- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 17 Jan 2018
Contract vs tort
The classic 19th 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.
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 17th 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.
- Strict liability.
Featured articles and news
Whole-life costs consider all costs associated with the life of a building, from inception to disposal. Find out more here.
Reports emerge of injuries caused by Apple employees colliding with the campus' glazed walls.
The winners of NIC's ideas competition on transforming the Cambridge to Oxford arc discuss their concept.
Create new habitats and improve air quality and wellbeing.
New report provides 12 key actions which could close the structural talent gap in the construction industry.
These can be used to find out whether a proposed development is likely to be approved. Read more here.
Studying a built environment degree? Check out our helpful student resources section.
New BRE research paper explores how blockchain technology can benefit the built environment industry.
Timber is a natural carbon sink, but it must not end up in landfill at the end of its useful life.
BSRIA has collaborated with the Department of Health on research into air permeability in isolation rooms.