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Contract Law

Contract Law (3rd edn)

TT Arvind
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date: 16 June 2024

p. 53718. Privity and third parties

Protecting the rights of non-partieslocked

p. 53718. Privity and third parties

Protecting the rights of non-partieslocked

  • TT ArvindTT ArvindProfessor of Law and Head of Department, York Law School, University of York

Abstract

This chapter examines how English law, through a doctrine known as privity of contract, deals with the problem posed by contracts whose performance involves third parties. According to the doctrine of privity, a contract ordinarily only affects persons who are party to it. Third parties are neither bound by the contract nor entitled to claim rights under the contract. However, the courts and Parliament developed a number of exceptions to the strict rule of privity, each of which gives third parties a right to sue under the contract in a certain type of situation. For example, the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 gives third party beneficiaries a right to enforce contract terms. This chapter first considers the problem of third party rights in contracting before discussing the effects of privity and the provisions of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 in more detail.

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