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Which Law Governs

Although a general body of contract law exists, some aspects of it, such as construction (i.e., the process of ascertaining the proper explanation of equivocal terms), vary among the different jurisdictions. When courts must select the law to be applied with respect to a contract, they consider what the parties intended as to which law should govern; the place where the contract was entered into; and the place of performance of the contract. Many courts apply the modern doctrine of the "grouping of contracts" or the "center of gravity," in which the law of the jurisdiction that has the closest or most significant relationship with the matter in issue applies.

Courts generally apply the law that the parties expressly or impliedly intend to govern the contract, provided that it bears a reasonable relation to the transaction and the parties acted in good faith. Some jurisdictions follow the law of the place where the contract was performed, unless the intent of the parties is to the contrary. Where foreign law governs, contracts may be recognized and enforced under the doctrine of comity (i.e., the acknowledgment that one nation gives within its territory to the legislative, executive, or judicial acts of another nation).

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Constituency to CosignerContracts - Nature And Contractual Obligation, Types Of Contracts, Which Law Governs, Elements Of A Contract - Assignments