To bring to an end a contract or contractual obligation. A contractual obligation may be terminated by performance, consent (for example Fitzgerald v Master (1956) 95 CLR 420), breach (for example Associated Newspapers Ltd v Banks (1951) 83 CLR 322), non-fulfilment of a contingent condition (for example Perri v Coolangatta Investments Pty Ltd (1982) 149 CLR 537; 41 ALR 367).
On termination, both parties are discharged from the further performance of the contract, but rights are not divested or discharged which have been unconditionally acquired: McDonald v Dennys Lascelles Ltd (1933) 48 CLR 457. The right to damages survives termination.
Termination is distinct from rescission; but sometimes termination is called 'rescission in futuro', to distinguish it from rescission proper, 'rescission ab initio' (rescission from the beginning). See also Accrued right; Breach of contract; Damages; Performance; Repudiation; Right to terminate.
(Ref: Butterworths Concise Australian Legal Dictionary)