Reflection on the Law of Contracts
Reflection on the Law of Contracts
We enter into deals and sign contracts day in day out. Sitting in a bus amounts to getting into a contract. Putting a coin in a slot of weighing balance is itself a contract. More often than not, we do not realize when we enter into contracts. People who engage in business, commerce, or industry often carry out businesses through getting into contracts. The law of contracts bears a key disparity from other types of laws in that it doesn’t lay down precise duties and rights which the law protects and enforces, but contains many limiting principles from which parties may come up with rights and duties for themselves. It is held that the law of contracts gives the parties involved, the freedom to make laws to themselves provided they do not transgress the legal prohibitions. They are at liberty to frame rules as they so wish regarding the subject matter of the law and contract that binds them.
A contract is an agreement that can be enforced by law. It also refers to a promise or set of promises that form a given consideration for one another.
The element of an agreement includes proposals or offers and acceptance of the presented offer or proposal.
It should be noted that not all agreements are contracts. The only agreements that are contracted are those that are enforceable by law. The Contract Act is known to be the only law that provides a framework upon which agreements create obligations and in the event that one party breaks or breaches the agreement, then he or she is liable to legal remedy.
A contract contains two elements, namely; an agreement and a legal obligation. Legal obligation requires that the contract is enforceable by law. Agreements to engage in unlawful acts, for instance, murder or smuggling is not enforceable by law. Besides, some of the agreements are particularly declared unenforceable or void under the Indian Contract Act.
It should also be noted that an obligation that lacks its origin in any agreement also lacks the capacity to give rise to a contract. Some of the notable obligations includes torts which are sometimes known as civil wrongs, quasi contracts, court judgements, husband-wife relationship, beneficiary and trustee. The above obligations do not bear any contract in them but are enforceable by law in a court of law. Salmond notes that the law of contracts does not entirely amount to a whole segment of agreements, neither does it entail the whole law of obligation. It is thus the set of laws that create obligations and all those sets of obligations that contain their sources in agreements.
Fundamental elements of a valid contract
As mentioned above, there are two elements of a contract, that is, a legal obligation and an agreement. A section of the Contract Act states that all agreements are contracts provided that they arise from free consent of parties and that they are competent for any lawful consideration. Furthermore, they should not expressly be declared void.
When summed up, the fundamental elements that define a valid contract includes;
free and genuine consent
the intention to forge a legal relationship
certainty of meaning
The possibility of performing
The necessary legal formalities.
Conclusively, contracts can be classified based on a number of respects. They can be classified based on their enforceability or validity, their mode of formation and their performance.
Calamari, John D., and Joseph M. Perillo. The law of contracts. West Group, 2013.Print.
Langdell, C C. A Selection of Cases on the Law of Contracts: With References and Citations. Union, N.J: Lawbook Exchange, 2012. Print.
Williston, Samuel, and Clarence Martin Lewis. The law of contracts. Vol. 3. Baker, Voorhis & Company, 1920.Print.
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