A contract is a legally enforceable agreement that creates, defines, and governs mutual rights and obligations among its parties. A contract typically involves the transfer of goods, services, money, or a promise to transfer any of those at a future date. In the event of a breach of contract, the injured party may seek judicial remedies such as damages or rescission. Contract law, the field of the law of obligations concerned with contracts, is based on the principle that agreements must be honoured. Contract law, like other areas of private law, varies between jurisdictions. The various systems of contract law can broadly be split between common law jurisdictions, civil law jurisdictions, and mixed law jurisdictions which combine elements of both common and civil law. Common law jurisdictions typically require contracts to include consideration in order to be valid, whereas civil and most mixed law jurisdictions solely require a meeting of the minds between the parties. Within the overarching category of civil law jurisdictions, there are several distinct varieties of contract law with their own distinct criteria: the German tradition is characterised by the unique doctrine of abstraction, systems based on the Napoleonic Code are characterised by their systematic distinction between different types of contracts, and Roman-Dutch law is largely based on the writings of renaissance era Dutch jurists and case law applying general principles of Roman law prior to the Netherlands' adoption of the Napoleonic Code. The majority of Southern Africa uses a mixed law system under which private law, including contract law, is largely drawn from Roman-Dutch law while public law is drawn from English common law, while several former British colonies which were previously French apply a system in which private law is drawn from the French legal tradition.
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