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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.
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Q2. '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.'
Denning LJ's profession: "the doctrine of consideration is too firmly fixed to be overthrown by a side-wind" indicates that it is the cardinal badge of enforceability in the formulation and variation of contracts in English common law. However, the orthodox Stilk v Myrik1 interpretation of the doctrine is particularly rigid. Its application can sometimes manifest inequity. Promissory estoppel can be viewed as supplementary to consideration as it remedies inequity by allowing promises that have been relied upon to be enforced without consideration. However, it can hardly be considered a supplement that is necessary. In actuality, the role of estoppel is a limited one that does not guarantee the absolute enforcement of all promises unsupported by consideration that have been relied upon. Firstly, certain conditions must be fulfilled for the estoppel to be applied. Secondly, for promissory estoppel to coexist with consideration, estoppel cannot be used offensively. Also, there are instances where the application of estoppel
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