What laws govern contracts?
Legislation and case law limit the enforceability of contractual clauses. Some examples of limitations on contracts include contracts between businesses and consumers that must comply with the provisions of the Australian Consumer Law. This includes consumer guarantees, unconscionability and unfair contract terms. Some of these provisions extend to contracts with small businesses. The Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and case law dictate how companies can enter into contracts.
Privacy laws govern how you collect personal information from individuals, and case law prevents “penalty provisions” from being enforceable.
Most transactions will have tax or stamp duty implications. State sale of goods legislation outlines mandatory minimum standards for sale of goods contracts. The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 imposes limitations on conduct that affects competition in the marketplace.
I’ve agreed to something but haven’t signed an agreement – is this enforceable?
Contracts can be created orally or in writing. The problem with oral contracts is that the terms of the agreement are difficult to make out. It’s important to be aware that you can still be bound by an unsigned contract if you have taken actions consistent with the terms of the agreement.