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Promissory Estoppel is a shield not a sword

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  • Essay length: 2585 words
  • Submitted: 04/12/2008
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University Degree Contract Law

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"Promissory estoppel may be used as a shield but not a sword"

English Law defines promissory estoppel as "a principle of justice and of equity. It comes to this: when a man, by his words or conduct, has led another to believe in a particular state of affairs, he will not be allowed to go back on it when it would be unjust or inequitable for him to so."1 Estoppel provides a way in which promises can be legally binding even if no consideration has been given. The importance of promissory estoppel in contract law is that it has enabled legal obligations, which fall into the category of contract law but fail to show any consideration, to be argued for. Promissory estoppel relates to a future contract or a form of future conduct, where a promise, or something very much resembling a promise, is made in future tense not to do something. It prevents a party from acting in a certain way because the first party promised not to do something, and the second party relied on that promise and acted upon it. The courts of Equity made it clear that in certain cases a person could

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