Contract Law

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A contract’s nature

A contract can be best defined as an agreement that legally binds parties involved. Contractual obligation has its basis laid on an agreement that has been slowly evolved. Even so, it is not collectively true to imply that all contracts are types of agreements. There are two types of agreements: bilateral and unilateral agreements. A bilateral agreement is a contract in which the parties involved agree to carry out mutual duties that are enforced by law. These are the most common types of contracts. Unilateral agreements on the other hand are one sided in that they are only binding to one party.

A contract’s elements

Firstly, a contract must have intentions of creating and have capability of enhancing legal relations. Secondly, the parties in the contract need to be persons who have full contractual capacity. Thirdly, in instances that the law requires special formalities to come with the agreement, the formalities need to be complied with. In addition to this, there must be “consideration” as it is technically known.

Offer and Acceptance

An agreement makes note of a meeting between the parties involved and is at times referred to as “consensus ad idem”. All agreements have capability of being analyzed and expressed as an “offer” and an illustrated “acceptance”. These expressions may be made by conduct or words.

An offer maybe made specifically to a single person or the world at large and in either case, an agreement only exists if the person(s) accepts the agreement. The offer needs not only to be made but also there is need for it to be communicated to the intended acceptor for acceptance or rejection. For an offer to be legally abiding there is need for it to be unequivocal and clear. As such, a statement made during a negotiation cannot be viewed as an offer. The acceptor must be aware of the offer when he signifies acceptance of the offer.

Intention to contract 

Obviously, not all agreements can be taken to be contracts. Most agreements lie outside the scope of a contract’s law presumably because they are concerned with moral matters as opposed to legal obligations binding the parties. As such, the intention to contract is based on the parties’ willingness to commit to a binding agreement – which is a prerequisite for a contract.

Generally, a contract can only be entered by two parties who are perfectly aware of the existence of an agreement between them. This implies that the parties entered into the contract willingly while understanding the terms and conditions provided for in the contract.