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Journal of South Pacific Law - BOOK REVIEWS

Book Review 5 of Volume 2, 1998



Title: Sale of Goods

Author: Tyree, A. L.

Published by: Butterworths, Australia

ISBN: 0-409-31232-0

pp: 300.

The book is divided into 8 parts with a total page length of 300. Part 1 introduces the law relating to sale of goods; Part 2 examines the consequences of a sale of goods contract; Part 3 looks at the obligations of the seller; and Part 4 pin-points the obligations of the buyer.

Part 5 discusses the applicable remedies in a sale of good transaction; Part 6 looks at problems of sale involving third parties; Part 7 examines the law relating to export sales; and Part 8 examines the scope of consumer protection in sale of goods.

The setting of the text is based on Australian legislation and case-laws. Where necessary, English cases have been used to illustrate key concepts in the various aspects of sale of goods. This is especially so where, there seems to be no direct Australian authority on the point being canvassed by the author.

The 32 chapters comprising the book, exhibit a concise and practically oriented approach to dealing with the complex issues in sale of goods. The number of case-laws cited, as well as statutes used, also go to show the considerable degree of legal research and scholarship that were invested by the author in the production of the book.

It is without doubt that some notable problems in sale of goods transactions such as obligations of the seller and the often confusing aspects of export trade have been simplified by the author. This makes the reading of the book a pleasure even for someone with a slight or no appreciation of the law at all.

However, chapter 7 dealing with illegality and mistake; and chapter 9 dealing with passing of risk, are too brief to stand as independent chapters. In the latter chapter, important points in connection with transfer of risk in different classes of goods (such as specific, un-ascertained and future goods), have not been fully addressed. The only case cited in the chapter is Stern v Vickers Limited [1923] 1 KB 78. There are more recent authorities on the same subject which should have been cited in other to expatiate on the areas.

In the former chapter, only a scanty outline of the concepts of illegality and mistake was provided. This is an equally important area in sale of goods that should have attracted a wider discussion by the author. Illegality and mistake are fundamental vitiating elements in sale transactions. Their significance must therefore be viewed against the background of applicable remedies. A little elaboration on these principles would have considerably enhanced the outlook of chapter 7.

On the whole, the author’s style of writing has helped in producing a text on sale of goods which is concise and sizeable. It is neither boring nor technical to read. This is the greatest strength of the book. Above all, the text is simple to comprehend.

The book though written on the sale of goods law of Australia will, nevertheless, serve as a basic and useful text for students of law and others in accounting and business related courses in the South Pacific region. For comparative purposes, it may also serve as a useful text for academics and researchers working in the island states in the South Pacific, who may want to have a glimpse of the law relating to sale of goods in Australia.

Lastly, the layout and typesetting of the text have been professionally done. The cover design is good and attractive. By all standards of textual assessment, the book represents a significant contribution to the existing body of knowledge in the area of sale of goods.

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