PRESBYTERIAN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, KUMASI
FACULTY OF LAW
PLAW 152: LAW OF CONTRACT
· Chesire & Fifoot, Law of Contract- Chapter 4
· Dowuona-Hammond, The Law of Contract in Ghana, Chapter 5
Terms of Contract
· Chesire & Fifoot, Law of Contract- Chapter 6
· Dowuona-Hammond, The Law of Contract in Ghana, Chapter 6
COURSE OUTLINE FOR SECOND SEMESTER
Privity of Contract and Voluntary Assignment of Contractual Rights and Liabilities
· Chesire & Fifoot, Law of Contract- Chapters14, 15 and 16
· Dowuona-Hammond, The
Law of Contract in Ghana, Chapter 7
Vitiating Factors: Mistake
· Chesire & Fifoot, Law of Contract- Chapter 8
· Dowuona-Hammond, The Law of Contract in Ghana, Chapter 8
Vitiating Factors: Misrepresentation
· Chesire & Fifoot, Law of Contract- Chapter 9
· Dowuona-Hammond, The Law of Contract in Ghana, Chapter 9
Vitiating Factors: Duress and Undue Influence
· Chesire & Fifoot, Law of Contract- Chapter 9
· Dowuona-Hammond, The Law of Contract in Ghana, Chapter 10
Illegality and the Enforcement of Contractual Obligations
· Chesire & Fifoot, Law of Contract- Chapters7, 10, 11 and 12
· Dowuona-Hammond, The Law of Contract in Ghana, Chapter 11
Discharge of Contract
· Chesire & Fifoot, Law of Contract- Chapter 18,19 and 20
· Dowuona-Hammond, The Law of Contract in Ghana,
The prescribed textbook is a choice of EITHER:
M.P. Furmston, Cheshire, Fifoot and Furmston’s Law of Contract, 16th edn (OUP: Oxford, 2012) or any earlier edition
J. Beatson, A. Burrows and J. Cartwright, Anson’s Law of Contract, 29th edn (OUP: Oxford, 2010) or any earlier edition
BUY YOUR TEXTBOOK TODAY –DO use one of the prescribed texts – better still swap with a friend from time to time and see if you can find useful difference
It also useful to have a copy of Ghanaian textbook, C. Dowuona-Hammond, Law of Contract in Ghana.
HINTS IN USING IPAC/ IRAC
The ‘Problem Question’
A special characteristic of law study is the ‘problem question’. This is a question which involves advising a party on a hypothetical legal situation. A set of facts will be given to you, which you must assume to be undisputed. It is for you then to advise your putative client as to how a judge would approach dealing with this situation. It is the nearest thing possible to the bulk of the work done by barristers and by litigation solicitors in writing opinions or advices to clients.
A technique for answering all kinds of problem questions was developed some time ago in US law schools. They call it IRAC (stands for Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion), we call it IPAC – which stands for Issue, Principle (don’t forget the exceptions as well as the rules!), Application, Conclusion.
ISSUE – an issue, in legal terminology, is something likely to be in dispute between the parties. In problem questions, this is always an issue of law – ie, a dispute as to the proper legal principle and its application, rather than an issue of fact to be settled by evidence. Start your approach to a problem question by identifying all legal matters likely to be disputed – so, a question about a contract dispute will never involve a dispute as to every aspect of contract law; you have to spot what can clearly be accepted by both parties and identify and deal with only those things they are going to be arguing over. The identification of these issues is what makes up the Introduction to your answer. Have a heading ‘Introduction’ right at the start of your answer, in which you tell the reader what the issues are.
Then, in respect of each issue in turn, make a heading – something that summarizes the nature of the issue, eg, Was Jane’s Poster an Offer or an Invitation to Treat?
Then briefly restate the issue. This is followed by:
PRINCIPLE – state, concisely, what the principle of law is, starting with the rule and following with any possibly relevant exceptions. For each rule/exception, cite some authority. For example:
Advertisements, shelf displays and shop window displays are generally an invitation to treat, not an offer capable of acceptance: Fisher v Bell  1 KB 394. However, if the circumstances are such that it seems genuinely to be an offer to the world, and all that is required is some act on behalf of the offeree in order to meet the terms of the offer, then it may amount to an actual offer: Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co  1 QB 256.
APPLICATION – having stated what the applicable legal principle is that will allow us to resolve the issue in question, you need to apply it to the facts of your hypothetical case. For example:
Jane’s poster is similar in effect to the display of flick-knives in Fisher v Bell or to the advertisement in Partridge v Crittenden  1 WLR 1204, because as in that case, Jane’s poster advertises something for which there is a limited supply, so that she cannot have meant to be bound by acceptances from an unlimited number of people.
Finally, for each heading, you need a
CONCLUSION – summarizing the effect of what you have just said. For example:
In this case it is submitted that Fred is extremely unlikely to succeed in establishing a contract between him and Jane on the basis of there being an offer in the form of the poster, since a court will almost certainly rule that this poster was only an invitation to treat.
NOTE: DO NOT HAVE HEADINGS ‘ISSUE’, ‘PRINCIPLE’, ‘APPLICATION’ AND ‘CONCLUSION’ – THE HEADINGS FOR THE WHOLE ANSWER ARE ‘INTRODUCTION’ FOLLOWED BY THE HEADING FOR EACH ISSUE (EG, ‘WAS JANE’S POSTER AN INVITATION TO TREAT?’), AND FINALLY ‘CONCLUSION’ OR ‘SUMMARY’ WHERE YOU SUMMARISE YOUR ADVICE ON ALL THE POINTS. THE ‘ISSUE’, ‘PRINCIPLE’, ‘APPLICATION’ AND ‘CONCLUSION’ THING IS MERELY TO SHOW HOW YOU STRUCTURE EACH BIT OF THE ANSWER INTO PARAGRAPHS OR GROUPS OF PARAGRAPHS.
When you have dealt with each of the issues raised by the hypothetical facts, and identified in your Introduction, you should make a new major heading ‘Conclusion’ or ‘Summary’, which summarizes all the conclusions you have reached on individual issues, and finally advises the client. For example, having summarized the conclusions on each individual issue, your advice to the client might look like this:
It is therefore submitted that Fred would be ill-advised to sue Jane for breach of contract, but he might bring an action for monies had and received in order to recover the money he has paid to her.
NOTE: You may find that potential issues are raised by the facts, but you do not have sufficient facts to give clear advice on the matter – you would like to know more in order to give proper advice. This is very common: in particular, barristers are often asked to give advice on inadequate facts (either because the solicitor wasn’t aware the facts would be needed, or because they are not available at the time of preparing instructions to counsel). In this case you should do as barristers do: identify the areas where you cannot fully advise; identify the factual questions to which you require further answers; and indicate the possible different consequences for likely different answers to these points.
In contracts problem questions, at least, always advise on remedies where you think one will be available. This is partly the reason we cover remedies first, though most textbooks and most other law schools deal with this topic at the end. Real clients aren’t all that interested in reading a legal disquisition – they want to know their prospects for victory and their remedies (and in the case of damages – the usual remedy – how much?)
Keep everything concise and to the point, use clear headings throughout, and follow this method of structuring your answers and you will find that problem questions are no problem at all. We don’t set them in order to make your life difficult – they are one of the best ways of developing both your legal skills (both research/knowledge-application skills on the one hand, and the equally vital skill of being able to handle complex factual situations, on the other) and your legal knowledge itself, that is why we use them.
Dr. Ernest Owusu-Dapaa
PRESBYTERIAN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE
FACULTY OF LAW
LL.B. YEAR 2 [ FOUR YEAR STREAM ]
PLAW 274: Family Law 3 Credits
The course aims to provide an overview of family law and ensure that a student has sufficient knowledge and understanding of how the law and family justice system operate to regulate both adult relationships and relationships between parents and children.
- To explain the various forms of family and marriage at customary law and under Statutory law
- To know how an undefended divorce proceeds through the court
- To know how financial issues are dealt with, by consent
- To know how injunctions for domestic violence are dealt with
- To understand how issues surrounding children are resolved
- To explain how public law can impact on private cases concerning children
- To understand how the position of cohabitants differs from that of married couples
1. Definition and Scope of Marriage and the Family,
2. The Laws Applicable: Jurisdiction
3. Marriage as a Special Contract and Breach of Promise of Marriage,
4. Types of Marriages in Ghana
5. Statutory Registration of Customary Marriages and Divorces,
6. Divorce Proceedings under the Matrimonial Causes Act
7. Child law- paternity, custody, adoption, fosterage and maintenance
Mode of delivery
2 hour Lecture
I hour Tutorial
Children Act 1998
Matrimonial Causes Act 1971
Marriage Ordinance 1884
W. Offei, (2014). Family Law and Practice in Ghana. Accra
COURSE CONVENOR/LECTURER: DR ERNEST OWUSU-DAPAA