Seminar 1 July 2020

David Newlyn: Contracts, Presumption and Intention: What is the Current Status and Relevance of Presumptions?

For nearly one hundred years the contract formation element of animus contrahendi or intention to create legal relations has best been understood by reference to the presumptions associated with it. The value of those presumptions was challenged by the High Court in Ermogenous v Greek Orthodox Community of SA Inc [2002] HCA 8. Since that time considerable doubt over the value of presumptions has ensued. This article examines the current status of presumptions by examining their historical context, the Ermogenous decision, subsequent relevant cases and treatise.