1999年中国《合同法》第二条对contract定义为: A contact in this Law refers to an agreement establishing, modifying and terminating the civil rights and obligations between subjects of equal footing, that is, between natural persons, legal persons or other organizations”.根据这一定义,合同是平等主体之间设立的确定民事权利和义务的协议。

Steven H.Gifts编著的”Law Dictionary”中将contract 定义为”contract is a promise, or a set of promises, for breach of which the law gives remedy, or the performance of the which the law in some way recognize as a duty.”根据这一定义,合同是一种承诺,违反承诺可以得到法律救助,某种意义上法律将 履行该承诺看做是一种补偿。

  L.B Curzon 在其编撰的字典”A Dictionary of Law”给contract的定义:”Contract is a legally binding agreement”根据这一定义,合同就是有法 律约束力的协议。

  综合起来,有一个相同点,就是”Contract is an agreement”,即可将合同说成是”An agreement which binds the parties concerned”或者说合同说成是”An agreement which is enforceable by law”,也可以说:Contracts are promises that the law will enforce.



  L.B “A consensus of mind, or evidence of such consensus, in spoke or written form, relating to anything done or to be done.”根据这一定义,协议是对已经做或准备做的相关事宜,经过谈判、协商后取得一致意见,以口头或书面形式做出的约定。

   Black “Law Dictionary”有两个定义。一个是:”A concord of understanding and intention between two or more parties with respect to the effect upon their relative rights and duties, of certain past or future facts or performance”根据这一定义,协议即双方或多方京某些过去或将来某些事实的相关权利、义务或相关权利、义务的履行而达成的一致理解和愿望。

   另一个是:”The consent of two or more persons concurring respecting the transmission of some property, right or benefits, with the view of contacting an obligation, a mutual obligation.”根据这一定义,协议即两个或多个当事人,为了约定单方责任或相互责任,就财产权利、利益的转移取得的一致同意。




  L.B Curzon编著的”A Diction of Law”提到:”Contract generally involves”:

  1.offer and absolute and unqualified acceptance (要约和绝对接受);

  2.consensus ad idem (意思表示一致,也叫meeting of minds);

   3.intention to create legal relations(建立合同关系的意愿);

  4.genuineness of consent(同意的真实性);

  5.contractual capacity of the parties(合同当事人的缔约能力);

  6.legality of object(标的物的合法性);

   7.possibility of performance(履行的可能性);

  8.certainty of terms(条款的确定性);

  9.valuable consideration(等价有偿)。



Black ‘Law Dictionary” 中解释道:Although often used as synonyms with “contract”, agreement is a broader term, agreement might lack an essential element of a contact.”即”协议”和”合同”经常用作同义词,但”协议”这一术语含义更广,例如协议可能缺乏合同的必备条款(essential clauses/provisions)。

  实际使用当中,协议可不受必备条款的限制,而称为合同的文体肯定少不了必备条款,有的合同将其单列,称为一般条款(General provisions)。


   1.title or name and domicile of the parities(当事人的名称或姓名和住址);

   2.contract object(标的);



   5.price or remuneration(价款或者报酬);

  6.time limit, place and method of performance (履行期限、地点和方式);

  7.liability for breach of contract(违约责任);

  8.methods to settle disputes (解决争议的方法)。




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