Case Brief Wiki


The defendant displayed a flick knife in the window of his shop next to a ticket bearing the words "Ejector knife – 4s." Under the 'section 1(1) of the' Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959, it was illegal to manufacture, sell, hire, or offer for sale or hire, or lend to any other person, amongst other things, any knife, which has a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in or attached to the handle of the knif. The Claimant, a police force chief inspector, brought forward informative allegation against the defendant, who has contravened the section 1(1) of Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959 by offering the flick knife for sale. This loophole was closed by Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1961, banning on flick knives: which inserted after the phrases of “offers for sale or hire” and “or exposes or has in his possession for the purpose of sale or hire”.


Whether the shopkeeper's display of a flick knife in his shop window amounted to an offer of the knife for sale contrary to S1(1) of the Restriction of Offensice Weapon Act 1959.


At first instance, the Prosecutor submitted that the Defendant has displayed the knife and ticket in the window with the object of attracting a buyer, and that this constituted an offer of sale sufficient to create a criminal liability under section 1(1) of the Act. The defendant submitted that this was not sufficient to constitute an offer. The judges at first instance found that displaying the knife was merely an invitation to treat, not an offer, and thus no liability arose. The Prosecutor appealed the judges' decision.


It is perfect clear that according to the ordinary law of contract, the display of an article with a price on it in a shop window is merly an invitation to treat. it is in no sense that an offer for sale the acceptance os which constitutes a contract 


Items displayed in any premises only constitutes an invitation to treat and there is no contract formed as that moment.