obligation

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Related to Obligations: Contractual obligations

obligation

1. Law a legally enforceable agreement to perform some act, esp to pay money, for the benefit of another party
2. Law
a. a written contract containing a penalty
b. an instrument acknowledging indebtedness to secure the repayment of money borrowed

Obligation

 

a relationship in civil law wherein one party (the debtor) is obliged to perform a certain action (transfer property, perform work, pay money) for the benefit of another party (the creditor) or to refrain from performing the action. The creditor in turn has the right to require the debtor to carry out his obligation. Under Soviet law the parties to an obligation are socialist organizations and citizens. Obligations generally arise from a contract, from planning or other administrative directives, from the infliction of property damage subject to compensation, or from the unjust acquisition or holding of property.

Depending on the rights and duties of the parties, obligations may be classified as those involving transfer of property to ownership or operational management, with or without compensation; transfer of property for use, with or without compensation; performance of work or services; or the protection of socialist and personal property or other property rights.

If several creditors or several debtors are involved in an obligation, its manner of performance is determined by the object of the obligation and the conditions of the agreement of the parties. If each of the participants in the obligation is required to perform a certain (equal or unequal) part of the obligation, the obligation is called a joint obligation. If the creditor has the right to demand performance of the obligation in full from any one of the creditors (in which case the other participants in the obligation are released from liability), the obligation is called a joint and several (solidary) obligation. Performance of an obligation may be secured by an additional obligation. If the obligation is not performed voluntarily, the debtor can be compelled to perform the obligation by a court or arbitration board.

An obligation may be terminated by setting-off a similar counterclaim, by agreement between the parties, if the performance of the obligation is impossible and the debtor is not responsible, or by the dissolution of a legal person (debtor or creditor) unless performance of the obligation is assigned by law to another legal person.

References in classic literature ?
The grossly immoral and dishonest doctrine of despotic State sovereignty, the exclusive judge of its own obligations, and responsible to no power on earth or in heaven, for the violation of them, is not there.
Don Quixote, feeling the weight of this prodigious blow, cried aloud, saying, "O lady of my soul, Dulcinea, flower of beauty, come to the aid of this your knight, who, in fulfilling his obligations to your beauty, finds himself in this extreme peril.
He has several times been compelled to owe obligations to the pecuniary succors of other nations for the preservation of his essential interests, and is unable, upon the strength of his own resources, to sustain a long or continued war.
The sum of what has been here advanced and proved is, that the charge against the convention of exceeding their powers, except in one instance little urged by the objectors, has no foundation to support it; that if they had exceeded their powers, they were not only warranted, but required, as the confidential servants of their country, by the circumstances in which they were placed, to exercise the liberty which they assume; and that finally, if they had violated both their powers and their obligations, in proposing a Constitution, this ought nevertheless to be embraced, if it be calculated to accomplish the views and happiness of the people of America.
Monsieur, if it is not abusing your good-nature, and acting very inconsiderately towards a stranger to whom we are already under obligations, would you have the goodness, as you are going to Paris, to remit a sum of money to M.
Nothing but a sense of the obligations they were under to his nation induced them to bear with such a guest; but he proceeded, speedily, to relieve them from the weight of these obligations, by eating a receipt in full.
The princess, who had never liked Pierre and had been particularly hostile to him since she had felt herself under obligations to him after the old count's death, now after staying a short time in Orel- where she had come intending to show Pierre that in spite of his ingratitude she considered it her duty to nurse him- felt to her surprise and vexation that she had become fond of him.
Tonight the greatest of all obligations had been placed upon him--his life had been saved by another and Tarzan shook his head and growled, for it had been saved by one whom he hated above all others.
I wish we could be brought to consider this, and remembering natural obligations a little more at the right time, talk about them a little less at the wrong one.
Because I don't like to put myself under obligations that I can never repay - I am obliged to you already for your kindness to my son; but his grateful affection and your own good feelings must reward you for that.
I am not to give up my right to your protection and patronage, because you have commended my book: for though I acknowledge so many obligations to you, I do not add this to the number; in which friendship, I am convinced, hath so little share: since that can neither biass your judgment, nor pervert your integrity.
Great obligations do not make grateful, but revengeful; and when a small kindness is not forgotten, it becometh a gnawing worm.