A Contract Is An Agreement Between Two Or More Persons.

3196 words - 13 pages

A contract is an agreement between two or more persons (individuals, businesses, organizations or government agencies) to do, or to refrain from doing, a particular thing in exchange for something in value. Contracts generally can be written, using formal or informal terms, or entirely verbal. Contracts are governed by ``general principals`` and are usually derived from the common law (or judge-made law). However on the other hand, Professor Atiyah (1968b) argues that, ``there are no such things as a typical contract at all``. It was argues that ``contracts`` are a discrete, two-party, commercial, executory exchange, but notes that contracts can be found which depart from each feature of this classic model. Furthermore, Atiyah perceived the law of contract as a set of power-conferring rules that enable parties to enter into agreements of their own choise on their own agreed terms. The dominant ideology is that contractual parties should be as free as possible to make agreements on their own terms without the interference of the courts by way of statute and their agreements should be respected and upheld and enforced by the courts. However, Atiyah`s theory on the basis of the law of contract has been largely discredited. This is due to the fact that doctrines such as illegality cannot be ascribed to the will of the parties, nor can statutes such as the ``Unfair Contract Terms Act`1977``(UCTA 1977).Furthermore, a contractual agreement can only be derived through three key elements, competent parties, consideration and mutual assent. For a contract to be void, each side must have the capacity to enter into it. Most people and companies have sufficient legal competency. A drugged or mentally- impaired person has impaired capacity and chances are a court may not hold that person to the contract. Minors (e.g., usually those under3eighteen) cannot, generally, enter into a binding contract without consent, unless it is for the necessities of life, such as food, clothing, or for student loan contracts. Secondly, consideration plays a major role of a binding contract. If the other party is to be held to the contract, you must give up something in exchange. Money is the most common form of compensation, but it can also be property, giving up a right or valid claim, making a promise to do or not to do something, or anything of value under the keen eyes of the law. Agreeing to perform an illegal or illicit act is not consideration and the contract is void. The entirety of the scope of consideration can be seen in the case of ``Thomas V. Thomas [1842] 2QB851``, where it was distinguished that the $1 paid by the widow and promise to keep the house in good repair, to the testator was good consideration as it was of value in the eyes of the law. Furthermore, a mutual assent or a ``meeting of minds``, is a vital element of a binding contract. Putting the deal down on paper prior to singing it goes a long way to avoid future misunderstandings and disputes. Meeting...

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