What power do children have to interact in legal situations and what standing do they have to carry out their own legal transactions? At first you may think that is not particularly important. After all, how often does anyone actually enter into a proper legal transaction? Take a minute to reflect on your own life. Have you entered into a legal transaction in the last year? Perhaps in the last week? Have you, or will you do so, today?
For most of us the answer to all these is likely to be yes. Legal transactions are not only entered into for major matters such as buying a house, buying a car or getting married. We all make transactions regularly as part of living our life in society.
For example, did you buy a coffee when you went out this morning? If so, the purchase and sale of the coffee constituted a contract – a legal transaction. Have you been to work? If you are employed, you are discharging your obligations under a contract every time you do your job – another legal transaction. Did you withdraw cash from a cash machine? This is also a legal transaction – exercise of a term of the contract you have with your bank to hold your money. Did you use a debit or credit card? Again, a legal transaction – exercise of a term of the contract you have with your bank to hold your money. Did you give anyone a gift? Did you visit the dentist and have a filling? Did you buy goods at the supermarket? Did you use your mobile phone? These are all examples of legal transactions.
We all enter into many transactions every day which have legal implications.