Contract vs Quasi Contract: Difference and Comparison

The Contract is a legally enforceable agreement among its parties.

 It involves transferring money, services, and goods or a pledge to transfer any of these at a certain duration.

 The Quasi Contract is a legal responsibility imposed by the law to prohibit unfair enrichment.

Key Takeaways

  1. Contracts are legally binding agreements between parties, while quasi-contracts are legal obligations imposed by law to prevent unjust enrichment.
  2. Contracts require mutual consent, while quasi-contracts are imposed without the consent of both parties.
  3. Contracts involve specific terms and conditions agreed upon by the parties, whereas quasi-contracts are based on the principle of fairness.
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Contract vs Quasi Contract

The difference between a Contract and a Quasi Contract is that a fundamental contract is distinguished by a petition and acceptance with free consent, while the Quasi Contract is not a contract at all because it lacks one or more elements of a contract.

The crucial elements of a legal contract exist in a basic Contract meanwhile, a Quasi Contract lacks the vital elements of a contract.

In a Contract, the approval of the parties is free and willing, whereas, in a Quasi Contract, the consent of both parties is not free.

The creation of a Contract is voluntary by parties, whereas a Quasi Contract comes into existence through a system of law.

Comparison Table

Parameter of comparisonContractQuasi Contract
ConsentBoth parties give their consent willingly and voluntaryNone of the parties give their consent willingly or voluntarily
DefinitionA contract is a legally enforceable agreementThe quasi-contract is a legal obligation imposed by law to prevent unjust enrichment
LiabilityThe terms and conditions are stated and agreed uponIt exists upon the party’s conduct
RightsBoth are right in rem and rights in personamOnly right in personam
Entry to contract It is Voluntary and willingly It is always Imposed by law or doctrine

What is Contract?

A Contract is a legally binding, enforceable agreement that governs mutual rights and obligations among its parties. Contract law started in the Roman Empire in the mediaeval age.

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The Contract is a law of obligation based on the principle that an agreement must be honoured and respected, which means that the terms and conditions are stated explicitly in the contract to avoid a breach of contract.

In case of a breach of contract, the plaintiff may seek a judicial solution for damages in a court of law.

Five elements make up a contract: Awareness, Consideration, Capacity, Legality, Acceptance, and lastly Offer.

The Creation of a Contract is free and voluntary between two parties or more to come together and collaborate toward their specific desires and needs without the compulsion of any kind.

The Contract can be compared with tort law which means that tort law provides civil remedies after a breach of duty arises from a contract.

A Contract varies between jurisdictions and provides enforcement of commitments and obligations to the initial agreement between two or more parties.

In a general contract, there is a provision for the discharge of the contract. A discharge of a contract is the termination of a contract associated with responsibilities.

It can be done in a series of ways, such as mutual agreement, performance, the lapse of time, and the operation of the constitution.

contract

What is Quasi Contract?

A Quasi Contract is a retroactive understanding between two people who have no prior obligations to one another.

The Quasi Contract was created by the legal court to correct a situation whereby one party acquires something at the expense of others.

Quasi Contracts do not fall under the category of torts or contracts, but they are recognizable as contracts in a court of law.

The Quasi Contract can be traced back to the medieval form named indebitatus assumpsit, which means being indebted in the English language.

There are two main elements of a Quasi Contract, which are the Plaintiff and Defendant. The Defendant is the party who has the upper hand, while the plaintiff is someone who has been wronged unjustly.

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The process by which the defendant pays restitution to the plaintiff is called Quantum Meruit in Latin, which means the amount earned. It is calculated according to the amount by which the defendant was unjustly enriched.

There are two types of Quasi Contracts implied and constructive Quasi Contracts. An implied Contract is the process by which a defendant is ordered to pay restitution, while a Constructive Contract is a contract created when there is no existing agreement between the two parties involved.

quasi contract

Main Differences Between Contract and Quasi Contract

  1. In a Contract, the parties have both rights in rem (against the whole world) and rights in personam (against the individual or organization) while, in the case of a quasi-contract, the party has the right in personam (against the individual or enterprise).
  2. In a Contract, the commitment is a result of the consent of the parties, whereas, in the case of a quasi-contract, the commitment is an outcome of the operation of law.
  3. A Contract has two important elements, which are Agreement and obligations meanwhile, quasi-contracts do not have these elements.
  4. A Contract is not a fictional treaty created by a court that is used to help decide in a court of law; meanwhile, a Quasi Contract is a fictional contract.
  5. In a contract, the approval of the parties is free and voluntary, whereas in a quasi-contract, the consent of both parties is not free.
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References
  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/764905
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3474509

Last Updated : 28 July, 2023

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