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Please chose ONE (1) of the following cases and prepare an analysis:

  • Ermogenous v Greek Orthodox Community of SA Inc (2002) 209 CLR 35.
  • Australian Woollen Mills Pty Ltd v The Commonwealth (1954) 92 CLR 424.
  • Walton Stores (Interstate) Ltd v Maher [1988] HCA 7.
  • Codelfa Construction Pty Ltd v State Rail Authority of NSW [1982] HCA 24.

In preparing the report, please ensure that you refer to the Prescribed Textbook and the Recommended Reading and Resources listed in the Course Outline.

Students are being asked to undertake this assessment task to encourage the development of a range of skills as indicated by the assessment criteria. The assessment criteria are as follows:

  • Clear and concise statement of the relevant facts and legal issue(s) in the case
  • Clear and concise expression of own ideas about the case using appropriate legal language
  • Careful organisation so that ideas develop logically through the analysis
  • Thoughtful analysis of the judgement(s)
  • Adherence to principles of academic honesty with regard to the preparation and submission of assessments.
  • Management of own workload to meet deadlines (self-assessment)
Background of the case

The abovementioned case is an iconic judgement in the area of contract law of Australia as it indicates what an ‘Offer’ is and when it becomes a binding contract. An offer made by one party to conduct a certain activity or do something in association with another act that needs to be taken care of by another party is what an Offer is. When an individual or a party agrees upon such kind of proposal made by the first party, then upon being accepted, the contract comes into existence after a certain other things are decided as well between the parties such as an essential aspect like consideration, if decided, then, in such a case, it is said to be an act of conducting a contract. Contracts can be verbal or oral as well as written, even expressed or implied as well (Stewart et al., 2019).

In the abovementioned case, the focus was upon what an ‘Offer’ is and the manner in which a contract becomes a binding document in the legal aspects. The government in order to push the industry of wool towards growth, announced a scheme where the government would be offering subsidy for the firms or the manufacturers who were purchasing wool so as to manufacture local garments. This enticed many local garment manufacturers in Australia and motivated them to use wool in local manufacturing. After the World War II was over, the government wished to kick start the wool industry or to be specific cloth industry in Australia and provide better outputs. This is the reason why, the government in order to push the industry, came up with a scheme to provide subsidy to the manufacturers who obeyed and worked with wool locally.

AWM or the Australian Woollen Mills was one of those manufacturers in order to obtain benefit from the provision or the scheme started by the government, purchased a lot of stock so as to gain the maximum benefit from the scheme. The plaintiff in hope to earn huge benefit just in the manner they had earned before in small amounts earlier started dealing in wool much more often. The government after two years of incorporating the scheme withdrew it and left many manufacturers hanging. Although that was not the intention behind on part of the government, but subsidy could not be provided further, hence, the scheme was stopped by the government (Giancaspro, 2020).

The issue at hand

To this, the plaintiff or the AWM or the Australian Woollen Mills tried to claim the subsidy and when they were unable to since the scheme was stopped by the government, they sued the government for the breach of contract, since according to them, they had a contract with the government to pay the subsidy. There were no conditions regarding the contract were fulfilled, no elements were there yet the manufacturers believed upon them having a contract between them. In this case, the government had no such obligation to provide the provision of subsidy to the manufacturers as it was not bound to this facility, yet the parties insisted upon accepting it as a contract, while it was not. The scheme was provided to motivate manufacturers to deal in that particular industry, rather than them being bound to the government for the benefits (High Court of Australia, 2020).

Governments have throughout the generations and years have provided benefits to certain industries which they wish to encourage. This never was meant to make things different for a particular industry for ever. The government was not legally bound in any manner to provide subsidy to the manufacturers for a long time. Since there was no legal relation between the parties, it became an easy aspect to figure out if the parties were entitled towards each other in any manner.

In this case, that was filed against the government in the court, it was found by the court that there was no fulfilment of most of the elements of a contract in this case, hence, it cannot be called a contract where both the parties agreed to fulfil their part. The claim filed by the plaintiff in this case, failed since there was no clear evidence of a contractual relation being built between the parties. There was no consideration that was decided upon between the parties and the wool that was bought by the plaintiff in this case was just a precedent condition on part of plaintiff to become an eligible candidate for applying for subsidy from the government. It was also held in the court that the government had no such intention to conduct a contract and also did not have any kind of intention towards establishing legal relationships amongst each other (French, 2019).  

The facts of the case include; The Commonwealth Government on June 1946 announced a scheme where it declared that it would pay subsidy to those manufacturers who had been purchasing as well as had purchased wool for the local manufacturing of clothes after the date, 30th June 1946. The plaintiff in this case to earn benefit had purchased some wool within the time period of the years, 1946-1948. For a while, the plaintiff also received some subsidy payments as well. But, when the government had revoked its scheme of providing the subsidy as the government deemed fit, here, and the plaintiff started getting troubles and later sued the government for stopping the subsidy payments. The manufacturer claimed that there were payments due on part of the government. To this, the judge held that since there was no contract made, the government or the defendant in this case had no obligation to pay the plaintiff any amount as there was no contract amongst them in the first place (Hayne, 2017).

Court's ruling on the case

On the off chance that the Commonwealth Government vows to pay assignments to a certain class of creators, can such makers keep up the guarantee on the ground that the Crown morally shielded of the Commonwealth has completely bound itself to pay them (Hartford Davis, 2019).  In the case of, Australian Woolen Mills Pty. Ltd. v. The Commonwealth the full High Court, including Dixon C.J., Williams, Webb, Fullagar furthermore, Kitto H., held in a joint judgment that there was no authentic duty upon the Crown to pay such endowments. The genuine components of the case are unfathomably included. With the culmination of the Second World War the Commonwealth Government gave up its capacity of essential getting of fleece and permitted the resumption of free closeout deals. At any rate it proceeded with the control of costs on material compelled during the war. Understanding that the free proposition of fleece would pass on outside purchasers to Australia against whom the region material makers would not have the choice to fight, due to the pegged costs on surface, the Commonwealth Government taught them by pamphlets and letters that it would pay sponsorships on fleece bought for private purposes. To get prepared for parcel of sponsorships the creators expected to submit to managerial control on the extent of fleece bought. This measure was pivotal to maintain a strategic distance from over the top social affair. The Government likewise enunciated that it held the choice to survey and fluctuate the scheme as per the requirement (Law Summaries, 2020).

The separation between such announcements from one point of view moreover, ensures making confining legal responsibilities on the other is very simple. Most likely if an individual made an offer mentioning the execution of some particular show, such execution would aggregate to an affirmation of the offer and make a  coupling legal duty regarding the offeror. However, just one out of each odd declaration is normal to make such duties. It may be an unimportant superfluous assurance or an arrogant remark. To show that the offeror intended to tie itself by his assurance it must be shown that the offer was, for instance, to start the offeree to act in the particular way and in this way there must be a request in the offer, conveyed or proposed, to play out the act. The Full Court in the present case following this reasoning communicated that a test "to choose if an understanding has been made or not is to ask whether there has been a sales by the alleged promisor that the promisee will do the follow up on which the last depends. Such a requesting may, clearly, be imparted or implied." The closeness of a requesting expect similarly the need that the offeree ought to catch up on such sales, and not simply play out a showing which would concur with the offer. Whether the presentation of the exhibit with no data on the sales is satisfactory to contain a definitive responsibility has offered rise to intriguing disputes. However, as the pros stand now it is essential that the offeree ought to catch up on the requesting (Jade, 2020).

Analysis of the court’s decision

Imposed by the key of consideration, the Full Court in the current case considered this to be a very basic portion to pick if honestly limiting relationship was existent conveying that "in instances of this class it is key, all together that a comprehension might be set up, that it ought to be made to show up that the announcement or explanation which is depended upon as an affirmation was really offered as thought for the doing of the show, and that the presentation was truly done considering a potential confirmation natural in the statement or attestation. Between the announcement or statement, which is advanced as an offer arranged for confirmation by the doing of a display, and the indicating which is advanced as the executed thought for the supposed confirmation, there must remain alive, in a manner of speaking, the relationship of a quid pro quo (E Resources, 2020).

For better view of the issues related with the present case it must be in like way referenced that it isn't material that the offeree has as of late bound himself to play out a practically identical appearing under a comprehension with an untouchable, if the mentioning of the offerer can be viewed as palatable further motion for him to do so. In such cases it is expected that the show dependent on the signal methods adequate thought to make the offerer in peril on his confirmation. Considering the genuine elements of the current case in the light of the checks moved no vulnerability all the prerequisites to make a coupling contract have been fulfilled. There was clearly an offer to pay the favours. Gotten together with the offer was a mentioning to purchase wool at costs that, at whatever point changed in accordance with, would put the producers in budgetary troubles. The refusal by creators to buy fleece would cause genuine agitating impacts in the surface display. These conditions make it obviously certain that dependence was resolved to the guarantee made by the Commonwealth Government. The desire of such budgetary impedances and the attestation of a predictable easily of surface sums along these lines to  agreeable thought. It was an actuation made to the makers to go into contracts with fleece merchants. Regardless the Full Court acquitted the development on the ground "that the Commonwealth professionals never expected for a resulting that they expected to make an offer arranged for instigating an understanding binding the Crown " (Australian Contract Law, 2020).

Importance of consideration

Then another standard was made. The Crown was to be held dedicated in understandings of business character just, as every single other confirmation would chain its future authority actions. What demonstrated a business contract was never clarified, and the rule was genuinely criticised. Again conditions risen where the desire for net disrespect constrained the Courts to see guarantees of non-business character made by the  Crown. Hence, this offered move to the mentality which considered the To be as dedicated in regardless of understandings from if in getting the Crown didn't agree to legal requirements, or a subsequent objectives was passed connecting with the Crown to repudiate the contract. As, regardless, conditions rose where the emollition of something other than what's expected clear legally limiting obligations on the Crown would make administrative or political difficulties, another system negativing such duty has been found. Already Denning J. in Robertson v. Pastor of Pensions (while endeavouring to clarify the bona fide explanations behind Rowlatt J.s' choice in it has seen limiting guarantees making conclusive duties concerning the Crown and minor clarifications of want by the Executive. The further movement of this see has been sufficiently proceeded in the current development. Without considering the rule issues concerning Crown duty, yet ceaselessly reviewing that one of the parties to the supposed comprehension was the Crown, the obligations of the Commonwealth Government were regarded with the help of the reasonable and guiltless looking principles of the law identifying with offer and certification. Thus while the practical improvement of the cutting edge law required the annihilation of old-fashioned fictions, new phony genuine considerations have been made giving up progress to comfort (Austlii, 2020).

Austlii, 2020. Case Notes. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 22 May 2020].

Australian Contract Law, 2020. Australian Woollen Mills Pty Ltd v The Commonwealth. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 22 May 2020].

E Resources, 2020. Australian Woollen Mills Pty Ltd v The Commonwealth (1954) 92 CLR 424. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 09 June 2020].

French, R., 2019. Federalism and the constitution-an update. Australasian Parliamentary Review, 34(1), p.6.

Giancaspro, M., 2020. The Consideration Myth about Smart Contracts. ANU Journal of Law and Technology, 1(1), pp.35-44.

Hartford Davis, S.H., 2019. The legal personality of the Commonwealth of Australia. Federal Law Review, 47(1), pp.3-30.

Hayne, K.M., 2017. Government contracts and public law. Melborne University Law Review, 41, p.155.

High Court of Australia, 2020. Australian Woollen Mills Pty Ltd v The Commonwealth (1954) 92 CLR 424. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 22 May 2020].

Jade, 2020. [1954] HCA 20; 92 CLR 424; [1954] ALR 453. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 22 May 2020].

Law Summaries, 2020. Australian Woollen Mills v The Commonwealth (1954) 92 CLR 424. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 22 May 2020].

Stewart, A., Swain, W. & Fairweather, K., 2019. Contract law: principles and context. Cambridge University Press.

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