Contract law! Please help! Watch

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Report Thread starter 9 years ago
I left hospital one week ago and now I see that I lost a lot of time. :confused: 1) I have to write an essay about the doctrine of consideration. Could you tell me the most important cases which I should keep in mind?
2) Where and how could I get info about the doctrine of consideration in other countries?

Basically, I have to write why the doctrine of consideration in England is under attack cuz in other countries they don`t use it and their contract law works fine without it.

Thank you
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Report 9 years ago
Just read a good textbook like "Burrows - Casebook on Contract" on consideration to find out what it is.

The key points are:
-need consideration for there to be an enforceable contract
-past consideration, and what you are already entitled to, are generally not consideration: a meaningful benefit has to be conferred onto the contracting parties
-need consideration for contractual variations
-where the contract is varied so that one agrees to pay more for what he is already entitled to, its fairly easy for the courts to find consideration, because "practical benefit" may count, i.e. agreeing to pay builders more to finish what they are already entitled to finish, so that they finish it in time and won't breach the contract, may count: Williams v Roffey. Ambit of this is unclear.
-where the contract is varied so that one party agrees to receive less money for his performance, much stricter rules, no "practical benefit": Foakes v Beer

You don't need to have a detailed knowledge of what other countries do for the purposes of the essay; its about the English doctrine and how it might be reformed.
What other countries do is briefly mentioned in Burrows and in McKendrick, but not in much detail.

You basically need to know that most European countries don't have a doctrine of consideration.
The purpose of consideration is that of a filter helping determine when courts enforce an agreement, and when they will not.
Alternatives might be:
1) A formal requirement - "we will only enforce contracts in writing". This was adopted by the Napoleonic code. It was adopted for the old common law action of covenant, which came to only enforce sealed bonds.
2) An expanded test of intent to create legal relations - general European approach

Its also worth making the point that:
1) Promissory estoppel and the law of restitution operate to fill some of the injustices that may be caused when people can't enforce a agreement for want of consideration.
2) Are gratuitous promises given for no consideration really worth enforcing?
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Report Thread starter 9 years ago
Jackedpotato - thank you so much I feel more enthusiastic now

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