Contract Law and Common Law: Understanding the Differences
The legal system can be complex, especially for those who do not have a background in law. One area that can be confusing is contract law and common law. Though both of these legal concepts may refer to laws and regulations, they are quite different from each other.
In this article, we will explore contract law and common law, define each one, and discuss the differences between them.
What is Contract Law?
Contract law refers to the set of legal rules that govern contracts and agreements between parties. A contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties that is enforceable by law. Contracts can be written or verbal, but written contracts are generally preferred due to their clear terms and conditions.
Contract law covers a wide range of agreements and relationships, including employment contracts, lease agreements, purchase agreements, and service agreements. It sets forth the obligations and rights of each party and provides a framework for resolving disputes.
In contract law, the parties involved are bound by the terms and conditions of the contract that they have agreed upon. If one party fails to fulfill their obligations, the other party can take legal action to enforce the terms of the contract.
What is Common Law?
Common law refers to the body of law developed through the decisions of courts and judges, rather than through legislative or executive actions. Common law is based on legal precedents set by previous court decisions and is often used in cases where there is no specific law or regulation that applies.
Common law covers a wide range of legal issues, including torts, property law, and criminal law. In common law, the judge or court decides the outcome of a case based on previous legal precedents, rather than on statutes or regulations.
Differences between Contract Law and Common Law
While both contract law and common law are branches of the legal system, they differ in several key ways:
Contract law is created through the agreement of the parties involved, while common law is created through court decisions and precedents.
Contract law is designed to enforce the terms of a contract between parties, while common law is designed to settle disputes between parties in cases where there is no specific law or regulation that applies.
Contracts are specific to the parties involved and may contain provisions that are not covered by common law. Common law, on the other hand, applies to a broad range of legal issues and is not specific to any particular case or parties.
In conclusion, contract law and common law are two distinct branches of the legal system. Contract law is designed to govern agreements between parties, while common law is designed to settle disputes in cases where there is no specific law or regulation that applies. Understanding the differences between these legal concepts is important for anyone involved in legal contracts or disputes.