An oral agreement is not worth the paper on which it is written. I was at the feet of royalty. This is a delicate subject, which has long been a bone of contention among us. Rule 3: If you know that the other party will not be able to fulfill a particular obligation that you wish, do not insist on including it in the agreement. However, if this provision is crucial to you, you are departing from the agreement. I did not even bother to raise with Peres and his team the legal questions of whether the secret and oral promises are binding and enforceable. Instead, I focused on practical issues such as how Israel was able to confirm whether The Palestinian representatives in Oslo were empowered to make these important oral promises and what Israel would do if they refused these assurances after the signing of the DOP. In an internal consultation with Peres` team, I asked: “If it was acceptable for you that part of the agreement – the most important part – was agreed only orally, why would you want a written agreement with the PLO? Either you wrote it all down, or you did everything orally. Of course, lawyers can argue about what is reasonable or not until clients return home. And the guidelines developed by the courts continue to evolve. The lesson is that such clauses do not always protect you and that you need user-friendly advice to ensure that your restriction clauses are worth more than the ink with which they were printed. But it is not a malapropism to say that a poorly written treatise is not worth the paper on which it is written. If the contract is not clear about what was meant, the parties can argue.
This is ironic, because one of the main reasons for a written contract is to avoid quarrels over what you have agreed to. The parties must intend to establish legal relations before a valid contract results. This means that, even if other elements exist, the parties may not have the intention of entering into a legally enforceable agreement, which can be inferred from the nature of the contract. In 1905, an Ohio newspaper printed a joke instance under the title “Sounds Irish” and used cartoon characters called “Petty Fogger, Esq”: 6 But my favorite goldwynism is his saying that “an oral contract is not worth the paper on which it is written.” The importance of this observation is not limited to commercial contracts between a Hollywood producer and Silver Screen stars. In my experience, this maxim also applies to international agreements. As an illustration, after the signing of the DOP, I worked in detail with Major General Uzi Dayan (then IDF Chief Of Planning and an important IDF representative in negotiations with the PLO) on the DOP implementation agreements, in particular the Gaza-Jericho and Oslo II agreements. General Uzi Dayan is also a nephew of Moshe Dayan. Tim I recently read an article from a lawyer who talked about church membership contracts.
He said that an unsigned contract/confederation was still applicable if the person could be asked to approve it verbally. A local church, after membership established a Fit (probably after reading one of my articles) and refused to sign it, the leaders asked them to stand up and verbally approve the contract. “An oral contract is not worth the paper on which it is written.” The parties cannot say that they have a legally binding agreement between them if one or both parties are unable to enter into contracts. The power to enter into a contract is over the legal jurisdiction of a party. In this regard, certain categories of persons are legally incompetent or have a limited ability to form contractual relationships. These include minors, lunatics, illiterates or intoxicated people. I would rather maintain an oral contract than a free, unsigned paper contract.