Capacity of the Mentally Ill to Conclude Contracts

Decent Essays
Explain the law relating to the mentally ill to conclude contracts and consider why these rules exist.


A contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more persons that is recognised by the courts. In order for an agreement to be legally binding there are certain criteria that have to be met. One of these criteria is capacity. The majority of us have the capacity to form a legally binding agreement, however certain categories of people are limited by law to make contracts the main categories are minors, people judged incapable of contracting due to mental disorders, drunkenness or under the influence of drugs.
The purpose of this essay is explain the law relating to the mentally ill to conclude contracts and
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Necessaries will depend largely on the individual circumstances and requirements of the individual but the following general categories include Food and Drink, Clothing, Board and Lodging, Funeral Expenses and Medical Aid, however the burden of showing not only that the goods were suitable to the condition in life of the individual but also that they were suitable to their actual requirements at the time of the sale and delivery, rests upon the supplier of the goods. Consequently, where an individual has already been sufficiently supplied with the goods in question, even though this fact is not known to the supplier, the contract will not be a binding one. A comparison can be drawn in the case of Nash -v- Inman [1908] a tailor supplied a Cambridge student who was a minor at the time with clothing which included eleven fancy waistcoats. The claimant in this case sued the defendant for the price of the clothes, at court the claimant's father a man of means gave evidence that the defendant was at the time in sufficient supply of clothing. The court held that the tailor had failed to prove that the clothes supplied to the defendant were indeed necessaries and that the claim was bound to fail because of this reason. (Elliott & Quinn 2007 pg63)

Conclusion This essay has shown that persons certified as insane under the Mental Health act 1983 section 3 can never make a valid contract, however persons with a mental illness can
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