Contract vs tort
The classic nineteenth century definition of a contract is 'a promise or set of promises which the law will enforce' (Pollock, Principles of Contract 13th edition). That is to say, there is reciprocity of undertaking passing between the promisor and the promisee.
Tort on the other hand is generic in nature and therefore more difficult to define. It is a collection of civil law remedies entitling a person to recover damages for loss and injury which have been caused by the actions omissions or statements of another person in such circumstances that the latter was in breach of a duty or obligation imposed at law.
In contract, the rights and obligations are created by the acts of agreement between the parties to the contractual arrangement.
Historically, actions in contract and in tort derived from the same source - trespass - compared with actions for breach of a deed, which were based upon an action on the covenant. Actions for breach of contract were based on assumpsit and actions in tort were ex delicto. In the seventeenth century the courts began to draw procedural but not substantive distinctions between assumpsit and actions ex delicto. These distinctions became substantive differences during the nineteenth century, reflecting the political social and economical philosophy of 'laissez-faire', which emphasised the importance of the legal doctrines of freedom of contract and sanctity of contract.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Alternative dispute resolution.
- Breach of contract.
- Causes of construction disputes.
- Construction contract.
- Contract negotiation.
- Derogation from grant.
- Dispute resolution boards.
- Donoghue v Stevenson.
- Modifying clauses in standard forms of contract.
- Scheme for Construction Contracts.
Featured articles and news
Watch one of the first documentaries by the acclaimed Adam Curtis, examining the substandard system building of the 1960s.
Take a look at the tech start-up that could transform construction design and communication.
This house in Barcelona uses an innovative new facade tiling system to blend into the landscape.
The origins, evolution and future of Level 3 BIM.
For new and returning Urban Design students, check out our article list divided up into the modules you'll be studying.
Report states that health of urban dwellers could be significantly improved by rethinking transport design.
The Kremlin, the centre of Russian power, includes some of the country's finest architecture.
Report launched outlining steps for a national infrastructure system that is efficient, sustainable, and delivers until 2050.
A review of Justin Bere's concise and well-presented introductory guide to Passive House.
This article describes in detail the tender process for a typical commercial construction contract.
'The filing cabinet' which was labelled one of the best British buildings of the 21st century.