Case summary of Balfour v Balfour [] 2 KB relating to intention to create legal relations in contract law. 2 K. B.. KING’S BENCH DIVISION. [IN TBE COURT OF Al’l’EAL.] BALFOUR v. however on the doctor’s advice remained in England. On. c. A. Balfour v. Balfour [] 2 KB (Consideration-Intention to create legal relations) Facts: A husband was employed in Ceylon. He returned.

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I cannot see that any benefit would result from it to either of the parties, but on the other hand it would lead to unlimited litigation in a relationship which should be obviously as far as possible protected from possibilities of that kind.

Contract Law Casenote: Balfour v Balfour UK

Agreements such as these are outside the realm of contracts altogether. The defence galfour this action on the alleged contract is that the defendant, the husband, entered into no contract with his wife, and for the determination of that it is necessary to remember that there are agreements between parties which do not result in contracts within the meaning of that term in our law.

If however, instead of doing so, she agrees to give up that right and to accept an allowance instead, she is entitled to sue for it.

She did not rebut the presumption. In respect of these promises each house is a domain into which the King’s writ does not seek to run, and to which his officers do not seek to be admitted. Her doctor advised her to stay in England, because the Ceylon climate would be detrimental to her health. All I can say is that the small Courts of this country would have to be multiplied one hundredfold if these arrangements were held to result in legal obligations.

Giving up of that which was not a right was not a consideration. The matter really reduces itself to an absurdity when one considers it, because if we were to hold that there was a contract in this case we should have to hold that with regard to all the more or less trivial concerns of life where a wife, at the request of her husband, makes a promise to him, that is a promise which can be enforced in law.


The terms may be repudiated, balrour or renewed as performance proceeds or as disagreements develop, and the principles of the common law as to exoneration and discharge and accord and satisfaction are such as find no place in the domestic code. Duke LJpreviously a Conservative party politician, became the president of the divorce division from to I think that the letters do not evidence such a contract, or amplify the oral evidence which was given by the wife, which is not in dispute.

To my mind neither party contemplated such a result. The Court of Appeal unanimously held that there was no enforceable agreement, although the depth of their reasoning differed. The ordinary example is where two parties agree to take a walk together, or where there is an offer and an acceptance of hospitality. There must be intention of parties to create legal relations while entering into any agreement so as to 51 it enforceable by law.

Balfour v. Balfour [] 2 KB

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Their promises are not sealed with seals and sealing wax. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here I think that the parol evidence upon which the case turns balfoue not establish a contract.

In consideration that you will agree to give me mb. Nobody would suggest in ordinary circumstances that those agreements result in what we know as a contract, and one of the most usual forms of agreement which does not constitute a contract appears to me to be the arrangements which are made between husband and wife. A husband was employed in Ceylon.

Balfour v Balfour

In July she got a decree nisi and in December she obtained an order for alimony. The husband has a right to withdraw the authority from his wife to pledge his credit. The parties were living together, the wife intending to return. This intention is to be determined objectively Smith v. The parties were husband and wife, and subject to all the conditions, in point of law, involved in that relationship.

The consideration that really obtains for them is that natural love and affection which counts for so little in these cold Courts. Statute of Frauds s 4.


I think, therefore, that the appeal must be allowed. Views Read Edit View history. Atkin held that the law of contracts is not made for personal family relationships.

To my mind it would be of the worst possible example to hold that agreements such as this resulted in bapfour obligations which could be enforced in the Courts. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Balfour’s appeal was allowed. He consequently promised orally to make her an allowance per month until she rejoined him. The wife on the other hand, so far as I can see, made no bargain at all.

Causes of action; Intention to create legal relations; Maintenance; Marriage; Oral contracts. Consumer Credit Act ss 60, He failed to make the payment and she sued him. At first instance, Sargant J held that Mr Balfour was lb an obligation to support his wife.

The considerationas we know, may consist either in some right, interest, profit or benefit accruing to one party, or some forbearance, detriment, loss or responsibility given, suffered or undertaken by the other. Nevertheless they are not contracts, and they are not contracts because the parties did not intend that they should be attended by legal consequences.

The giving up of that which was not a right was not a consideration. Warrington LJ delivered his opinion first, the core part being this passage. Inthey both came back balfur England during Mr Balfour’s leave. Warrington, concurring in the result, agreed substantially with Atkin, but added that there was no bargain of any kind made baalfour Mrs.

balfpur He placed weight on the fact that the parties had not yet been divorced, and that the promise had been made still whilst as husband and wife. Email required Address never made public.