Ep 7 – Contracts


Barristers Julian Burnside QC and Fiona McLeod SC explain how contracts work, and the importance of the Amadio case in changing the way courts intervene into contracts.


Lizzie O’Shea introduces the idea that contracts must have three parts, an offer, an acceptance and the consideration. She reveals that contracts are everywhere in our modern life, from a twitter account to home loans.

Julian Burnside QC explains what the three elements of a contract are, and how contract can be verbal or written and can also have implied terms. He uses buying an ice-cream as an example, where the implied terms might be that the ice-cream is edible, and not poisonous. He explains the idea of “unconscionable” and how the Amadio case signalled courts were willing to interfere in a contract, if it was unconscionable.

Fiona McLeod SC talks about why contracts are written down and we have them because they provide clarity and proof of a sale. She points out the importance of the Amadio case and how it changed the way courts approached contracts, how this is an example of law changing over time.

Lizzie O’Shea wraps up by reminding us that while in the modern world contracts are everywhere, and often we have almost no bargaining power to change the terms, that the courts are aware of this and are adapting.

Curriculum Areas

Years 11/12 Legal Studies
Unit 1: Guilt and liability, Area of Study 3, Civil liability.

Preliminary course: Part I: The legal system, 3. Classification of law.

Core area of study: Introduction to civil obligations, What constitutes an enforceable agreement?

Useful links