Electronic money

Jon Ribbens jon+ukcrypto at unequivocal.co.uk
Thu Dec 4 18:09:10 GMT 2014

On Thu, Dec 04, 2014 at 03:58:08PM +0000, Nicholas Bohm wrote:
> As I understand it, legal tender is what a creditor cannot refuse to
> accept without risking being met with the defence of tender.  The courts
> (in the examples given, anyway) are not creditors.  They are like any
> other person offering a service, who can lay down, on a
> take-it-or-leave-it basis, what they want in exchange.  That doesn't
> undermine or alter the concept of legal tender, which never purported to
> compel people to accept one form of payment rather than another unless
> they were already creditors.

Your description above is contradicted by the only official-ish web
page that anyone can find that talks about Legal Tender, i.e. the
Royal Mail site [1], which says that legal tender is what you pay
into court, not what you offer the creditor.

However, what is certainly true is that you cannot use the "defence of
tender" unless you pay the full amount claimed into court [2]. You
cannot necessarily pay into court using "legal tender" (as already
discussed). So this leaves "legal tender" as a completely meaningless

It doesn't help that nobody can find any explanation of what the
effect of the "defence of tender" actually is. The Royal Mint says
that you "cannot successfully be sued for non-payment", but does this
really mean you get the money you paid into court back again, and that
the whole payment process is merely a rather over-elaborate proof that
you had the money in the first place?  

This seems rather unlikely, it seems much more likely that the
"unsuccesful" claimant will actually succeed in being awarded the
amount of their claim, just they will have costs awarded against them.
But as I say, nobody seems to know.

Apologies for this being somewhat distant from Francis' original
question ;-)

[1] http://www.royalmint.com/aboutus/policies-and-guidelines/legal-tender-guidelines
[2] CPR 37.2 http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part37

More information about the ukcrypto mailing list