Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the Monash University's online course, Law for Non-Lawyers: Introduction to Law. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds LLOYD ENGLAND: So contracts are everywhere. Contracts are around us. What sorts of things do we have to have in mind, Ross, when we’re entering into a contract?

Skip to 0 minutes and 11 seconds ROSS HYAMS: I think it’s very important that you understand if you’re entering into a contract what you’re getting yourself into, what’s expected of you, and what you expect of the other person as well. There’s got to be agreement between the two of you as to what the outcomes are going to be.

Skip to 0 minutes and 25 seconds LLOYD ENGLAND: So what sort of terms would you like to put in your contract.

Skip to 0 minutes and 28 seconds ROSS HYAMS: You’d need to make sure that you understood things like time limitations, how much it’s going to cost you, what you’re actually being required to do, what the person that you’re in the contract with is being required to do in advance to you as well, what happens if the contract goes wrong. If one person doesn’t do something or the other person doesn’t do something or there’s a breach, for example, what penalties might apply? There’s a lot of things you need to think your way through before you enter into it.

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 seconds LLOYD ENGLAND: And do we need to necessarily see a lawyer every time we–

Skip to 0 minutes and 57 seconds ROSS HYAMS: No, I mean if you go down to the Milk Bar and buy an ice cream, you’re entering into a contract. You don’t need a lawyer for that. But the more money involved, and the more activities involved, the more serious it becomes. The other thing about seeing a lawyer would be in a situation where you feel that you don’t have power to negotiate. So there’s a power imbalance between the person– between you and the person you’re contracting with, you would probably want a lawyer there to help to advance your interests. And make sure there’s agreement as to what those are. So look we enter into contracts every day of our life, and we don’t think about lawyers.

Skip to 1 minute and 29 seconds It’s the more important ones, buying and selling a car, buying and selling of land and a house and that sort of thing where the stakes are much higher, and therefore, you do need some help.

Skip to 1 minute and 38 seconds LLOYD ENGLAND: Great, thank you.

The Ross Hyams Perspective

Ross Hyams is an educator and law practitioner. Here, Ross shares with Lloyd his unique perspective on the essential things you need to know before engaging with contracts and the law.

We know that it’s one thing to learn about contract law but it’s always different to apply these principles in the real world.

Whilst we can not give you any general legal advice about your particular contractual obligations, we can provide you with these helpful suggestions that could make navigating contracting more easy for you.

Want to learn more?

Go to Downloads to access a checklist of contract law essentials.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Law for Non-Lawyers: Introduction to Law

Monash University