Contract impossibility is a legal term used to describe situations where it is impossible for a party to fulfill their contractual obligations. The concept of contract impossibility is important in contract law because it determines whether a party can be held liable for not fulfilling their obligations.
There are two types of contract impossibility: objective impossibility and subjective impossibility. Objective impossibility occurs when the performance of a contract is impossible due to external factors beyond the control of the parties involved. For example, if a contract is made for the sale of a specific item, and the item is destroyed due to a natural disaster, it would be impossible for the seller to deliver the item as agreed upon. In this case, the contract would be considered objectively impossible.
Subjective impossibility, on the other hand, occurs when the performance of a contract is impossible due to factors specific to the party responsible for fulfilling the contract. For example, if a person agrees to provide a service but becomes ill and is unable to perform the service, the contract would be considered subjectively impossible.
It is important to note that contract impossibility is not the same as contract frustration. Contract frustration occurs when performance of a contract becomes significantly more difficult or expensive than anticipated, but not impossible. Contract frustration may give rise to a breach of contract claim, but it is not the same as impossible performance.
In situations where contract impossibility is evident, the parties involved are typically released from their obligations under the contract. This means that neither party can be held liable for non-performance, and any obligations or payments made up to that point are typically refunded. In some cases, however, the parties involved may be able to renegotiate the terms of the contract to accommodate for the impossibility.
In conclusion, contract impossibility is a legal concept that refers to situations where it is impossible for a party to fulfill their contractual obligations. Whether the impossibility is objective or subjective, it is important in determining liability and the ability to renegotiate the terms of the contract. As such, it is important for individuals and businesses to consider the potential for contract impossibility when entering into contractual agreements.