Sunday, July 28, 2019

Contract law, Doctrine of consideration Case Study

Contract law, Doctrine of consideration - Case Study Example Professor Patrick Atiyah1. Consideration can be defined as "An act of forbearance of one party, or the promise thereof, is the price for which the promise of the other is bought, and the promise thus given for value is enforceable." F. Pollock2. A redundant or free promise is hence, legally unenforceable. Such promises do not involve consideration and consequently, they are not regarded as contractual promises unless made as a formal contract by deed. In English Law a promise made under contract is unenforceable in the absence of consideration. Further, the legitimacy of a simple contract can be ensured only if there is consideration from the party accepting the offer. Increasingly, judges are being encouraged to find consideration in cases; this is so that contractual claims can be assessed on the basis of the real intention of the contracting parties to one and another, rather than a strict and narrow interpretation of case law. Consideration is only at issue in simple contracts, Courts often have to find consideration to be able to infer that a contract exists. In a Contract By Deed, consideration is unnecessary; as it is clear what is due form whom. In addition, where the traditional narrow view of consideration may lead to inconsiderate results, Courts may accept a request for applying the principle of equitable estoppel. Therefore, a contract which contains promises unsupported by consideration is void ab initio. Valid consideration has the following features: 1. Consideration must move from' the offeree to the offeror, that is, the person making the offer must be expecting something in return. 2. Consideration must be something of value, however trifling to the offeror, or something of detriment to the offeree. 3. Consideration must be sufficient in law, but need not be sensible in fact. An offer of sale of a Rolls Royce Car for 1 is valid consideration though not sensible. However, if this car is offered gratis, there is no consideration and the agreement is unenforceable. 4. Consideration must impose an obligation in the future; it is unusual and inadequate to base an offer on past consideration3.In the case Currie v Misa it was held that, "A valuable consideration, in the sense of law, may consist either in some right, interest, profit or benefit accruing to the one party, or some forbearance, detriment, loss or responsibility given, suffered, or undertaken by the other"4. Hence, reciprocity is essential to the doctrine of consideration, in other words, a promisee cannot enforce a promise unless he has

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