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Infants' Contracts: Law and Policy in the 18th and 19th Centuries

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Infants' Contracts : Law and Policy in the 18th and 19th Centuries. / Austen-Baker, Richard; Hunter, Kate.

In: Journal of Contract Law, Vol. 36, No. 4, 2020, p. 1-24.

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@article{8aabaf260dae4c75914d022f97d7388b,
title = "Infants' Contracts: Law and Policy in the 18th and 19th Centuries",
abstract = "Under English law, prior to 1970 young people up to the age of 21 lacked the capacity to make binding contracts, subject to certain exceptions. The report of the Latey Committee on the Age of Majority, which had recommended a reduction to age 18, was one-sided and, so far as capacity to make contracts was concerned, offered scant evidence as to the motivations of the existing law. The Committee heard evidence from the Church asserting, with no evidence, that such rules were intended to control young people and were there to protect the interests of others. This article argues, especially from analysis of the relevant case law during the 18th and 19th centuries - the principle period of development of English jurisprudence on minors' contracts - that the law's motivation had in reality been to protect infants from themselves and from adults who sought to prey on their naivety and impulsiveness.",
keywords = "law, legal history, contracts, infants, minors",
author = "Richard Austen-Baker and Kate Hunter",
year = "2020",
language = "English",
volume = "36",
pages = "1--24",
journal = "Journal of Contract Law",
issn = "1030-7230",
number = "4",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Infants' Contracts

T2 - Law and Policy in the 18th and 19th Centuries

AU - Austen-Baker, Richard

AU - Hunter, Kate

PY - 2020

Y1 - 2020

N2 - Under English law, prior to 1970 young people up to the age of 21 lacked the capacity to make binding contracts, subject to certain exceptions. The report of the Latey Committee on the Age of Majority, which had recommended a reduction to age 18, was one-sided and, so far as capacity to make contracts was concerned, offered scant evidence as to the motivations of the existing law. The Committee heard evidence from the Church asserting, with no evidence, that such rules were intended to control young people and were there to protect the interests of others. This article argues, especially from analysis of the relevant case law during the 18th and 19th centuries - the principle period of development of English jurisprudence on minors' contracts - that the law's motivation had in reality been to protect infants from themselves and from adults who sought to prey on their naivety and impulsiveness.

AB - Under English law, prior to 1970 young people up to the age of 21 lacked the capacity to make binding contracts, subject to certain exceptions. The report of the Latey Committee on the Age of Majority, which had recommended a reduction to age 18, was one-sided and, so far as capacity to make contracts was concerned, offered scant evidence as to the motivations of the existing law. The Committee heard evidence from the Church asserting, with no evidence, that such rules were intended to control young people and were there to protect the interests of others. This article argues, especially from analysis of the relevant case law during the 18th and 19th centuries - the principle period of development of English jurisprudence on minors' contracts - that the law's motivation had in reality been to protect infants from themselves and from adults who sought to prey on their naivety and impulsiveness.

KW - law

KW - legal history

KW - contracts

KW - infants

KW - minors

M3 - Journal article

VL - 36

SP - 1

EP - 24

JO - Journal of Contract Law

JF - Journal of Contract Law

SN - 1030-7230

IS - 4

ER -