The Postal Acceptance Rule

2482 Words10 Pages
The Postal Acceptance Rule For the most part, contractual agreement has always been viewed in terms of offer and acceptance. Throughout time, the universal principle to contract law has been as follows; parties may get into an agreement however they deem fit and those parties are subject to the terms they deem fit. As far as legal requirements vital to their formation, there are binding contracts that may be formed. Moreover, a binding agreement may be manifested in terms of writing or in verbal form. One of the controversial issues in the law of contract formation is the issue of distance contracts. Matters regarding the types of rules that should be used to govern this type of contract have always been a topic of debate. One of these rules includes the age old Postal acceptance rule, also known as the “Postal rule” or “Mailbox rule”. This paper seeks to examine the justification of the postal acceptance rule and its place in the modern world with the emergence of electronic means of communication. Background The Postal acceptance rule dates back to 1818 when it was established in the court case of Adam v. Lindsell. In this case, the court had to reach a verdict on the moment of contract formation by post. Apparently, the courts found out that the parties communicating acceptance through post office were never certain at the exact time the acceptance had been sent. Since postal communication is subject to delay, the involved parties could never be simultaneously aware of
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