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Promissory estoppel and consideration

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  • Essay length: 1899 words
  • Submitted: 23/02/2009
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University Degree Contract Law

The first 200 words of this essay...

'Promissory estoppel is a necessary supplement to the doctrine of consideration, because it enables courts to enforce promises that have been relied upon even though the promise was not part of an exchange.' Discuss

Promissory estoppel is of a different nature from the doctrine of consideration. Some may contend that it is unnecessary to have promissory estoppel since consideration will suffice for justice; there are also economic arguments that extra costs may be involved to disclaim promissory intentions in a gratuitous promisei. I however, disagree and the reasons are as follow.

Doctrine of consideration

In order for a contract to be valid, consideration has to be present. It is one of the tests of legal enforceability. The basic idea is that of 'reciprocity'ii, in order to acquire the right to enforce an undertaking, a party must undertake or actually give something stipulated by the other as the price. iii

The requirement of nexus must be met. Firstly, consideration must move from the promisee, but it need not move to the promisor. A third party can enforce a contract made for his benefit. iv Secondly, consideration has to be requested by the promisor. In Combe

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