Mirror Image Rule

The mirror image rule is a principle in contract law that states that an acceptance of an offer must precisely match the terms of the offer for a valid contract to be formed. In other words, the acceptance must be a mirror image of the offer, without any additional or different terms.

According to the mirror image rule, if an offeree attempts to modify or add new terms to the offer while accepting it, it is considered a counteroffer rather than an acceptance. A counteroffer terminates the original offer and places the ball back in the hands of the original offeror, who may choose to accept, reject, or make a new offer.

The mirror image rule emphasises the importance of clear and unambiguous communication between the parties during the formation of a contract. It ensures that both parties have a mutual understanding and agreement on the terms and conditions of the contract.

However, it is important to note that some jurisdictions have relaxed the strict application of the mirror image rule through the use of the battle of the forms doctrine or by recognising certain common business practices where additional or different terms may be considered as part of the contract.

Nonetheless, the mirror image rule remains a fundamental principle in contract law and serves as a general guideline for determining the validity of acceptance in contractual relationships.
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