding Scots Law. Edinburgh: W. Green /
Sweet and Maxwell
 LITTLE T. 2015. Law Essentials: Contract law. 3
rd ed. Dundee: Dundee University Press
1. Your answer should be written as an essay. You must ensure that your answer is readable,
contains no spelling or grammatical errors, is well structured and fully addresses all the issues
identified in the case study question. You may want to use headings to help with your structure.
Include an introduction and a conclusion.
Account will be taken of presentation, grammar, spelling, and structure throughout the marking
of this essay. If your answer is badly written it will undermine your arguments.
2. You also need to ensure that you have sufficient time to address any issues that may have been
raised in the TurnItIn report.
3. You must ensure that your sources are up to date and that the law you are referring to applies in
Scotland. Please use the reading on the reading list as your primary reference materials. This is
really important. Whilst English law and Scots law can be similar in some areas there are also
many significant differences so do make sure that you use Scots law textbooks only for this
assessment to avoid any confusion. The coursework will fail if you are using the wrong law. IN
the past some failing students used references from other jurisdictions including some with no
application in Scotland that were not relevant to the case study.
4. Note the fact that you will be referencing case law will mean that your reference list may not
contain as many textbooks/journals as you would find in a non-law essay. For this assignment it
is more important that you use the core textbooks and demonstrate your understanding of the
key legal principles, rather than identifying journal articles.
5. Make sure you include a bibliography so that we can see what text books or journal articles you
consulted even if you do not make actual reference to these when completing the assessment.
As stated above you may find that you have very few ‘textbook’ references in your answer even
though you did read widely. This is quite common in this type of problem solving legal question
so do include a bibliography.
6. Please do not reference lecture notes. You should not be relying on lecture notes and instead
you must read around the subject area. Lecture notes are a good guide to what is relevant but
you must then consult the relevant textbooks.
7. If you are making reference to case law then please note the following guidance on using case
law. If you are not sure, have a look at how cases are cited in the law textbooks.
 When quoting a case you must ensure that you have highlighted the case name (for example by
putting it in italics), quoted the full name of the case and given the year that the case was
decided. If the court that made the decision is a higher Scottish court it can be worthwhile
emphasising this fact.
 Please note that you do not need to reference the book you got the case from. For example, if
you found out about the case of Wolf and Wolf v Forfar Potato Co 1984 SLT 100 from Crossan
(2017) you only need to reference (‘cite’) the case. You do not need to reference Crossan
 You also do not need to quote the full case citation – the name and year will suffice for our
 If you are using a quotation from a judge in a case then it should be referenced as follows:
In OFT v Purely Creative Ltd et al [2011] it was decided that
“Domestic Regulations designed to implement EU directives, and in particular maximum
harmonisation directives, must be construed as far as possible so as to implement the purposes
and provisions of the directive”. per Briggs J. at para 40 [or at the page number if the decision
does not have paragraph numbers]
Do NOT reference it is as Briggs (2011). This is not correct for legal cases. The important thing is
the case reference not the judge other than as shown above at the end of the quotation. The
judge’s name will not appear in your reference list. If you are not sure check how it should be
referenced look at how the text book does it.
8. As this is a law essay remember that you will be referencing many of the principles from
legislation or case law rather than any journal article or text book. You would reference the
journal article or text book if you are adopting their interpretation of legislation or case law.
Otherwise reference the case or the legislation.
For example if you stated in your answer that the general rule in Scotland is that the age of full
legal capacity in Scotland is 16 then you might write something along the lines of:
RIGHT: Section 1 of the Age of Legal Capacity (Scotland) Act 1991 states that the general rule in
Scotland is that young people have full legal capacity at 16. The exceptions to this rule are found
in Section 2 of this Act.
Referencing the Act will be sufficient. You do not need to reference this to the internet or to a
WRONG: The Age of Legal Capacity (Scotland) Act 1991 states that the age of full legal capacity
in Scotland is sixteen (Crossan 2017).
It is the Act that states this rule, Crossan is just repeating what the law states.
There will be circumstances where you will need to reference a text book particularly when you
want to discuss the meaning of a legal phrase or adopt an interpretation that you have read
about in one of the texts. In this case you must reference the source. For example you might
Ervine (2010) states that section 14 of the Sale of Goods Act is the most important section of the
Act for consumers…..
Or you might reference a case. For example
In Cathcart v Williams 2012 it was held that it was really important that businesses understand
the limits of the principle of duty of care. Laffin (2014) has described this case as ground
It will have to be your judgment whether you need to reference a text book or whether the case
reference will be sufficient. Remember that some legal phrases such as “invitation to treat”
have a specific legal meaning and should be written exactly as they appear. Do not change the
words as this can change the legal meaning.

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