Specific performance (in the context of contracts)

An equitable remedy to compel the performance of a contract, where damages would be an inadequate remedy. A court will not grant an order for specific performance of a contract which would require the court’s continuing supervision to see that it is carried out, such as a contract for personal services.

Specific performance can be understood as being the opposite of an injunction. It seeks to fulfil the contract and put the parties in the position they would have been in had the contract been properly executed, thereby ensuring the most equitable resolution to a contractual issue.

Orders of specific performance, like orders for all equitable remedies, are discretionary, and it will be up to the presiding judge or magistrate to determine whether it is appropriate in the circumstances.

Nowadays, specific performance is most typically ordered in contracts for the sale of land.