Today we will give you a brief idea about silence to a business offer and its implication according to Ethiopian Law.
Before that let’s begin with the following questions.
- Is silence acceptance or refusal according to Ethiopian law?
- Are you required by Ethiopian law to specifically refuse or accept any offers of business made to you?
- What will be the legal implications of your silence to offers made to you?
One may ask if he can simply ignore a business offer according to the Ethiopian law. According to the Ethiopian Civil Code, in a normal circumstance, one can ignore a business offer made to him/her. In other words, in principle Silence doesn’t amount to acceptance. But we have to know that there is a concept in the Ethiopian law that says silence amounts to acceptance in some specific circumstances.
One of these cases, where silence amount to acceptance, is in a Duty To Accept Cases. You may ask what Duty to Accept is. Duty to Accept exists when a party is bound by law or by concession granted by the authorities to enter into contracts on terms stipulated in advance. Usually this is made for those providing vital services. For instance, a Postal Service, Electric and water Supply providers must accept any one’s offer because they have the Duty to Accept and perform the offer of anyone.
The other one is when there is a Pre-Existing Business Relation. In a pre-existing business relation if an offer is made to continue or vary an existing contract or to enter into a subsidiary or complementary contract it can be accepted by silence. If one keeps silent when an offer is made to continue or vary an existing contract the silence is taken as acceptance. However, this kind of offer must be made in a special document informing the other party that the offer shall be regarded as accepted it no reply is given within a reasonable period of time.
So according to Ethiopian Law even though silence doesn’t, in principle, amount to acceptance, if there is a Duty to Accept or a Preexisting Business relationship once silence may amount to an acceptance of a business offer.
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