Sealed and Delivered: A Theory of Unilateral Transfer at Common Law
Some view the sealed instrument as a relic of the common law that is incompatible with modern contract law theory. However, the fact remains that the seal is a valid method to create a binding agreement in Canadian law. This article proposes a theoretical justification of the seal that better places it within contract theory. The author argues that instead of understanding seals as analogous to a consideration-based promise, we should understand seals as analogous to an executed gift. Through this analogy, the seal can be understood as an agreement that creates an immediate and unilateral transfer of rights.
Author(s) retain original copyright in the substantive content of the titled work, subject to the following rights that are granted indefinitely:
- Author(s) grant the Alberta Law Review permission to produce, publish, disseminate, and distribute the titled work in electronic format to online database services, including, but not limited to: LexisNexis, QuickLaw, HeinOnline, and EBSCO;
- Author(s) grant the Alberta Law Review permission to post the titled work on the Alberta Law Review website and/or related websites.
- Author(s) agree that the titled work may be used for educational or instructional purposes and/or in educational or instructional materials. The author(s) acknowledge that the titled work is subject to other such "fair dealing" provisions and applicable legislation.
- Author(s) grant a limited license to those accessing the titled work from an electronic database or an Alberta Law Review website to download the titled work onto their computer and to print a copy for their own personal, non-commercial use, subject to proper attribution.
To use the journal's content elsewhere, permission must be obtained from the author(s) and the Alberta Law Review.