Contracts and Third Parties
This chapter outlines an account of the rights and duties that, within the Rawlsian framework of the division of responsibility, a contract may create for third parties. Although individuals can get together to pursue their plans, they do not do so in entire isolation from the rest of the world. As a consequence, the contract between two or more parties may affect the context in which other individuals pursue their plans. Sometimes, an agreement between two or more parties may interfere with the rights of others. Also, the breach of a contract may cause some type of harm to someone who is neither the breacher nor the victim of the breach. So, for example, sometimes the parties to a contract agree to provide a benefit to a third party. And, whenever that benefit is not provided, the question arises of whether that third party is legally entitled to complain in some way for not having received that benefit. At the same time, third parties may also interfere with the contract between the parties in different ways that may not allow those parties to achieve their aims. This chapter deals with all of these issues from the perspective of the division of responsibility.