Contracts are a special kind of magic. By our words or actions, we mortgage our future selves in favour of our present selves. And, as Sting once sang, “the future is but a question mark.” To download the 2015 syllabus for this course, please click here.

Part of the aim of this course is to provide the foundations necessary to critically engage in legal issues arising from agreements voluntarily entered into by two or more parties.  Students study classical, contemporary, and hypothetical cases, resulting in a thorough understanding of the formation of contracts, the factors affecting their continued existence and the remedies available for breach of contract. 

Students also acquire basic legal skills, including the ability to analyze and evaluate judicial opinions, complex contractual clauses and, to a lesser extent, statutory provisions.  In addition to a mastery of the substantive law of contract, students will be strongly encouraged to critically reflect upon various theories of contract and to carefully consider recent legislative and judicial shifts away from the traditional view that people are free to contract as they wish. Through this course, students become well-equipped for further study in related areas such as: the sale of goods, real estate, insurance law, commercial transactions, corporate law, intellectual property, information law, internet law, the law of agency, labour and employment law, family law, and remedies.

Methods of Instruction:

This course is a blend of contractual and legal theory, private law cases, commercial law statutes, and experiential learning exercises. In addition to some lecturing and much conversation, our interaction style will include the elenchus made famous by Socrates, a veritable tennis match of Q&A. This method inspires students to think on their feet and to develop a true love of the law, through deeper reflections of it.  

Required Course Materials:

  • Contracts: Cases and Commentaries, Ben-Ishai & Percy, 9th ed. (Toronto: Carswell, 2014)

Suggested Supplementary Reading:

  1. Managing the Law: The Legal Aspects of Doing Business, McInnes, Kerr & Van Duzer 4th ed. (Toronto: Pearson Education, 2011)
  2. The Law of Contract in Canada, GHL Fridman, 6h ed. (Toronto: Carswell, 2011)
  3. The Law of Contracts, SM Waddams, 6th ed. (Toronto: Canada Law Book, 2010)