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"The courts have insisted that no contract (other than a contract under seal) can be enforceable in the absence of consideration."

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  • Essay length: 1009 words
  • Submitted: 28/01/2005
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University Degree Contract Law

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"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. if my next-door neighbours offer me money to desist from playing the saxophone in the evenings, the consideration is my desisting, it is not the offer of money, as Sir Fredrick Pollock states: 'An act of forbearance

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