Illegality in Contract Act

Illegality in Contract Act: Understanding the Basics and Implications

Contract law governs the relationships between parties involved in a contractual agreement. A contract is a legally binding agreement that outlines the obligations, responsibilities, and rights of each party. However, not all contracts are legal and enforceable. Some contracts are deemed illegal or void due to illegality in contract act.

What is Illegality in Contract Act?

Illegality in contract law refers to an agreement that violates the law, public policy, or the morals of society. Such contracts are unenforceable in a court of law. Parties entering into an illegal contract cannot seek legal remedies or enforcement of the contract. The law considers illegal contracts as void ab initio, meaning that they are void from the very beginning.

Types of Illegal Contracts

Illegal contracts can take different forms depending on the nature of the illegality. Here are some of the common types of illegal contracts:

1. Contracts that violate statutory law: Contracts that contravene existing legislation, such as contracts that promote illegal activities or infringe on intellectual property rights, are illegal.

2. Contracts against public policy: Contracts that go against the interests of society or public welfare are illegal. Examples include contracts for human trafficking or prostitution.

3. Contracts that violate morals of society: Contracts that transgress the moral standards of society are illegal. For example, contracts that promote illegal gambling, betting, or loansharking.

Implications of Illegality in Contract

The consequences of illegality in contract are severe. Since illegal contracts are void ab initio, the parties cannot enforce the contract or seek legal remedies. Here are some of the implications of illegality in contract act:

1. No legal remedy: Since illegal contracts are unenforceable, the parties cannot go to court to seek legal remedies or damages. This means that if one of the parties breaches the contract, the other party cannot sue for damages.

2. Restitution: If one party has paid money to the other party under an illegal contract, they can seek restitution from the other party. The restitution amounts to restoring the situation to how it was before the contract was entered into. For example, if a person paid money for the delivery of illegal drugs, they can seek restitution of the money paid.

3. Criminal liability: Parties entering into illegal contracts can also face criminal liability for their actions. For example, parties involved in illegal gambling or drug trafficking can face criminal charges.


Illegality in contract act is an essential concept in contract law. It is crucial to understand what constitutes an illegal contract to avoid entering into such agreements. It is also important to note that parties entering into illegal contracts face severe consequences, including voiding of the contract, no legal remedy, and possible criminal liability. As a copy editor, it is essential to ensure that contracts comply with the law and the interests of society when reviewing contract documents.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email