A breach of contract is failure to perform as stated in the contract. There are many ways to remedy a breached contract assuming
it has not been waived. Typically, the remedy for breach of contract is an award of money damages. When dealing with unique
subject matter, specific performance may be ordered.
As for many governments, it was not possible to sue the Crown in the U.K. for breach of contract before 1948. However,
it was appreciated that contractors might be reluctant to deal on such a basis and claims were entertained under a petition
of right that needed to be endorsed by the Home Secretary and Attorney-General. S.1 Crown Proceedings Act 1947 opened the
Crown to ordinary contractual claims through the courts as for any other person.
There are four different types of damages.
-Compensatory damages which are given to the party which was detrimented by the breach of contract. With compensatory
damages, there are two kinds of branches, consequential damages and direct damages.
-Nominal damages which include minimal dollar amounts (often sought to obtain a legal record of who was at fault).
-Punitive damages which are used to punish the party at fault. These are not usually given regarding contracts but possible
in a fraudulent situation.
-Exemplary damages which are used to make an example of the party at fault to discourage similar crimes. Fines can be
multiplied by factors of up to 50 for such damages.
Whenever you have a contract that requires completing something, and a person informs you that it will not be completed
before they begin your project, this is referred to anticipatory breach. When it is either not possible or desirable to award
damages measured in that way, a court may award money damages designed to restore the injured party to the economic position
that he or she had occupied at the time the contract was entered (known as the "reliance measure"), or designed
to prevent the breaching party from being unjustly enriched ("restitution").
There may be circumstances in which it would be unjust to permit the defaulting party simply to buy out the injured party
with damages. For example where an art collector purchases a rare painting and the vendor refuses to deliver, the collector's
damages would be equal to the sum paid.
The court may make an order of what is called "specific performance", requiring that the contract be performed.
In some circumstances a court will order a party to perform his or her promise (an order of "specific performance")
or issue an order, known as an "injunction," that a party refrain from doing something that would breach the contract.
A specific performance is obtainable for the breach of a contract to sell land or real estate on such grounds that the property
has a unique value.
Both an order for specific performance and an injunction are discretionary remedies, originating for the most part in
equity. Neither is available as of right and in most jurisdictions and most circumstances a court will not normally order
specific performance. A contract for the sale of real property is a notable exception. In most jurisdictions it is enforceable
by specific performance. However, even in this case the defenses to an action in equity (such as laches, the bona fide purchaser
rule, or unclean hands) may act as a bar to specific performance.
Related to orders for specific performance, an injunction may be requested when the contract prohibits a certain action.
Action for injunction would prohibit the person from performing the act specified in the contract.