Contract Law: Meaning & Application

Today's contracts and contract-making take on new dimensions with different variants and improvements while maintaining the primary goal of defending the expectations and interests of the parties.

As we examine the history and evolution of contract law, we see that facilitating and ensuring the smooth operation of trade and exchange has always been one of its main goals. The industrial revolution played a major role in the establishment and growth of contract law. Since the beginning of time, the expansion of trade and business has increased the necessity of contracts.

People gradually realized that engaging in activities that required exchange and transactions with one another was a very important and inalienable element of their livelihood after the beginning of civilization. As business grew as a result of this concept, the need to protect it from dishonest tactics and broken promises also emerged.

What is Contract Law?

A legally binding exchange of promises or an agreement between parties is known as a contract. “Pacta Sunt Servanda” a Latin word, is the foundation of contract law (pacts must be kept).

  • The law recognizes contract breaches, and there are available remedies. Every day, almost everyone enters into contracts. Written contracts are sometimes necessary, such as when purchasing a home. But the great majority of agreements are formed verbally, just like when purchasing a law book or a cup of coffee.

  • A contract is essentially an agreement between several parties that creates legally binding responsibilities between them.

  • Contracts are essential for promoting both confidence and cooperation. Instead of relying on the prospect of reciprocity or even the fear of retaliation, one could instead recruit others to ultimately pursue common goals by adhering to contracts that are supported by neutral authority.

Therefore, a legally binding agreement in which each party accepts a specific obligation that must be fulfilled is known as a contract. Contracts are involved in many parts of daily life, such as purchasing real estate, applying for a vehicle loan, signing documents linked to employment, and accepting terms and conditions while purchasing goods and services or using computer software.

Contractual legal problems most frequently occur when one party does not uphold its end of the bargain. When one party breaks a contract by failing to execute, the other party may frequently seek monetary compensation or, in some rare circumstances, may ask the court to compel the breaching party to carry out their end of the bargain.

A Social Up-gradation of contract law

The emergence of "rights of parties" by virtue of contracts rather than by status was widely encouraged, as was the acceptance of contractual duties. Evidently, the entire community where the growth of contract laws was absorbed saw it as the best development. This is due to the fact that legally enforceable promises and contracts created legal duties that granted the parties rights and remedies. All of this eliminated some of the social ills that encouraged inequality in the name of superiority and prestige. With the freedom of contracts, a sense of equality was created, and at the same time, certain limitations supported by the law also prevented abuse of such powers and freedom.

Development of Contract Law

The growth of human civilization is what led to the formation of contract law. It has been acknowledged by specialist theory as a separate legal institute, with historical roots that go back to antiquity and are inextricably linked to the formation and development of Roman law.

  • The evolution of contract law is a product of the each nation's economic, political, and intellectual renaissance. Additional characteristics of this process include the mutual penetration and harmonization of the various legal systems. The development of the science of contract law is profoundly influenced by classical Roman law.

  • In the research investigations, the definition of the term "contract" is quite crucial. The decision of the contract in accordance with the French Civil Code is accepted as conductive in the nations using the continental legal system. It stresses the need of coming to a decision that binds the parties to give, do, or refrain from doing something.

At the present time, contract law is based on the Latin maxim Pacta sunt Servanda, which expresses the willful acceptance of the agreement struck by the contracting parties as being enforceable in law. The legal systems have incorporated the notion of justice and bona fide as a guiding principle for pre-contractual interactions and duty fulfillment.

Important Terms in Contract Law

The given table describes certain terms frequently used in contract law −

Term Description


A contract between two or more parties that imposes obligations on each party, including the right to enforce the other party's obligations or seek redress in the event of a violation.

Specific Performance

When monetary damages are insufficient or insufficient, as in the case of a breach of a real estate sale contract, an equitable remedy that requires a party in breach to adhere strictly to the provisions of the contract may be utilized.


Failure to fulfill a duty imposed by a pledge or agreement without justification or an explanation.


An offer of a contract that can be accepted by the other party and become a binding agreement.


The deed or omission necessary to carry out a promise or duty.


An acceptance of an offer that creates a legally enforceable contract, frequently required to be in writing.

Statue of Frauds

A State regulation requiring written contracts in order to be enforceable.

Contract Lawsuits

The law provides remedies when a contract's intended recipient is harmed, trying to put the victim back in the position they would have been in otherwise, rather than only penalizing the offending party. What the aggrieved party receives will either increase or decrease with adequate considerations. This will persuade them to sign such a pledge or contract in a just and reasonable manner. Gifts do not satisfy the requirement of adequate consideration because the promise to make any gift is nonetheless typically void.

Due to its extensive principles and exceptions, contract law may appear difficult. However, in practice, the vast majority of contracts are complied with, and of those that are litigated, the courts quickly recognize when parties are only attempting to back out of an agreement by invoking some arbitrary provision of contract law. The courts in these situations do not provide redress.


It is usually advisable to have their chosen lawyer prepare a legally enforceable and effective contract if parties vow to refrain from doing something. This facilitates the efficient operation of the contractual connection between the parties and aids in the quicker and simpler resolution of any dispute or issue arising from that contract.

In addition to this, it is equally crucial for the parties to a contract to carefully assess whether the agreement they seek to execute contains all the requirements for a valid contract.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1. Why are contracts so crucial?

Ans: Legally binding contracts are useful instruments for keeping organizations running efficiently. Business contracts offer the crucial legal safeguards you require for any operation.

Q2. What is the primary basis for contract law?

Ans: The common law and statute law are the two main origins of contract law. The decisions of courts serve as the primary representation of common law. Second, in addition to court rulings, the Restatement (Second) of Contracts and books and articles regarding contract law are also considered to be part of common law, albeit with a lesser stature.

Q3. How does contract form?

Ans: A proposal or offer made by one party must be accepted by the other in order for a contract to be formed. This typically entails the negotiation process, in which the parties use their creative thinking to make an offer, receive acceptance, and then draft a contract.

Q4. What two goals does contract law serve?

Ans: Contracts give parties the right to keep information private for the whole term of the arrangement. Additionally, contracts allow each party to have specific rights and submit demands that are in your company's best interests.

Q5. What does contract law serve to accomplish?

Ans: It is a tool for the exchange of products and services on the market. In Canada, common law and, in Quebec, civil law are used to administer contract law. A legally binding agreement between two or more parties made for a specific purpose is known as a contract. It is a tool for the exchange of products and services on the market.

Updated on: 16-Jan-2023


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