Privity of contract is a common law principle which states that it is only a party to a contract that can enforce it.

For example, A owes B some amount of money. Later B needs to travel outside the country but before he leaves, he instructs his wife, C, to collect the money owed him by A on his behalf and this arrangement is to the knowledge of A. If A pays the money as promised, very good, but if he does not, there is nothing which C on her own can do because the contract is between A and B not B and C. This is the essence of the principle of privity of contract.
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