LAW 241 - Law of Contract

Credit points: 30 points
Offered: Full-year
Contact hours: Lectures - 3 hours per week, Tutorials - 8 tutorials
Course Director: Karen Fairweather
Prerequisites: LAW 121G & LAW 131
Corequisite: LAW 298 or 299

Course description

The general principles of contract law including: the formation of contracts at common law, New Zealand contract legislation, breach of contract, and remedies for breach of contract. An introduction to the general principles of agency.

Course overview

The law of contract is concerned with the basic issues of formation, performance and enforcement of agreements that are recognized in law as “contractual” in nature. The course covers the general principles of contract law, including the formation of contracts at common law, contract legislation in Aotearoa/New Zealand, breach of contract and remedies for breach, including damages.

We begin with the issues relating to contract formation - i.e. with the making of contracts. We will consider the formal contract and its creation and also find out when the law will recognise a simple contract as legally binding. Next, we will look at what the contract says that the parties are expected to do. The obligations in the contract are contained in the contract terms. We consider different types of terms and how the courts will interpret these. We look at damages and the right to withhold performance if the counterparty fails or refuses to perform its part. We find out what a client can do when faced with a breach of contract, i.e. when the other party has not fulfilled their side of the agreement. We explore mistaken assumptions and how the law regulates this area.


  • Case reading and analysis quiz (10%)
  • Tutorial outline answers (20%)
  • Exam (70%)