Minors are Clearly in Need of Protection

'Minors are clearly in need of protection in the formation of a contract, but not at the expense of fair-minded adults with whom they may be dealing'. How far does the law of contract support this view?
A minor is a person under the age of 18, although in 1969, before the Family Law Reform act was passed, a person under the age of 21 was classed as an'infant'. The Family Law Reform act lowered the age to 18 and introduced the term'minor'. A minors' capacity to contract is very much restricted but if there was no protection at all for minors then it would be seen that the law is too harsh on young people. Considering at 16 a'minor' can get married, have children and get a job it seems strange that the age has not been brought down further to 16 instead of 18 as the Law Commission suggested in 1982.The aim of this age limit is to protect minors from their own inexperience and perhaps from unwise transactions whilst not being too harsh on any adult dealing with a minor.
In the case of Nash v Inman (1908) a Cambridge university graduate ordered'eleven fancy waistcoats' from a Savile Row tailor. He did not pay for them, relying on the fact that he was not of full capacity. As waistcoats were normal student clothing at Cambridge they were classed as necessaries meaning that a contract did exist between Inman and Nash. However, the father of the university graduate had already bought him a substantial amount of clothing including waistcoats so the additional ones he ordered were not necessary at all.
The law protected the student very well but was incredible harsh on the tailor who after all of that received nothing at all. There is a great difference in the experiences of various young people. In a case where a minor had knowingly taken advantage of an adult, using the law of contractual capacity to his benefit, there appeared to be injustice arising out of a law that ai…

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