Contract

International Legal Research

Information about Contract in free legal resources:

Treaties & Agreements

International Organizations

Jurisprudence $ Commentary

European Union

IP Law

Contract

Introduction to Contract

Contract, in law, an agreement that creates an obligation binding upon the parties thereto. The essentials of a contract are as follows: (1) mutual assent; (2) a legal consideration, which in most instances need not be pecuniary; (3) parties who have legal capacity to make a contract; (4) absence of fraud or duress; and (5) a subject matter that is not illegal or against public policy.

In general, contracts may be either oral or written. Certain classes of contracts, however, in order to be enforceable, must be written and signed. These include contracts involving the sale and transfer of real estate; contracts to guarantee or to answer for the miscarriage, debt, or default of another person; and, in most states of the U.S., contracts for the sale of goods above a certain value.” (1)

Basic Contract Taxonomy

Contract is the mechanism by which people in modern society make choices for themselves, as opposed to being born or placed into a status as is common in feudal societies. A contract is a legally enforceable promise. The law of contract is the common law (for contracts involving real estate and services), statutory law (the Uniform Commercial Code for contract involving the sale or leasing of goods), and treaty law (the Convention on the International Sale of Goods). Contracts may be described based on the degree of their explicitness, mutuality, enforceability, and degree of completion.

Contracts are not all cut from the same die. Some are written, some oral; some are explicit, some not. Because contracts can be formed, expressed, and enforced in a variety of ways, a taxonomy of contracts has developed that is useful in lumping together like legal consequences. In general, contracts are classified along these dimensions: explicitness, mutuality, enforceability, and degree of completion. (2)

Explicitness

Explicitness is concerned with the degree to which the agreement is manifest to those not party to it. See Express Contract, Implied Contract and Quasi Contracts in this legal Encyclopedia.

Mutualy

Mutuality takes into account whether promises are exchanged by two parties or only one. See bilateral contracts and unilateral contracts in this legal Encyclopedia.

Enforceability

Enforceability is the degree to which a given contract is binding. See void (when there is not a contract at all and voidable contracts (the type of contract that is unenforceable by one party but enforceable by the other) in this legal Encyclopedia.

Completion

Completion considers whether the contract is yet to be performed or the obligations have been fully discharged by one or both parties. See executory contracts, partially executed contracts and executed contracts in this legal Encyclopedia.

The Legal History of Contract

This section provides an overview of Contract legal history.

In medieval England, contract—defined as set of promises—was not an intuitive concept. The courts gave relief to one who wanted to collect a debt, for in such a case the creditor presumably had already given the debtor something of value, and the failure of the debtor to pay up was seen as manifestly unjust. But the issue was less clear when neither promise had yet been fulfilled. (3)

Contract

Contract

Contract

Contract

Contract

Contract

Contract

Contract

Contract

Contract

Contract

Contract

Contract

Contract

Contract

Resources

See Also

  • Legal System
  • Judiciary
  • Justice

Resources

See Also

  • Adhesion contract
  • Agreement
  • Aleatory of contract
  • Alteration of contract
  • Bilateral contract
  • Bottom hole contract
  • Breach of contract
  • Collateral contract
  • Compact
  • Constructive contract
  • Contingency contract
  • Entire output contract
  • Executory contract
  • Formal contract
  • Futures contract
  • Impairing the obligation of contracts
  • Indemnity
  • Innominate contracts
  • Installment contract
  • Integrated contract
  • Investment contract
  • Letter contract
  • Letter of intent
  • Literal contract
  • Marketing contract
  • Novation
  • Oral contract
  • Parol evidence rule
  • Privity (Privity of contract)
  • Procurement contract
  • Quasi contract
  • Requirement contract
  • Severable contract
  • Simulated contract
  • SpeCialty
  • Liberty

Resources

See Also

  • Voidable contract

Resources

See Also

  • Void contract

Resources

See Also

  • Usurious contract

Resources

See Also

  • Tying arrangement

Resources

See Also

  • Requirements contract
  • Tying contract

Resources

See Also

  • Requirements contract

Resources

See Also

  • Parol evidence rule

Resources

See Also

  • Output contract

Resources

See Also

  • Investment contract
  • Security

Resources

See Also

  • Costs

Resources

See Also

  • Constructive contract
  • and Quasi contract

Resources

See Also

  • Constructive contract
  • also Express and implied
  • Quasi contract

Resources

See Also

  • Constructive contract

Resources

See Also

  • Adhesion contract
  • Unconscionability

Resources

Notes and References

  1. Information about Contract in the Encarta Online Encyclopedia
  2. “Business and the Legal Environment”, by Don Mayer, Daniel M. Warner and George J. Siedel.
  3. Id.

See Also

  • Legal Biography
  • Legal Traditions
  • Historical Laws
  • History of Law

Guide to Contract

In this Section

Contract, Contract Types, Nullifying Contracts and Breach of Contract.

Further Reading

Hierarchical Display of Contract

Law > Civil law > Civil law
Trade > Trade policy > Commercial law
Finance > Insurance > Insurance > Insurance contract
Employment And Working Conditions > Personnel management and staff remuneration > Personnel administration > Work contract
European Union > European construction > European Union > Area of freedom, security and justice > Judicial cooperation in civil matters in the EU
Trade > Trade policy > Commercial law > Commercial contract
Transport > Organisation of transport > Organisation of transport > Contract of carriage
Politics > Executive power and public service > Administrative law > Administrative contract
Trade > Consumption > Consumer > Consumer protection > Consumer law

Contract

Concept of Contract

See the dictionary definition of Contract.

Characteristics of Contract

Resources

Translation of Contract

Thesaurus of Contract

Law > Civil law > Civil law > Contract
Trade > Trade policy > Commercial law > Contract
Finance > Insurance > Insurance > Insurance contract > Contract
Employment And Working Conditions > Personnel management and staff remuneration > Personnel administration > Work contract > Contract
European Union > European construction > European Union > Area of freedom, security and justice > Judicial cooperation in civil matters in the EU > Contract
Trade > Trade policy > Commercial law > Commercial contract > Contract
Transport > Organisation of transport > Organisation of transport > Contract of carriage > Contract
Politics > Executive power and public service > Administrative law > Administrative contract > Contract
Trade > Consumption > Consumer > Consumer protection > Consumer law > Contract

See also

  • Conclusion of a contract
  • Contract law
  • Contractual agreement
  • Contractual commitment
  • Law of contract

Leave a Comment