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Contract Law: Minors

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Jasmine, aged 17, is passionate about acting. She aspires to be a leading actress in local TV dramas in a few years' time.

Jasmine decided to participate in a 10-month workshop for acting skills. This workshop was run by A-Acting, a company that was set up by Rainie, a former TV actress.

She had to sign a contract and pay the full amount of course fees upfront. As time went on, Jasmine began to find the terms of the contract very restrictive.

Under Clause 5 of the contract, she is not allowed to take on any part-time or full-time job. Instead, she has been spending her time studying and during the weekends, working long hours as an "assistant" to Rainie.
Her work included preparing documents for the various departments of A-Acting, making reservations for Rainie etc.

Sunny Productions had approached Jasmine recently and offered her a small role in their upcoming movie. Rainie pointed to Clause 5 of the contract and refused to let Jasmine accept Sunny Production's offer.

To placate Jasmine, Rainie told Jasmine that she viewed Jasmine as her younger sister and would take care of her; she would pay her S$10 per hour for being her assistant. Rainie even said that she would back-pay Jasmine for the past few weekends of work.

A) Discuss whether Rainie is bound by the arrangement to pay Jasmine S$10 per hour.
(6 marks)

B) Consider and discuss whether Jasmine is entitled to the back-pay for the previous weekends of work.
(5 marks)

C) Jasmine also thinks that S$10 per hour is too low and asks if she has any basis in common law principles to insist for a "more decent" pay. Advise her.
(7 marks)

All the above has to be in UK or Singapore law term.

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Solution Preview

When discussing contract law in the United Kingdom its necessary to understand the areas for consideration under contract law in Great Britain including formation of contract (offer, acceptance, consideration, intention, etc.), capacity to form contract, and the contents (terms, exclusions, privity). Under these terms subject-matter related to business affairs such as the implied contract Raine ...

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The expert examines contract law for minors.

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Minors and contract law

1. Tommy McCartney is a sixteen-year-old high school student. He has worked forty hours per week at the local convenience store over the last year, and has diligently saved $6,000 for the purchase of his first car.

While visiting a local car dealership, Tommy finds the "car of his dreams," a used yellow Camaro. Tommy walks into the dealership, announces to the dealership owner that he is "ready to buy," negotiates $6,000 as the purchase price, and leaves the dealership a proud car owner.

Over the course of the next six months, Tommy drives the Camaro eight thousand miles, wears the tires thin, dents the left front fender, and regrets his purchase. He realizes that in two short years college will beckon, and he knows that his parents cannot afford to pay for his higher education. In short, he wants his money back.

On a Saturday morning, Tommy returns to the car dealership, walks into the sales office, and hands the keys to the seller, asking for the return of his $6,000. The dealer chuckles, and then his look turns stern, saying "Son, I don't owe you anything. You've just learned a lesson in the 'School of Hard Knocks.' The car is still yours, and the money is still mine!"

Who will prevail? Is it legal and/or ethical to allow Tommy to escape his contractual obligations?

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