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Contract | Formation

Acceptance: Electronic

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Acceptance: Electronic

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  • postal rule / overcome uncertainty in timing / parties contracting at distance by post
  • today electronic / same issues / when acceptance effective?


  • instant electronic acceptance (telex / fax / online keystrokes) / effective on communication
  • telex / contract made where acceptance received / if recipient machine problem still bound (Entores v Miles Far East Corp. [1955])


  • instant electronic acceptance / effective when reasonable to expect recipient to have read
  • analogy / withdrawal / office hours (The Brimnes [1975])
  • not instantaneous (email / voicemail) / debatable: when recipient reads/ listens or when sender reasonably expect acceptance communicated
  • Wilberforce: No universal rule can cover all such cases: they must be resolved by reference to the intentions of the parties, by sound business practice and in some cases by a judgment where the risks should lie ... (Brinkibon Ltd v Stahag Stahl GmbH [1983] )
bits of law
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