The basis on contractual obligation is a promise, a promise from both parties to perform a duty, or duties in reliance on that promise. This paper will take the stance that Thomas Davitt takes, stating that though mutual assent and consideration are important to a contract, those factors are not the essence of a contract. There is a moral obligation to fulfill a contract, one that is much more than simply words written on paper. The second restatement of contracts defines a contract as: “a promise or a set of promises for the breach of which the law gives a remedy, or the performance of which the law in some way recognizes as a duty.” Restatement (Second) of Contracts § 1 (1979). The restatement goes on to define what a promise is. “A …show more content…
Davitt discusses the difference between “consent” and “assent”. Davitt states that the former implies a positive action and involves submission, while the later involves more passivity or submission, which does not include consent. Id. at 273. Davitt would rather state that knowledge and consent are more appropriate, because these two factors can be applied to both natural and legal promissory agreements. Id. at 274. In Davitt’s view, consideration is not the basis for contractual obligation. Davitt uses consideration to discuss ways in which to distinguish between legally enforceable promises are those that are not. According to Davitt, a consideration is the price bargained and paid for a promise. Id. at 277. Consideration, as defined in the restatement, is similar, stating that in order “[t]o constitute consideration, a performance or a return promise must be bargained for.” Restatement (Second) of Contracts § 71. Though Davitt uses a similar definition to that of the restatement, he believes that consideration is not even essential for a contact. Davitt states that bargaining, or a quid pro quo, too often fosters injustice and frustration of honest claims. The Elements of Law, at 279. Davitt also states that men have been making agreements for a long time that do not involve a quid pro quo, or anything else like the later, yet there is still a trust between the two parties. Id. at 282. Davitt argues that
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The particular focus of this essay is on how terms are implied. This is central because the courts intervene and impose implied terms when they believe that in addition to the terms the parties have expressly agreed on, other terms must be implied into the contract. Gillies argued that the courts have become more interventionist in protecting the rights of contracting parties thereby encroaching upon the notion of freedom of contract. The doctrine of freedom of contract is a prevailing philosophy which upholds the idea that parties to a contract should be at liberty to agree on their own terms without the interference of the courts or legislature. Implied terms can be viewed as a technique of construction or interpretation of contracts. It has been argued that the courts are interfering too much in their approach to determine and interpret the terms of a contract. The aim of this essay is to explore this argument further and in doing so consider whether freedom of contract is lost due to courts imposing implied terms. The essay will outline how the common law implies terms. The final part of the essay will examine whether Parliament, by means of a statute, or terms implied by custom restrict freedom in a contract. An overall conclusion on the issue will be reached.
A contract is a legally obligatory promise or set of promises (Bagley, C. 2013). If this promise is broken, either party involved can be legally responsible and take the other party to court. There are four basic elements in the creation of a valid contract. The first consist of an agreement between the parties involved, by an presented offer and acceptance. The second states that the parties’ promises must be supported by something of worth, known as consideration. The third advises both parties must have the ability to enter into a contract. The fourth element states the contract must have a legal purpose (Bagley, C 2013).
Contract law has set out to provide a healthy trade environment. Contracts are promises enforced by the law, with the support of something of value that has a legal purpose. It is an agreement between parties, formed by the elements: offer and acceptance, with all parties having the capacity to perform obligations enforceable by law. There are instances where the enforcement of a contract would bring about gains or losses to society and commerce.
A contract is a bargain which two or more parties entered into voluntarily with a lawful object, each of whom intends to create one or more legal responsibility between them in law. Thus, a contract may be formed when two or more parties each promise to perform or to refrain from performing a little action now or in the future. (Boston, T. 1779) What is more, contract law shows what promises or commitments our society believes should be legally binding. Similarly, Professor Arthur Corbin's (1874–1967) famous first axiom of contract law is that the main purpose of law is the realization of reasonable expectations induced by promises. Hence, comments demonstrate that the purpose of contract law is to protect legal promises or commitments between two or more parties which build a
A contract is a promise between two or more parties that the law recognizes as binding by providing a remedy in the event of breach. In order for a promise to be enforceable it must be supported by consideration. Consideration can be defined as a bargained for exchange between the promisor and promisee; a promise can not be considered a contract without consideration. Common law states also require mutual assent to exist for a contract to be enforceable, this means that there must be an offer and an acceptance of said offer. For example, if a promise is made between two consenting people and one of those
There are many ideas about the correct basis for contractual obligation. They include promise, consideration, and cause. All jurisdictions follow at least one. In Thomas E. Davitt’s The Elements of Law, the author articulates a very credible argument for the basis for contractual obligation being one of those named above. Davitt simplifies the arguments for all of these and names one correct basis: the promise itself. Generally Thomas E. Davitt, S.J., The Elements of Law, 272 (1959). This paper will argue in favor of Davitt’s writings. The basis for contractual obligation is the promise itself. In order to effectively argue in favor of one basis over the possible others, it is necessary to discuss and rule out the others.
Charles Fried asserts that enforcing promises is the main purpose of contract law. One initiates a contract by invoking the practice of promising, and the other party can reasonably trust him or she will perform as promised in the future. If one fails to fulfill the promises, he or she then damages or ruins the trust, and exhibits disrespect for the other party. This behavior is morally wrong and condemned by the society. To enforce promises, the social practice of promising should be supplemented with additional rules or standards. The role of contract law is to provide rules and standards to further that purposes. When the promise principle under Fried’s theory does not provide a ground for relief, other contract law principles may still fill the gap. For example, the principle of benefit requires compensating others for non-gift benefits received from them. Additionally, contract law also enforces promise by awarding expectation
The doctrine of consideration is one of the most established doctrines within the common law of contract. This essay will discuss the impact of Williams v Roffey Bros & Nicholls (Contractors) Ltd  EWCA Civ 5 on the doctrine of consideration. It will shed light on the rules of consideration, ways to avoid consideration, application of the rules in the specific circumstance of performance of an existing duty in cases. Evidently an alteration to the rules and practices would be displayed. Courts today need to make a distinction between everyday social agreements and legally binding contracts, this is where the doctrine of consideration manifests. This case introduces the practical benefit rule needed for consideration however, this case did not alter set legislation formed from the case Stilk v Myric. As it was held in the Court of Appeal and not seen or upheld by the House of Lords.
Consideration is essential to the formation of any contract made without deed. It distinguishes a bargain or contract from a gift. Lush J in the case of Currie v Misa (1875) referred consideration consist of a benefit to the promisor or a detriment to the promisee as:
Contractual agreements are supposed to be consensual, and freely entered into by the parties involved. Therefore, ‘before a court enforces a relationship as a contract, the courts must have a reasonably certain basis in fact to justify binding the parties to each other.’ (St. John’s Law Scholarship Repository, no date). Resolution of whether a contract was intended to be legally binding is not determined by what the parties themselves thought or intended. Rather, a more objective stance is taken by the courts. This is known as the objective theory of contract, and essentially enables ‘the courts to look at external evidence (what the parties said and did at the time)’ (Poole, 2006, p. 34), as to objectively indicate the parties’ intentions
A Contract requires several elements in order to be considered enforceable. However for the purpose of this essay we would explore one of these elements in order to effectively understand the controversial cases of Williams v Roffey Brothers and Nicholls (contractors) Ltd (1990) and Stilk v Myrick (1804). Before going any further one should briefly understand the doctrine of Consideration. Despite the vast amount of content written, the doctrine of consideration is still to this day unclear due to the inconsistency of the courts and its application of necessary rules. Consideration refers to that which the law deems as valuable in that the promisor receives from the promise that which was promised. In other words, it is the exchange of something of value between the parties in a contract. One should be mindful that in English law, every promise may not be legally enforceable; it requires the court to distinguish between are enforceable and non-enforceable obligations. This brings us to the controversial cases of Stilk v Myrick and Williams v the Roffery brothers. Many argue that that the case of Williams was wrongly decided leading to impairments in the rule initially established in Stilk v Myrick. This essay seek to analyse and critique the cases of Stilk v Myrick and Williams v Roffey Brothers and also highlight whether or not the new rule of Practical benefit lead to serious impairments in later cases.
Contracts are used in many different forms and for just as many different situations within our everyday lives. Some contracts are more involved than others and for some; contracts are an essential of their success. As we continue, we will take a look at different types of contracts with the main focus on enforceable contracts. With so many elements that are incorporated into any contract, the six essential elements of enforceable contracts will be the main focus of this writing. Having a clearer understanding of the essentials of life will help prepare us for life’s curves that may come our way.
“An agreement giving rise to obligations which are enforced or recognised by law. The factor which distinguishes contractual from other legal obligations is that they are based on the agreement of the contracting parties.”
Conceptually, reasonable expectations of honest men and sanctity of contract are not in conflict. Indeed, they often point to the same direction – it is the reasonable expectation of an honest man that an agreement should be executed. Although it is observed that the two themes usually work side by side, this essay argues that in regards to the rules of acceptance of unilateral contracts, the English courts place more emphasis on reasonable expectations when making decisions.