The Significance of Contractual Intention: A Comparative Analysis on English and Indonesian Law

Ulya Yasmine Prisandani


The legal terms of a contract vary from one country to another, and the will in a contract often influences whether a contract has been perfectly established. Establishing a contract between parties from different legal systems has the risk of defect and imperfection in the establishment of the contract, which can influence the rights of one party when a contract related dispute occurs. The British law requires supply, acceptance, and reciprocity as legal conditions for contracts, but the legal terms of a contract in Indonesian law are stipulated in the Civil Code. Therefore, this study aims to develop a comparative analysis relating to the role of contractual will in determining the validity of a contract in British and Indonesian laws as well as their method in interpreting contracts. The study used the normative qualitative method with a comparative approach to the two legal systems completed with a description of the will in a contract based on CISG. Both legal jurisdictions are open for the possibility of assuming will incompatibility in a contract as 'oversight', and in such cases, a contract can deem void.


Will in a contract; contract validity; contract interpretation; law of contract

Full Text:




Beatson, Jack, Burrows, Andrew and Cartwright, John, Anson’s Law of Contract, 29th Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010.

Budiono, Herlien, Ajaran Umum Hukum Perjanjian dan Penerapannya di Bidang Kenotariatan, PT. Citra Aditya Bakti, Bandung, 2009.

Cartwright, John, Contract Law: An Introduction to the English Law of Contract for the Civil Lawyer, Third Edition, Oxford, 2016.

Erawati, Elly Erawati and Budiono, Herlien, Penjelasan Hukum tentang Kebatalan Perjanjian, PT. Gramedia, Jakarta, 2010.

Hernoko, Agus Yudha, Hukum Perjanjian: Asas Proporsionalitas dalam Kontrak Komersial, Penerbit Kencana, Jakarta, 2013.

Martin, Elizabeth A., Oxford Dictionary of Law, Fifth Edition, Oxford, 2003.

Marzuki, Peter Mahmud, Penelitian Hukum, Revised Edition, Penerbit Kencana, Jakarta, 2016.

Miru, Ahmadi, Hukum Kontrak dan Perancangan Kontrak, Raja Grafindo Persada, Yogyakarta, 2007.

Salter, Michael and Mason, Julie, Writing Law Dissertations: An Introduction and Guide to the Conduct of Legal Research, Pearson Education Limited, Dorset, 2007.

Simamora, Y. Sogar, Hukum Kontrak: Prinsip-Prinsip Hukum Kontrak Pengadaan Barang dan Jasa Pemerintah di Indonesia, LaksBang Pressindo, Surabaya, 2017.

Simanjuntak, Ricardo, Hukum Kontrak: Teknik Perancangan Kontrak Bisnis, KontanPublishing, Jakarta, 2011.

Steiner, Eva, French Law: A Comparative Approach, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2018.

Subekti, Pokok-Pokok Hukum Perdata, PT. Intermasa, Jakarta, 2005.

Syaifuddin, Muhammad, Hukum Kontrak: Memahami Kontrak dalam Perspektif Filsafat, Teori, Dogmatik, dan Praktik Hukum (Seri Pengayaan Hukum Perikatan), CV. Mandar Maju, Bandung, 2012.

Treitel, Sir Guenter, The Law of Contract, Tenth Edition, Sweet & Maxwell, London, 1999.


Clayton P. Gillette “Subjective Intent in American Contract Law and the CISG”, accessed in subjective-intent-in-american-contract-law-and-the-cisg/ on 5 November 2018.


Barnes, Wayne, “The French Subjective Theory of Contract: Separating Rhetoric from Reality,” Tulane Law Review Vol. 83, 2008

Calleros, Charles, “Cause, Consideration, Promissory Estoppel, and Promises Under Deed: What our Students Should Know about Enforcement of Promises in A Historical and International Context,” Chicago-Kent Journal of International and Comparative Law Volume 13, (2012)

Capper, David, “Common Mistake in Contract Law,” Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, December 2009.

Chandrika, M.P., “A Comparative Analysis of U.K. and Indian Provision relating to Intention under Law of Contract,” International Journal of Law and Legal Jurisprudence Studies Vol. 3 Issue 4, 2016.

Christiani, Theresia Anita, “Normative and Empirical Research Methods: Their Usefulness and Relevance in the Study of Law as an Object,” Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 219, 2016.

de Graaff, Ruben, Rampersad, Yvo, et. al., “From Here to Eternity: The Proposal for a Regulation on a Common European Sales Law (CESL”, European Review of Private Law, Issue 4 Volume 21, 2013.

Fandl, Kevin J., “Cross-Border Commercial Contracts and Consideration,” Berkeley Journal of International Law Vol. 34 Issue 2, Fall 2016.

Ferdous, Syed Robayet, “Consideration of Contract in English Law & Law of Bangladesh: A Comparative Study,” Asian Affairs Vol. 31 No. 1, 2009.

Gulati, Bhawna, “’Intention to Create Legal Relations’: A Contractual Necessity or an Illusory Concept”, Beijing Law Review Vol. 2 No. 3, 2011.

Pejovic, Caslav, “Civil Law and Common Law: Two Different Paths Leading to the Same Goal”, Victoria University of Wellington Law Review, Volume 32, 2001.

Perillo, Joseph M., “The Origins of the Objective Theory of Contract Formation and Interpretation,” Fordham Law Review Volume 69 Issue 2, 2000.

Putra, Fani Martiawan Kumara, “Paksaan Ekonomi dan Penyalahgunaan Keadaan Sebagai Bentuk Cacat Kehendak dalam Perkembangan Hukum Kontrak”, Yuridika Vol. 30 No. 2, May 2015.

Saprai, Prince, “Balfour v Balfour and the separation of contract and promise,” Legal Studies Volume 37 Issue 3, September 2017.

Soerodjo, Irawan, “The Development of Indonesian Civil Law,” Scientific Research Journal, Volume IV Issue IX, September 2016.

Suharnoko, “Contract Law in a Comparative Perspective”, Indonesia Law Review, Year 2 Volume 2, May – August 2012.

Tikniute, Agne and Dambrauskite, Asta, “Understanding Contract Under the Law of Lithuania and Other European Countries”, Jurisprudence Vol. 18 Issue 4, 2011.

Van Hoecke, Mark, “Methodology of Legal Research,” Law and Method No. 12, 2015.

Vural, Belkis, “Formation of Contract According to the CISG”, Ankara Bar Review, Volume 1, 2013.

Widodo, Ernu, “Relevansi Sistem Civil Law dan Common Law dalam Peraturan Hukum Perjanjian Baku di Indonesia”, De Jure Jurnal Syariah dan Hukum Volume 2 Number 2, December 2010.

Wright, R. George, “Objective and Subjective Tests in the Law,” University of New Hampshire Law Review Volume 16 Number 1, 2017.

Case Decisions

United Kingdom

Ermes c.s. v. Haviltex (HR 13 March 1981, NJ 1981, 635)

Thomas v Thomas (1842) 2 QB 851; 114 ER 330

Chappell & Co. Ltd. v Nestle Co. Ltd. (1960) AC 87.

Roscorla v Thomas (1842) 3 QB 234; 114 ER 496

Currie v Misa (1875) LR 10 Ex 153; (1875-76) LR 1 App Cas 554

Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co Ltd v Selfridge & Co Ltd [1915] AC 847

Merritt v Merritt (1970) EWCA Civ 6, 1 WLR 1211.

Smith v Hughes (1871) LR 6 QB 597, 607

United States

Hanwha Corporation V. Cedar Petrochemicals, Inc. 2011 WL 165404 (S.D.N.Y.)


Supreme Court of Indonesia Decision Number 1788 K/Pdt/2014 and Number 472 PK/Pdt/2017.

Thesis and Dissertation

Kirman, Oguz, (re)Defining the Entire Agreement Clause, Thesis, Research Master in Law & Dutch Private Law of Tilburg University, Tilburg, 2016.

Valente, Dena, Enforcing Promises: Consideration and Intention in the Law of Contract, Dissertation, Bachelor of Laws (Honours) of University of Otago, Otago, 2010.

Ius Quia Iustum Law Journal of Islamic University of Indonesia

ISSN 0854-8498 (print), 2527-502X (online)
Published by:  Department of Law, Faculty of Law, Islamic University of Indonesia

Creative Commons License

JHIusQuiaIustum at

is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.