Quid Pro Quo is a Latin term indicating “something for something” and originated in the Middle Ages in Europe. It is often used to describe a situation where two people agree to exchange goods or services.
From a legal or commercial standpoint, “quid pro quo” indicates that a good or service is exchanged for something of equal value. It has even been used in politics for less ethical practice: “I’ll do something for you if you do something for me.”
The meaning of Quid Pro Quo
There must be a consideration for a quid pro quo agreement; this may be a service, goods, money, or some financial instrument. It is then set out in a contract where it will state that something is provided and that something else of equal value is expected to be obtained in return.
If the contract is not performed, a court may indicate that it is an invalid agreement or a non-binding contract. When the deal is unfair or one-sided, courts often argue that the warranty is null and void.
To observe the information better, one can take an example of a swap between two parties, where different items or services with similar values are exchanged. But a quid pro quo may involve an ethical situation where an agreement is reached to exchange “one thing for another.”
The origin of the term “quid pro quo.”
The first time this term appeared was in the field of medicine in the 16th century, when some drugs were substituted for others. Of course, the use of the concept at that time differs from today’s context.
During the 16th and 26th centuries, lawyers began using it. However, since its origin, it has had a negative connotation because, for a long time, used it for inappropriate or illegal trade.
The application of quid pro quo in politics
It is often used in the context of campaign finance, although under federal law, it is illegal to use the term quid pro quo donations to obtain political favors in return.
When an illegal quid pro quo arises in politics, it can occur when a voter gives money to a politician in the expectation that they will do the politician a favor. Both parties agreed to the deal. However, it is considered bribery.
When is quid pro quo illegal?
The fact that it is a popular term does not indicate that there are no occasions where it falls foul of the law. A clear example is when it is used to carry out sexual harassment.
For example, when an employee needs some work benefits or compensation and the employer is willing to accept it in exchange for some sexual sale. When linked to sexual favors, it is illegal. Finally, the use of the term is well regarded as long as it does not incur any crime imposed by law.