Parties to construction contracts use the words ‘terms’ and ‘conditions’ interchangeably. For example, the standard forms use the word ‘conditions’ to describe the obligations and duties of parties to the contract. Similarly, an invitation to tender may be accompanied by the ‘terms and conditions’ of the offeror. English legal language was once Latin, then French and finally English. The result is that English law sometimes uses the Latin and the French word to mean the same thing in legal language. This is why ‘terms and conditions’ are used together when they mean the same thing. There are a number of ways of classifying terms. For ease of explanation, this book considers construction contracts as containing three types of terms. These are express terms, implied terms and statutory terms. Where the parties employ professional advisers, the construction contract will usually be made using a standard form of contract. Norman Rice, in ‘Producing a standard form’ (1984, p. 257), considered that: The [then] JCT 1980 Standard Form is a series of compromises which none of the parties concerned is likely to regard as satisfactory but if the result is looked at objectively and as a whole, it should represent a fair balance between conflicting interests.
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