quasi-contract

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Also found in: Dictionary, Financial.
Related to quasi-contracts: implied in law, Implied in law contract

quasi-contract

‘like’ contract. A very contentious term at present, it describes cases where parties have an obligation that resembles contract but where there is actually no contract at all. In England it was (and still is) predominantly used for cases involving money had and received, and in Scotland was (and still is) used to describe cases under the various actions for recovery of mistaken payments and for work done without contract. Modern theorists have demonstrated that quasi-contractual actions have nothing to do with contract at all but rather describe, mostly, claims in restitution for unjust enrichment. Accordingly, the term is becoming used by fewer and fewer commentators.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
(1) Very roughly speaking, tort law deals with the breach of obligations imposed by law, contract law with the creation and breach of voluntary obligations, and property law with the rights and duties that relate to "things." To this threefold classification, courts and scholars have added two more hybrid categories: quasi-contract and quasi-tort.
(3) For work on the category of quasi-contract, see generally WILLIAM A.
The first Restatement of the Law of Restitution, (7) and Palmer's four-volume treatise, (8) each give substantial weight to the historic division between law and equity and to the historic scope of quasi-contract. Quasi-contract, the nineteenth-century name for the common law's response to cases of what we would now call unjust enrichment, was rooted in fictional pleadings and the forms of action.
Its well-criticised confusion between a contract implied in law and an obligation implied in (or, rather, imposed by operation of) law is all the more surprising given Viscount Haldane LC's quotation of Professor James Ames' observations as to 'the essentially equitable quasi-contracts growing out of the principle of unjust enrichment.' (10)
They discuss the political and legal system of the Netherlands, the distinctions between public and private law and between civil and commercial law, contract formation, conditions of substantive validity, the contents of a contract, third persons, the end of a contract, and special topics like agency, bailment, gaming and wagering, sale of goods, building contracts, lease, contracts with government and other public administrations, and quasi-contracts. The volume is derived from the multi-volume International Encyclopaedia of Laws.
So when classical theorists tried to put agency on a contract footing, (23) claimed that bailments were not actually contracts but rather some other form of undertaking, (24) took pains to distinguish contracts from quasi-contracts, (25) or reworked the law governing interpretation to focus on intent rather than on which category of relations the transactions fit, (26) they were reiterating the same basic maneuver of setting up contract as a realm wholly governed by the parties themselves, rather than by legally determined obligation.
It provides general background on the country, including its geography, culture, political system, population and employment statistics, economy, and social and cultural values, then discusses the definition of a contract, historical background on the law of contracts, their classification, torts, quasi-contracts, the law of property, trust, good faith and fair dealing, the style of drafting, and sources of law.
The volume's final section offers perspectives on behavioral approaches to contract law, the civil law of contract, and unjust enrichment and quasi-contracts. De Geest teaches law at Washington University in St.

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