Contract law is notoriously structured and methodical, and seeks to provide a timeless legal framework to follow the contracting between parties. Contract law concerns the regulation of contracts and the obligations imposed by them to maintain certainty and protect parties from unfair or impossible contract terms, as well as the remedies which can be provided by the courts in times of dispute or breach of contract.
Here is what Contract Law covers:
A Breach of Contract is the term used when a commitment or promise made by one party to an agreement has been broken or is anticipated to be breached. The victim of the breach (the party who suffered a loss) can seek damages and sanctions from the court for the breaching party's fault. Remedies could include compensation, injunctions, and termination of the contract.
Consumer Credit Rights are detailed in the corresponding legislation and entitle consumers to certain rights when they purchase a product or service using credit rather than an upfront payment. The legislation regulates the use of credit transactions between consumers and traders, to ensure fairness. A common example of a credit transaction is the use of a credit card.
Consumer Rights are rights given to individuals who purchase products or services for personal use. An example of a consumer right is the right to a refund or repair. The main rights are detailed in statute and legal remedies are available to consumers who can demonstrate a breach; so traders are legally required to ensure refunds, repairs, and discounts are provided in certain circumstances within strict time-limits.
There are specific formalities that should be adhered to when drafting a contract, in order to ensure its validity and comprehensiveness. These include but are not limited to: making an offer, demonstrating acceptance of the offer, providing consideration for the agreement (payment or benefit of some kind), certainty in the terms agreed between the parties, and expressing an intention to create legal relations through the contract.
Misrepresentation is the term used to describe a false or negligent statement or action made by a party which subsequently induces another party into a contract. There are three types of misrepresentation in contract law: fraudulent, innocent, and negligent. If the induced party can prove that the statements were false, and that they would not have entered into the contract without the statement, then compensation and/or contract termination could be issued. Misrepresentation is governed by both common law and statutory legislation.
Signing a contract signifies the acceptance of the terms within it. There are formalities to bear in mind when signing different contracts in order to ensure their validity. Some contracts require a witness to be present when the document is signed, while others require stamps, or wet ink signatures as opposed to electronic signatures. Acceptance of contract terms does not necessarily require a signature and so could be indicated from conduct, for instance.
Termination is the expression used when a contract or agreement is brought to an end, either by expiration or through the invoking of a clause which ends the contract. On termination, parties to the contractual agreement are released from their obligations and responsibilities under the contract.
Third Party Rights give permission to a non-contractual party to enforce, benefit from, or be liable for elements of the contract in question. Legislation governs this area as it rebuts the principle of being aware of a contract, by which only the parties to the contract may enforce the terms of the same.
When travelling, consumers are entitled to certain rights concerning issues such as travel delays, cancellations and accommodation standards. Consumers are entitled to complain and seek compensation for faults in these services, so traders and service providers are held accountable to reimburse reasonable costs/losses and pay compensation/refunds for inconvenience.
A contract term is deemed to be unfair if it disproportionately disadvantages or advantages one contractually-bound party over the other. Statute governs this area of law and regulates both business and consumer contracts, to ensure that contract terms are not significantly imbalanced in favour of one party.