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Report No. 103

1.2 Their true nature.-

These standardised contracts are really pretended contracts that have only the name of contract. They are called contracts of adhesion from the French term (contracts d' adhesion) because, in these, a single will is exclusively predominant, acting as a unilateral will, which dictates its terms not to an individual but to an indeterminate collectivity. The standard terms and conditions prepared by one party are offered to the other on a "takeit-or-leave-it" basis. The main terms are put in large print, but the qualifications are buried in small print.

The individual's participation consists of a mere adherence, often unknowing, to the document drafted unilaterally and insisted upon by the powerful enterprise: the conditions imposed by the document upon the customer, are not open to discussion, nor are they subject to negotiation between the parties, but the contract has to be accepted or rejected as a whole. The contracts are produced by the printing press. The pen of the individual signing on the dotted line does not really represent his substantial agreement with the terms in it, but creates a fiction that he has agreed to such terms. The characteristics, usually and traditionally associated with a contract, such as freedom to contract and consensus, are absent from these so-called contracts.

Unfair Terms in Contract Back

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