Formation and validity of Contract

Mwesigye v Mercy Safari (CIVIL APPEAL NO.0028 OF 2006) [2012] UGHC 154 (7 August 2012);

Flynote: 

Search Summary: 

The Respondent, in the Lower Court sued the Appellant for a breach of a contract of sale of goods. The Trial Magistrate ordered and decreed that the Appellant/Defendant pay the un paid balance of the contract sum plus nominal damages to the Plaintiff/Respondent. The defendant was dissatisfied with the decision hence this appeal.

Court emphasized that the Respondent had the burden of proof on the balance of probabilities. That she had the duty to prove that she had dealings in trade with the Appellant that she delivered to him goods on credit and that he has failed or refused to pay the purchase price of the goods. Considering the evidence as a whole court noted that there was no written contract or documentation of the sale, delivery or invoices between the parties in this transaction.

 

Headnote and Holding: 

As to whether there was a valid contract, court took into consideration the fact that  there had been un written or undocumented sale/purchase of goods between himself and the Respondent previously which facts constituted strong circumstantial evidence which established the sale of goods contract between the parties.

 

The High court held that a contract of sale of goods does not have to be in writing or any particular form, it can be proved by any means including oral evidence. Parties to a contract are bound by any usage to which they agreed and practice which they have established between themselves. It was not mandatory that because the seller and the buyer were from two neighboring countries there had to be documents. By oral testimonies that the Respondent discharged her burden of proof. Court dismissed the appeal.

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