The standard form has long been an inevitable fact of modern contracting. Although English law does not require contracts to be made in writing (with exceptions such as sales of land), in practice most contracts are. Few are individually negotiated. Standardisation drastically reduces the cost of negotiations in an economy based on mass transactions. Standard forms’ prevalence (ever-greater in online commerce) shows their indispensability. But they have been denounced as ‘contracts of adhesion’ presented on a take-it-or-leave-it basis, allowing enterprises to impose their will on consumers – resembling legislative fiat rather than true contractual agreement.
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- Standard Forms and Written Contracts
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- Chapter 3