CONTRACT Definition & Meaning

Presently, different provisions apply at the international level to contracts for transport by maritime, land, and air transport. With regard to maritime transport, the Hague-Visby Rules currently govern contracts for the international carriage of goods by sea in the vast majority of jurisdictions. In Singapore and the United Kingdom, provisions of each of the two countries’ Carriage of Goods by Sea Act additionally apply the Hague-Visby rules to the domestic transport of goods by sea.[337][338] Similarly, the Montréal Convention and the Warsaw Convention provide standardised terms for the transport of passengers’ luggage by air. Contracts for the international transport of goods by air and legal provisions regarding the international transport of passengers by any mode of transport are currently governed by a variety of domestic and international laws. Implied-in-fact contracts are real contracts under which parties receive the “benefit of the bargain”.[60] However, contracts implied in law are also known as quasi-contracts, and the remedy is quantum meruit, the fair market value of goods or services rendered.

Over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth century, the majority of jurisdictions in the Middle East and East Asia adopted civil law legal frameworks based on the Napoleonic, German, or Swiss model. The Napoleonic Code shapes contract law across much of the Middle East, while contract law in Japan, South Korea, and the Republic of China is rooted in the German pandectist tradition. In 1926, Turkey replaced its Ottoman-era mixture of Islamic and secular laws with a secular civil code modelled after that of Switzerland, with its contract and commercial law modelled after the Swiss Code of Obligations, which was in turn influenced by German and French legal traditions. Following the Meiji Restoration, Japan adopted a series of legal codes modelled primarily on German law, adopting its commercial code in 1899. The Japanese adaptation of German civil law was spread to the Korean Peninsula and China as a result of Japanese occupation and influence, and continues to form the basis of the legal system in South Korea and the Republic of China. In 1949, Abd El-Razzak El-Sanhuri and Edouard Lambert drafted the Egyptian Civil Code, modelled after the Napoleonic Code but containing provisions designed to fit Arab and Islamic society.[a] The Egyptian Civil Code was subsequently used as a model for the majority of Arab states.

  1. Consequently, while all systems of contract law serve the same overarching purpose of enabling the creation of legally enforceable obligations, they may contain significant differences.
  2. However, it is important to note that an oral contract is more challenging to enforce and should be avoided when possible.
  3. I submitted a bid that works best for my business and we went forward with the project.

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in ContractsCounsel’s marketplace to get flat fee bids from lawyers to draft and review contract. All lawyers in our network are vetted by our team and peer reviewed by our customers for you to explore before hiring. You are probably using one or more contracts in your everyday life and do not even realize it. The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. A court will determine the outcome and the amount of compensation the plaintiff will receive. In addition, the parties must be of sound mind when they enter into the contract.

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The law of contracts considers such questions as whether a contract exists, what the meaning of it is, whether a contract has been broken, and what compensation is due the injured party. General damages are those damages which naturally flow from a breach of contract. Consequential damages are those damages which, although not naturally flowing from a breach, are naturally supposed by both parties at the time of contract formation. An example would be when someone rents a car to get to a business meeting, but when that person arrives to pick up the car, it is not there.

So, these are some paramount elements of a contract, without which it cannot be enforced in the court of law. The UCC is commonly used to resolve contract disputes that involve the sale of goods. The Statute of Frauds may vary by state, but most statutes are similar to the UCC. There may be circumstances in which it would be unjust to permit the defaulting party simply to buy out the injured party with damages — for example, where an art collector purchases a rare painting and the vendor refuses to deliver.

Managing over $50M in government and private research funding was a gift. As a high ranking professional in the Department of Research, I was given priceless insight into the greatest scientific, journalistic, medical, and legal minds in the world. I graduated summa cum laude (top 3%) with a Doctorate in Law, emphasizing in urban, land use and environmental/toxic tort law from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Of Missouri, as a staff editor/writer for UMKC Law Review, and as a litigation and transactional attorney with Lathrop GPM (fka Lathrop & Gage). My professional and personal network is expansive, with established relationships throughout the U.S. and overseas.

Acceptance is the agreement of the other party to the offer presented. While in many contracts, both parties add their signatures to demonstrate their agreement to the terms, others assume an acceptance of the offer to be made when one or both parties perform their duties under the contract. An anticipatory breach refers to an intended or anticipated failure of one party to perform his duties under the contract. Anticipatory breach occurs when one party informs the other party of his unwillingness, or inability, to perform under the contract ahead of time. In such a case, the party that will be harmed by the breach does not have to wait until all other terms, or a required date, has come and gone before taking legal action. Written contracts are generally considered express, which means the subject is clearly stated and all details are included.


In some cases there may have beed substantial performance but not complete performance, which allows the performing party to be partially compensated. While an express term is stated by parties during negotiation or written in a contractual document, implied terms are not stated but nevertheless form a provision of the contract. Implied terms are fully enforceable and, depending on the jurisdiction, may arise as a result of the conduct or expectations of shooting star trading the parties,[f] by virtue of custom (i.e. general unspoken norms within a particular industry), or by operation of law. English courts may weigh parties’ emphasis in determining whether a non-contractual statement is enforceable as part of the contract. In the English case of Bannerman v White,[78] the court upheld a rejection by a buyer of hops which had been treated with sulphur since the buyer explicitly expressed the importance of this requirement.

If the acceptance is conditional on another event or stipulation, it creates a counteroffer and the roles of the parties become reversed. A legally enforceable contract requires the following elements, all of which are discussed in more detail below. This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. First and foremost, an offer is made by one party to another, which when accepted by the party to whom it is made, leads to the agreement.

The relative knowledge of the parties may also be a factor, as in English case of Bissett v Wilkinson,[79] where the court did not find misrepresentation when a seller said that farmland being sold would carry 2000 sheep if worked by one team; the buyer was considered sufficiently knowledgeable to accept or reject the seller’s opinion. I represent a diverse mix in a vast array of specialties, including litigation, contracts, compliance, business and financial strategies, and emerging industries. Skilled professors and professionals fostered my powerful educational and professional background. Prior to law school, I earned dual Bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration & Accounting from Peru State College. I received a Master of Business Administration degree from Chadron State College. While working full time as a Senior Accountant for the University of Missouri, Columbia, I achieved the lifelong goal of becoming a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

If Mary is unable to get another service to handle the job on time, Happy Housekeepers may be held liable, not only to return Mary’s $300 payment, but for the extra month’s rent incurred because of the company’s breach of contract. Mary is moving out of her rental home, into the home she recently purchased with her new husband. Mary contracts with the Happy Housekeepers service for a thorough cleaning of the rental on Thursday, a full day after she has removed all of her belongings, so that she can do a walk-through with the landlord on Friday, the 31st of the month. On Monday, three days before the company is to clean the house, Mary receives a phone call informing her the service will be unable to do the job on Thursday, due to other obligations. No matter whether you’re running a small business, applying for a job, leasing an apartment or swiping a credit card to pay for lunch, contracts are a part of life, and being well-informed about contract basics can help you be confident when making all kinds of legal decisions. Both parties must give something of value and receive something of value.

Islamic marriages are typically solemnised as a written financial contract, typically in the presence of two Muslim male witnesses, and it may include a brideprice (Mahr) payable from a Muslim man to a Muslim woman. Meanwhile, in India, Muslim personal law is a distinct branch of law governed by a variety of statutes and Islamic customs that vary from community to community. All parties to any contract must provide the other parties something of value, which entices the other party to enter into the agreement.

Construction contracts

As western Europe declined from an urbanized commercial society into a localized agrarian society, the Roman courts and administrators were replaced by relatively weak and imperfect institutions. A true law of contracts—that is, of enforceable promises—implies the development of a market economy. Where a commitment’s value is not seen to vary with time, ideas of property and injury are adequate and there will be no enforcement of an agreement if neither party has performed, since in property terms no wrong has been done. In a market economy, on the other hand, a person may seek a commitment today to guard against a change in value tomorrow; the person obtaining such a commitment feels harmed by a failure to honour it to the extent that the market value differs from the agreed price. However, in certain circumstances, certain promises that are not considered contracts may be enforced to a limited extent. If one party has made reasonable reliance to his detriment on the assurances/promises of the other party, the court may apply an equitable doctrine of Promissory Estoppel to award the non-breaching party a reliance damages to compensate the party for the amount suffered as a result of the party’s reasonable reliance on the agreement.

Words Nearby contract

Courts may also look to external standards, which are either mentioned explicitly in the contract[64] or implied by common practice in a certain field.[65] In addition, the court may also imply a term; if price is excluded, the court may imply a reasonable price, with the exception of land, and second-hand goods, which are unique. Cassie has spent more than a decade handling all aspects of litigation, focusing on divorce, family law, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claims, contracts, fraudulent insurance claims, and bodily injury claims. She has worked at small boutique law firms, in house for major insurance carriers, and most recently as a partner at a large nationwide practice. Cassie now contributes this knowledge and experience for the benefit of her clients. She is zealous about obtaining the best financial outcome for her clients and supporting them while they navigate the difficult terrain of family law, contracts, insurance claims, and personal injuries. We have talked about when to hire a contract lawyer, now let us talk about why to hire a contract lawyer.

What Is the Statute of Frauds, and to What Contracts Does it Apply?

Contracts are mainly governed by state statutory and common (judge-made) law and private law (i.e. the private agreement). Private law principally includes the terms of the agreement between the parties who are exchanging promises. This private law may override many of the rules otherwise established by state law.

For example, in the English case Balfour v. Balfour a husband agreed to give his wife £30 a month while he was away from home, but the court refused to enforce the agreement when the husband stopped paying. In contrast, in Merritt v Merritt the court enforced an agreement between an estranged couple because the circumstances suggested their agreement was intended to have legal consequences. The terms of a contract are enforceable by law, with clearly defined penalties and remedies should the contract be breached.