• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The legal meaning of 'consideration'.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"The courts have insisted that no contract (other than a contract under seal) can be enforceable in the absence of consideration." Shears & Stephenson [1996] Under English law, for a simple contract to be valid, there must be 'consideration' from the party accepting the offer. The traditional definition comes from the case of Currie v Misa [1875] where Luch LJ states: 'A valuable consideration in the sense of the law may consist either in some right, interest, profit or benefit accruing to one party or some forbearance, detriment, loss or responsibility, given suffered or undertaken by the other.' The legal meaning of 'consideration' is not very different from the everyday use of term. For example, if it was said, "For a small consideration I will..." it is probably an offering to do something for money. However, the consideration need not be monetary. It need not even be a benefit, i.e. ...read more.

Middle

Consideration might be provided if the creditor agrees to accept: > Part-payment on an earlier date than the due date. > Chattel instead of money. > Part-payment in a different place to that originally specified. Also a promise to accept a smaller sum in full satisfaction will be binding on a creditor where the part-payment is made by a third party on condition that the debtor is released from the obligation to pay the full amount5. A further exception to the rule is to be found in the equitable doctrine of promissory estoppel. This is the name given to the equitable doctrine which has as its principal source the obiter dicta of Denning LJ in Central London Property Trust Ltd v High Trees House Ltd [1947]. The principle is that if someone makes a promise, which another person acts on, the promisor is stopped, or estopped, from going back on the promise, even though the other person did not provide consideration. ...read more.

Conclusion

* It must be inequitable for the promisor to go back on his promise and revert to his strict legal rights6. Furthermore, it must be said on the promissory estoppel doctrine is that it cannot be used to found a cause of action; that is, it may not be used in legal proceedings brought to force someone to uphold a promise. It can only be used to prevent someone going back on their promise and insisting on enforcement of their strict right7. It is to be used as a shield, not a sword. Denning LJ states on this matter: '...that principle does not create new causes of action where none existed before...' Thus there is, in the name of equity, a doctrine which makes certain promises enforceable despite the absence of consideration. 1 Dunlop v Selfridge [1915] 2 Tweddle v Atkinson [1861] 3 Chappell & Co v Nestle [1960] 4 Stilk v Myrick [1809] 5 Hirachand Punamchand v Temple [1911] 6 D & C Builders v Rees [1965] 7 Coombe v Coombe [1951] Contract Law Assignment 3 Access to Law Mohammed Abdullah ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Law of Contract section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Law of Contract essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    "The requirement of consideration is an unnecessary complication in the formation of contracts."

    4 star(s)

    where it was held that the respective promisee had actually done more than they were actually legally compelled to do and so were entitled to more than was previously stipulated. It could be said that there had been a variation in the original contract and fresh promises were being supported by fresh consideration.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Contract Law - Offer And Acceptance

    3 star(s)

    The objective test of agreement applies to an acceptance no less than to an offer * Mere acknowledgement of an offer would not be an acceptance; nor is there an acceptance where a person who has received an offer to sell goods merely replies that it is his "intention to

  1. e-commerce legal issues

    The traditional offline rules apply to online contracts, that is to say, e-commerce is applied by the same principle as traditional paper-based transaction3, and only the way in which they apply may be different. Under common law, an offer is a statement by one party of a willingness to enter

  2. Four ways in which a contract may be discharged.

    It included an exclusion clause in the small print. What if the person signs the contract because of fraud or misrepresentation? Curtis v Chemical Cleaning & Dying Co [1951] 1 KB 805. The claimant took a wedding dress trimmed with beads and sequins to be cleaned.

  1. Law of Contract - Promissory Estoppel

    discharge of the $10 rental per week which will enable Long to claim prima facie, all the 'arrears' between January to September. A point to note is that the exception under Sibree v Tripp does not apply here as there was no request for payment at an earlier date than required which would disable Long's claim.

  2. I have been asked to advise a client on considering contracting with a building ...

    There are four methods of communicating acceptance; there is reward, waiver and mode. There is the postal rule as well which has been discussed. Reward With reward cases it is whether contractual obligations arise if a party, in ignorance of an offer, performs an act which fulfils the terms of an offer.

  1. DIFFEERENT AREAS OF CONTRACT LAW

    Dickenson's former employer sought out an interdict to prevent him continuing to work for Levi Strauss. The Restriction was seen as in reasonable terms of time and geography and that Dickenson's former employer was seen as taking reasonable steps to protect his legitimate business interests.

  2. LAW OF CONTRACT. LAW 103. THE CONTENT OF THE CONTRACT.

    to give business efficacy to the contract, a term which although tacit, formed part of the contract which the parties made for themselves." (per Lord Pearson Trollope and Colls Ltd v North West Regional Hospital Board [1973] 1 WLR 601)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work