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"The transmission of such a price-list does not amount to an offer to supply an unlimited quantity of the wine described at the price named, so that as soon as an order is given there is a binding contract to supply that quantity. If it were so, the merchant might find himself involved in any number of contractual obligations to supply wine of a particular description which he would be quite unable to carry out, his stock of wine of that description being necessarily limited. I entertain, I confess, a very clear opinion that the Solicitor-General was quite right in arguing the case on the assumption that no sales were made in this country." Lord Herschell Just over one hundred years ago the above ratio-decendi was given in what was at the time a case concerned with alleged back taxes owed by Grainger & Son. Grainger & Son henceforth referred to as G&S were British wine merchants who as a side venture passed on the price lists of a French wine producer to their customers. G&S received a commission on any orders placed with said producer and paid tax on this commission. Gough claimed that tax was payable on the whole value of these sales not just the commission element. Monsieur Roederer henceforth Mr R was a wine producer located in France. He decided whether to accept orders the orders gathered by G&S or not. The reason for this being that the wine was shipped out ahead of any payment being received and Mr R wanted to vett his customers credit worthiness. The wine was shipped directly to the customer in the UK from France. Most customers settled their accounts directly with Mr R. A few customers instead made payment to G&S who would pass on to Mr R any amounts in excess of the commission they happened to be owed. In summary the flows of events are: Mr R, located in France, sends price list to G&S in Britain G&S distribute price list Customer places, for want a better word, an order with G&S for wine produced by Mr R G&S forward order to Mr R Mr R dispatches wine to customer Mr R dispatches bill for said customers wine to G&S for onwards transmission G&S forward bill to customer Customer sends payment to Mr R "“ occasionally made to G&S who forward this to Mr R Mr R sends receipt to customer G&S pay tax on commission received G&S maintained that they entered no contracts regarding Mr R's wine. Gough held the converse view that G&S entered contracts themselves and thus sold Mr R's wine. Our starting point must be to define what a contract under English law is. The Jurists Bentham and Austin have laid down that the "two main essentials of a contract are these: first, a signification by the promising party of his intention to do the acts or to observe the forbearances which he promises to do or to observe. Secondly, a signification by the promise that he expects the promising party will fulfil the proffered promise." More precisely to form a contract under English law the following elements are required i a valid offer has been proffered by the first party to another party or parties ii the offer has been accepted unchanged by the second party or parties and this has been communicated to the offerer . iii there is an intention by all parties to create legal relations when they entered into the contract and the parties have the capacity to contract iv the promises made within the contract are for valuable executive consideration and v the terms of the contract are certain. Did Mr R make an offer through the medium of his price list. Looking in Mozley and Whiteley"s Law dictionary an offer is "An expression of readiness to do something e.g. to purchase or sell". Mr R is saying that he is willing to sell wine. Based on this definition initial opinion would say that the price list does constitute an offer. Continuing with this line of thought G&S acted in an agency capacity for Mr R making an offer to the customers they approached and receiving the acceptance of any order. If the customers accepted G&S's offer made via the medium of the price list then Mr R merely shipped directly from France. The bills for said wine were sent to G&S who would then forward them on to the British customer. These points all suggest that the sale was made in the UK by G&S. The listing of Mr R, in the Post Office London Directory, as trading from G&S's establishment further hints at an agency type arrangement. Much of the argument supporting the invitation to treat viewpoint is by drawing analogies with cases involving auctions such as Payne v. Cave 1789 and Harris v. Nickerson 1873 in which both concluded that bidders make an offer which the auctioneer is free to accept or not. The bidder's offer being retractable until accepted by the auctioneer . The pricelist could be seen as statement of the minimum price at which Mr R would bewilling to sell wine drawing analogies with Harvey v Facey 1893. Mr R's supply of wine in any year is finite and demand could outstrip supply leaving an impossible back log of orders all demanding specific performance. Mr R could possibly, though extremely doubtfully, claim the defence of frustration as the things contracted for no longer exist. Add to this Mr R's option to reject any order makes it appear that his price list is an invitation to treat as otherwise it would be an offer that is subject to revocation without notice. Acceptance of an offer has to be communicated. At the time of this case, 1896, the only readily available methods of communication for distant parties were the postal system or telegram. The postal rule would apply to any customers acceptance sent via these mediums and hence any revocation of the offer would be impossible The final item to consider is the peculiar concept of consideration to be found in the English legal system and those derived from it The 1677 Statute of Frauds made consideration vital in any contracts not made under seal. G&S received no consideration for the wine therefore they could not be a party to the contract. [Transfer of title occurred only between Mr R and the customer]. That occasionally the payments for the wine were made to G&S instead of directly to Mr R was held to be equivalent to Mr R, for the sole convenience of his customers, operating a British bank account to receive payments. Graiger v. Gough was one of the major cases in the creation of the principle of invitation to treat. In order to explore this principle more fully the case will be re-examined as it occurred today. Once again the starting point is was the price list an offer or merely a willingness to deal. There are a number of variants on an invitation to treat these are: pre-contractional negotiations , shop displays and finally advertisements. G&S's supply of the price list to potential customers is a form of direct marketing and falls under the last of these three categories. To be classed as a unilateral offer the price list would have to show some intention to be bound by pro-offering a tangible benefit, in excess of sales puff, that could be accepted by performance rather than communication . Is there any similarity to Bowerman v. ABTA 1995 or Carhill v. Carbolic Smokeball Company 1892. If the answer to this is a negative then the next step is to determine where the act of offer & acceptance occurs. In a face to face situation such as a shop the customer offers to buy goods by presenting them at the till and the shop either accepts or rejects this offer to buy. The goods on the shelves are merely invitations to treat in keeping with the findings of Fisher v. Bell and Pharmaceutical Society of GB v. Boots Cash Chemists. The views of this in America and the European Community are slightly different. Although it seems odd that a shop would not want to sell its stock the English legal system is designed to achieve consistency even if it has to distort the persons actual intent. This produces oddities such as Partridge v. Crittenden 1968 where a newspaper advert to sell wild birds was found to be an invitation to treat not an offer to sell so the defendant escaped prosecution under the Protection of Birds Act 1954 . A key point in the original Graniger v. Gough was where was the contract made. Today the location of the act of contracting can be different depending on the mode of acceptance. The postal rule puts acceptance at the place of posting. Where both parties use a telex or nowadays facsimile machine the Court of Appeal decided in the case of Entores Ltd v. Miles Far East Corporation 1955 that the contract was entered into when and where the acceptance was received. Lord Denning confirmed, obiter" that the same principles also apply to acceptances by telephone. Answering machines and voice mail are assumed to at maximum delay receipt of the acceptance till the next working day rather than grant them an agent status capable of entering contracts. Faulty hardware, lack of link & paper or sloppy business practice, such as not checking the fax for days, does not stop or delay the acceptance of an offer. Public holidays and weekends however do delay acceptance till the next working day. E-mail contrary to popular belief is not always an instant form of communication. An e-mail may pass through a number of third parties networks & servers and could quite possibly be considerably delayed. Also the recipient has to actively retrieve their e-mail from their service providers or works mail server. The Uniform Laws on International Sales Act 1967 sets out that the acceptance of an offer becomes effective at the moment the indication of assent reaches the offeror . But is the offer accepted in the country of the readers computer or where the email server is hosted? If a person picked up the contents of their phones answer machine in a country different to that which said machine was in, where was the contract made. Within closed networks or Electronic Data Interchange systems mail delivery is more reliable and it may be possible to tag the e-mails so they generate a receipt message upon reaching their destination and upon being read. The EDI Trading Partner Agreements will also outline when acceptance takes place and which countries laws apply. If Mr R had a website that could receive customer orders would it be an invitation to treat or an electronic contracting agent ? A non-interactive site just listing his wines would most certainly be classed as an advert. This question is under consideration by may of the worlds legal minds. Unfortunately the Argos £2.99 television and recent Kodak £100 digital camera incident never made it to court so there is no precedent. The Kodak site took the customers order and issued an order confirmation which the customer was asked to retain for warranty service. Consumers would believe that having placed their order and given their credit card details and been told that the £100 will be charged to their card along with receiving an acknowledgement ,that their purchase has been made. This "clickwrap contract" is what the law calls a "contract of adhesion" -- a contract you didn"t really bargain over in any way, but which was presented as more of a take-it-or-leave-it offer . Kodak made such a bad bargain that everyone wanted to take it The only case on web based retail sales so far is American where the court stated "such an automated, ministerial act cannot constitute an acceptance" which does little to resolve the issue. As international web based commerce increases, instances similar to Gough v. Granger will become more common. Will the concept of invitation to treat expand outside of legal systems based around Anglo-American common law bringing some consistency to the dynamics of offer & acceptance or will the EU idea of its an offer until the stock runs out be adopted.
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"The transmission of such a price-list does not amount to an offer to supply an unlimited quantity of the wine described at the price named, so that as soon as an order is given there is a binding contract to supply that quantity. If it were so, the merchant might find himself involved in any number of contractual obligations to supply wine of a particular description which he would be quite unable to carry out, his stock of wine of that description being necessarily limited. I entertain, I confess, a very clear opinion that the Solicitor-General was quite right in...
bad bargain that everyone wanted to take it

The only case on web based retail sales so far is American where the court stated "such an automated, ministerial act cannot constitute an acceptance" which does little to resolve the issue.

As international web based commerce increases, instances similar to Gough v. Granger will become more common. Will the concept of invitation to treat expand outside of legal systems based around Anglo-American common law bringing some consistency to the dynamics of offer & acceptance or will the EU idea of its an offer until the stock runs out be adopted.

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When discussing the problems of... When discussing the problems of distinguishing between law and morality, one must address some fundamental questions. What is the purpose of the law relating to prostitution? And what is the relationship between law and the moral issues in the U.K, which is a secular society and where individuals are allowed to hold relative rather than absolute values? Some offences do not carry any moral implications; i.e. driving offences, but the issue of prostitution is heavily loaded with moral and social issues, which is reflected in the relevant law. One must also consider weather the law has any place in the propagation of moral values in our society. The Wolfden report says that it does not. The problem with distinguishing between law and morality in this area is that the two are linked. Prostitution is illegal because amongst other reasons it affronts the relative values of some people in society. If we firstly discuss the relevant law relating to prostitution, we will see that it serves multiple purposes, one of which is the upholding of moral values. The other purposes it serves are primarily the protection of women and young girls from exploitation and the protection of the public, both from acts deemed to be morally offensive and from the nuisance factor of prostitution. The law is a combination of common law offences and statute namely the Sexual Offences Act 1956, and other peripheral legislation such as the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 and the Sexual Offences Conspiracy and Incitement Act 1996. There is no offence of prostitution as such, but a woman, upon two cautions for loitering and soliciting, can be warned as a "common prostitute". Then charges of loitering and soliciting may be brought. This law is clearly in place to reflect societies view that what the woman is doing is morally wrong and repugnant to decent members of society. Even though there may not be a victim as such the law seeks to criminalise this activity, deemed unacceptable. Some may argue that young girls involved in prostitution are themselves victims and should not be treated in this way, rather they should be helped to get "off the game". This is the view of the charity Barnardos who, in their report "who"s daughter next?" argue that young women involved in prostitution are the victims of crime and should be protected by the law. Their view is embodied in laws such as S. 281 of the 1956 Act which makes it an offence for an adult, usually a male, to cause or encourage the prostitution of a girl under the age of sixteen. In this legislation the law is demonstrating its protective function. This is where the law is not concerned with enforcing morality but protecting vulnerable members of society from an activity which is immoral and extremely harmful. This is one of the problems of distinguishing between law and morality in that the law serves many purposes. It seeks to protect women from exploitation but also to criminalise them in order to enforce morality. Barnardos would argue that if the latter function were removed from the law altogether then it would be more effective in the execution of the former. The debate on law and morality is best examined in light of academics such as Patrick Devlin and H.L.A Hart. These two writers discuss two differing views on this subject. Devlin argues that society can not function without morals and thus a crucial function of the law is to uphold morals for the sake of society. He also argues that the state has an interest in the law, over and above that of the victim. Hart on the other hand reasons that the purpose of the law is not enforcing moral values but only the protection of the victim of crime. With respect to prostitution, there is an argument that if both parties to the transaction are willing and of age, and it is carried out in private i.e. in a brothel, then the law has no concern with it. The law should only be concerned where there is a victim. Maybe the girl is acting under some kind of duress or the street prostitution is offensive to local residents. In these cases there is a victim who deserves the protection of the law, but in a controlled and regulated environment there is no reason for the law to uphold the values of others who are not affected by the activity. This follows from Hart"s argument. If one reads the Report of the Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution, it states that "it is not"¦.the function of the law to intervene in the private lives of citizens, or to seek to enforce any particular pattern of behaviour. This reasoning leads to the main conclusion of the report that homosexual behaviour in private should no longer be a criminal offence. If this reasoning were extended to prostitution there is a strong argument for it to legal in strict circumstances. This would not extend to street prostitutes because this is clearly offensive and injurious to the community in the vicinity. Devlin would argue that to legalise such an activity is morally wrong. In the essay "The enforcement of morals" he states that "no one can talk sensibly of public and private morality"¦.morality is a sphere in which there is a public interest"¦". One must distinguish from the public interest and protecting the public from harm. Devlin argues that it is in the public interest to enforce morality through law because public morals would be corrupted by the immoral behaviour of others. Is it the case that law-abiding women would be drawn into the world of prostitution because they see other women soliciting? It is known that some women enter prostitution through choice but that many others are coerced into or stumble into it through unfortunate circumstances. The problem in distinguishing law from morality is that what is immoral is often sinful in Christian theology and thus offensive to those who subscribe to this theology. In the western legal tradition the predominant religion is Christianity and thus ideas of what is immoral and what is acceptable are derived from the bible. In this respect the law of England and Wales does, to a lesser extent than previously, embody these values. For example, the outlawing of abortion until 1967 and the prohibition of homosexuality until 1967 embody teachings found in the bible. If religion is where society gains its understanding of what is morally acceptable and the law embodies this then this is a proposition which does not sit conformably with a society, as we have today in Britain, where values that people hold are not to be enforced onto others. It is widely known that the law on prostitution is not always strictly enforced by the police. Devlin comments that laws which appear to be illogical or arbitrary, after the wave of moral indignation which placed them on the statute book subsides, do not command the respect of the public. It is vital that those who are governed by the law respect it and there is a case to say that if the enforcers of the law are not enforcing, this will lead to a lack of respect for the law. In a newspaper article written by Natasha Narayan, the Lothian and Borders Police admitted they turned a blind eye to prostitution as long as it went on behind closed doors. This approach neither enforces morality nor protects victims of crime. This experiment in Edinburgh is being monitored by other cities such as London and in her articled she refers to it as a test case for the effective decriminalisation of prostitution. It is true that in keeping prostitution behind closed doors in this way has advantages. It saves police time in dealing with street prostitutes and kerb-crawlers, provides a safer environment for the girls to work in etc. Most importantly it takes the problem off the street and out of the view of local residents who are often the most vocal in their opposition, not least because of the immorality of what is going on outside their front doors. So we may have a situation where laws which are there to enforce morality are being broken in order that those who find prostitution immoral do not see what is happening. This would not be a satisfactory situation. In her article Miss Narayan also tells that some local residents are launching legal challenges to the establishment of licensed "saunas" in their neighbourhoods. This is for no other purpose that that these people, who would not be affected by the business of prostitutes, are objecting because of the thought of what is going on. Is the purpose of the law to enforce private morality for the sake of conformity? This was the situation with the law on homosexual offences. It is clear that many people find the act of prostitution morally repulsive and others in society regard it as a business transaction. The problem with the involvement of the law in such issues is that it governs all and if it is seen to be for no other purpose than the enforcement of morality and the support of the "hecklers veto" then this undermines the whole rule of law.   

When discussing the problems of distinguishing between law and morality, one must address some fundamental questions. What is the purpose of the law relating to prostitution? And what is the relationship between law and the moral issues in the U.K, which is a secular society and where individuals are...

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This question can be easily answered...This question can be easily answered with a resounding "no". No gun background check, weapon ban, or gun buyback will ever prevent weapons from getting into the hands of criminals. Even with the hundreds if not thousands of gun laws already on the books, gun crime is still prevalent in our society. Why? Simple, all you have to do is look at our lax laws regarding punishment for criminals. Prison should be hard work, not sitting in a cell working out and eating well. Criminals should be forced to work for their food and board. If we continue to allow criminals to sit back, relax, and wait for probation, whom are we really protecting? Legally owned guns account for two percent 2% of all gun crimes. This should show you as it shows me that gun laws can only prevent two-percent of all gun crimes in the first place. Is a two-percent decrease worth the loss of our freedoms? This tells me that instead of trying to create new laws, we should try and enforce the hundreds if not thousands we already have. This also leads to what I would like to focus on- pointless gun laws. As I pointed out earlier, we already have too many gun laws and to try and add more restrictions will not reduce crime. Take the following proposal to the House Committee of Ways and Means. Military Sniper Weapon Regulation Act of 1999 Military Sniper Weapon Regulation Act of 1999 Introduced in the House HR 2127 IH 106th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 2127 To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to regulate certain 50 caliber sniper weapons in the same manner as machine guns and other firearms. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES June 10, 1999 Mr. BLAGOJEVICH for himself, Mr. WAXMAN, and Ms. NORTON introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means A BILL To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to regulate certain 50 caliber sniper weapons in the same manner as machine guns and other firearms. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the `Military Sniper Weapon Regulation Act of 1999". SEC. 2. FINDINGS. The Congress finds that-- 1 certain firearms originally designed and built for use as long-range 50 caliber military sniper weapons are increasingly sold in the domestic civilian market; What relevance does this have to anything? Almost all military gear and equipment is available to civilians. De-milled Cobra Attack Helicopters have been purchased and are currently in use by civilians. In the last ten years we have sold our F-16 Falcon fighters to Israel, licensed the F-15 Eagle to Mitsubishi for manufacture in Japan, and gave our Abrams main battle tank to Britain. This tells me that liberals think we can trust other countries, but not our own people. Maybe because "our people" is all of the illegal immigrants that should be kicked out but stay as long as they vote liberal. 2 the intended use of these long-range firearms, and an increasing number of models derived directly from them, is the taking of human life and the destruction of materiel, including armored vehicles and such components of the national critical infrastructure as radars and microwave transmission devices; First off, there is no record anywhere of anyone committing a crime with a 50-caliber rifle. Why? The reasons are endless! First, the cheapest 50-caliber rifle available is the AR-50. This "cheap" weapon rings in at $3,300. The most popular 50-caliber rifle, the Barret M-82A1, costs $7,300! Which criminal is going to spend this much to rob a liquor store or a bank? Second 50-caliber weapons are big. They weigh a lot and kick harder then a 10-gauge shotgun. The only effective way to fire them is from the prone laying on your stomach. Third, to fire a weapon with this kind of kick in an accurate manner, you must be well trained. Not many criminals would deal with 50-calibers when they'd have better luck pulling off their robbery with a butter knife. According to these liberals on Ways and Means, the 50-caliber can be used to take out armored vehicles. Do they consider Humvees to be armored? The only armored vehicle a 50-caliber could penetrate is a lightly armored limousine. Now I see what they mean by national security. They consider themselves to be national security. A 50-caliber BMG rifle cannot penetrate U.S. military armored vehicles. A Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle has two inches of armor. Yet, even that s enough to stop projectiles up to 30mm, including Light Rockets. The Abrams Main Battle Tank has fourteen inches of armor. That will stop everything except 100mm+ SABOT rounds. I won't even talk about the stupidity of shooting at microwaves and radar dishes but wouldn't a sledge hammer work just as well if not better? Besides who would shoot at radar towers- Middle Eastern terrorists? 3 these firearms are neither designed nor used in any significant number for legitimate sporting or hunting purposes and are clearly distinguishable from rifles intended for sporting and hunting use; Wrong"¦there are multiple 50-caliber shooting clubs and 50-caliber rifles are not clearly distinguishable from rifles intended for sporting or hunting use. If they are designed for killing people as these liberals state. What does that mean the Remington 700 was designed for? That is the hunting rifle that the Army M-24 Sniper Rifle and the Marines M-40 Sniper rifle are based on. 4 extraordinarily destructive ammunition for these weapons, including armor-piercing and armor-piercing incendiary ammunition, is freely sold in interstate commerce; and Armour piercing ammo is available for all types of weapons including pistols. It is usually not meant for piercing armor such as tanks due to the fact that tanks armor is too thick. It is meant for piercing body armor. Armor piercing means that the point of the round is sharp and hard. Modern body armor such as KM2 with rifle and stab plates would stop Armor Piercing AP rounds as well as normal rounds. Normal police forces still use level II Kevlar without stab plates. This is called soft body armor. 5 the virtually unrestricted availability of these firearms and ammunition, given the uses intended in their design and manufacture, present a serious and substantial threat to the national security. The use intended of any weapon depends on who's using it. While a Marine Corp or Army sniper may use it for killing the enemy and protecting national security, I may use it for sport and the badass bark that the rifle screams when you squeeze the trigger. SEC. 3. COVERAGE OF 50 CALIBER SNIPER WEAPONS UNDER NATIONAL FIREARMS ACT. a IN GENERAL- Subsection a of section 5845 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 defining firearm is amended by striking `6 a machine gun; 7 any silencer as defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code; and 8 a destructive device." and inserting `6 a 50 caliber sniper weapon; 7 a machine gun; 8 any silencer as defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code; and 9 a destructive device." b 50 CALIBER SNIPER WEAPON- 1 IN GENERAL- Section 5845 of such Code is amended by redesignating subsections d through m as subsections e through n, respectively, and by inserting after subsection c the following new subsection: `d 50 CALIBER SNIPER WEAPON- The term `50 caliber sniper weapon" means a rifle capable of firing a center-fire cartridge in 50 caliber, .50 BMG caliber, any other variant of 50 caliber, or any metric equivalent of such calibers." 2 MODIFICATION TO DEFINITION OF RIFLE- Subsection c of section 5845 of such Code is amended by inserting `or from a bipod or other support" after `shoulder". c EFFECTIVE DATE- The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act. In conclusion, it must be pointed out that gun control doesn't work. We have more gun laws now than ever before yet our crime rate is at an all time high. Instead of trying to control weapons, safety and respect for weapons should be taught. Why should everyone lose their rights and privileges because a select few abuse them?   

This question can be easily answered with a resounding "no". No gun background check, weapon ban, or gun buyback will ever prevent weapons from getting into the hands of criminals. Even with the hundreds if not thousands of gun laws already on the books, gun crime is still prevalent in...

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