Minors’ Contracts in the digital age

Gangwar, Shivangi (2022) Minors’ Contracts in the digital age. Liverpool Law Review. ISSN 0144932X (In Press)

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Minority is well established as a form of legal incapacity across jurisdictions and laws. Some countries grant minors with limited capacity to contract while others consider all minors’ contracts to be void. These rules were laid down in the predigital age. Minors today are entering into more and varied transactions than the generations before them, be it shopping on e-retail websites, creating social media accounts, or the more traditional employment contracts. This paper examines how the three jurisdictions of England, India and South Africa deal with minor contracts in the digital age. While South Africa permits minors above the age of seven years to enter into contracts with parental assistance, the English and Indian position is that minor contracts are unenforceable against minors, unless they are ‘contracts for necessaries’ or contracts for the benefit of the minor. Judicial interpretation of these categories has been fluid and indeterminate, creating its own set of problems. This paper argues from the Indian standpoint that the current understanding is inadequate to address the issues that will arise from the mismatch between law (where minority is almost synonymous with incapacity) and reality (where minors are increasingly entering into contracts). The author suggests that the definition for minority for contractual liability should be graded after the model of criminal liability and demonstrates that there are some, albeit imperfect, gains to be had from the South African system.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Minority | Contractual capacity | Digital age | India | United Kingdom | South Africa
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Amees Mohammad
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2022 10:48
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2022 10:48
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10991-022-09298-3
URI: https://pure.jgu.edu.in/id/eprint/3462


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