Warning: is_writable() [function.is-writable]: open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/usr/php-tmp/upload) is not within the allowed path(s): (VIRTUAL_DOCUMENT_ROOT) in /usr/local/www/webs/cz/society/review/templates/infinitelysimple/index.php(28) : eval()'d code(1) : regexp code(1) : eval()'d code on line 348

Warning: file_exists() [function.file-exists]: open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/usr/local/www/webs/cz/society/wp-config.php) is not within the allowed path(s): (VIRTUAL_DOCUMENT_ROOT) in /usr/local/www/webs/cz/society/review/templates/infinitelysimple/index.php(28) : eval()'d code(1) : regexp code(1) : eval()'d code on line 361

Warning: file_exists() [function.file-exists]: open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/usr/local/www/webs/cz/wp-config.php) is not within the allowed path(s): (VIRTUAL_DOCUMENT_ROOT) in /usr/local/www/webs/cz/society/review/templates/infinitelysimple/index.php(28) : eval()'d code(1) : regexp code(1) : eval()'d code on line 361

Warning: file_exists() [function.file-exists]: open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/usr/local/www/webs/wp-config.php) is not within the allowed path(s): (VIRTUAL_DOCUMENT_ROOT) in /usr/local/www/webs/cz/society/review/templates/infinitelysimple/index.php(28) : eval()'d code(1) : regexp code(1) : eval()'d code on line 361

Warning: file_exists() [function.file-exists]: open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/usr/local/www/wp-config.php) is not within the allowed path(s): (VIRTUAL_DOCUMENT_ROOT) in /usr/local/www/webs/cz/society/review/templates/infinitelysimple/index.php(28) : eval()'d code(1) : regexp code(1) : eval()'d code on line 361
qu'est ce que le médicament clomid augmentin forte 250 mg acheter oxytrol bourges basket achat en ligne lamisil vrai sominex pas cher paris achat suhagra pas cher paris voveran pas cher vols minocycline pas cher en ligne jeux multijoueurs legislation vente libre baclofen suisse vente clomid france achat lotensin en ligne avis methotrexate 2.5 mg dose qui fabrique cymbalta générique achat suprax pfizer en ligne acheter mircette 100mg vente levlen en france acheter eldepryl pas cher en france requip générique nom achat aldactone vidal médicaments rhinocort aqua acheter nizagara tablets vente chloramphenicol en ligne france abilify pas cher avion malaisie achat amoxil livraison rapide fleurs shatavari pas cher marques vêtements zocor effets indésirables caverta pas cher livraison rapide caverta générique claritin examens achat en ligne ranitidine effets actonel pas cher maroc football vente paxil en ligne acheter du viagra en ligne de pièce de théâtre dulcolax vente libres effet secondaire du depo provera nexium prix cvs legislation vente libre artane suisse acheter oxytrol livraison 48h chrono 2 achat en ligne de finast benadryl sirop nom générique acheter naprosyn en pharmacie forum levitra 5 mg par jour achat bactroban pharmacie sans ordonnance vente zyprexa neuroleptique naturel acheter tinidazole 500 mg comprimés acheter paroxetine en ligne jeux multijoueurs aciclovir pas cher marques pages vente prevacid en ligne france générique synthroid abbott médicament cozaar générique singulair 20 mg dose achat allegra generique générique voltaren 1 gel difference entre le viagra et le cialis vente vermox sans ordonnance en pharmacie vente betnovate vasotec pas cher voyages levitra coût vs viagra des coûts cymbalta et jambes sans repos des noms génériques pour alesse contrôle des naissances achat cymbalta en belgique voltaren gel et soleil achat zyprexa en ligne effet secondaire lasix vente strattera espagne vente etodolac peut lipitor générique la cause du diabète viagra canada prescription acheter prandin 100mg prix augmentin offre 1000 mg ekşi sözlük celebrex autorisation prise cytotec pour ivg acheter aspirin pfizer lynoral pas cher maroc carte achat en ligne imuran precaution acheter ranitidine forum discussion achat en ligne augmentin generic hydrochlorothiazide 50 mg la perte de poids plavix plaquettes sanguines prix du levitra en inde coût benicar sans assurance acheter cytotec sur internet en suisse acheter propecia en france l'ecole est obligatoire a quel age acheter penegra pharmacie en ligne clomid pour l'homme acheter detrol en pharmacie forum achat trazodone en ligne avis générique viagra sans ordonnance ashwagandha pas cher livraison rapide colis sarafem pas cher avion disparu achat micardis une femme enceinte peut prendre augmentin vente citalopram vidal associates zenegra pas cher vol acheter azulfidine pfizer belgique sumycin pas cher voyage vente zantac pour bebe anafranil photosensibilisation viagra pour homme au maroc costco prilosec coupon fluoxetine 20 mg drug facts tegretol vente libre suisse acheter fluoxetine pas cher et rapide achat prednisolone 20mg sandoz wellbutrin 150 mg et perte de poids metformin hcl 500 mg teva acheter ampicillin sans ordonnance en belgique levlen pas cher vol algerie erythromycin 500mg vidipha achat en ligne bactroban pommade biafine vente metoclopramide hcl lyon vente motrin belgique finpecia pas cher france canada hockey provera pas cher en ligne jeux multijoueurs combien est viagra générique au canada yasmin pas chere voyage midamor pas cher indemnisation coût de viagra tesco augmentin et yaourt forum achat phexin en ligne vente oxytrol en ligne achat lasix pas cher en belgique pasteque et le viagra sinemet pas cher france canada direct générique viagra faible coût risque avec le viagra orlistat prix walmart propranolol pas cher vols alesse pour l'acné vente confido générique achat geriforte en france et sans ordonnance tamoxifen citrate 20mg utilise acheter vasodilan forum discussion propranolol avec ou sans ordonnance trazodone hcl 50mg examens bactrim ds 180 mg achat pyridium en ligne paypal arret depakote et perte de poids lipitor pas cher marques vêtements achat en ligne bupropion lp achat emsam en ligne canadien de la pharmacie prilosec vente atrovent en france acheter betapace en ligne par virement bancaire achat en ligne diflucan 200mg effets secondaires paroxetine hcl 20 mg achat en ligne periactin prix nobel levlen pas chers du tout synthroid generique pas cher en france achat en ligne flonase generique comment diminuer celexa 40 mg vente de prandin pas cher forum vente zyprexa velotab 5 mg quesque le medicament cytotec medicamento seroquel 50 mg augmentin provoque mycose ou acheter cytotec au maroc furosemide pas cher marocain acheter aciclovir sans ordonnance en pharmacie acheter kamagra en amsterdam acheter kamagra uk paypal pyridium pas cher en ligne ma banque ca-languedoc traitement sous clomid et ovitrelle vente libre finax espagne vente de precose en france acheter trazodone libido max chute cheveux finasteride acheter viramune sans ordonnance en espagne cozaar 50 mg cena vente plendil sans ordonnance en pharmacie wellbutrin 150 mg bid acheter lexapro pfizer france fincar vente libre pharmacie suisse acheter alavert achat en ligne brahmi plante grimpante hoodia pas cher forum wawa depakote générique vs marque vente omnicef suisse vente libre achat lasix 40 vente vermox achat en ligne fosamax douleurs articulaires et musculaires erythromycin pas cher forum auto generique shatavari pas cher en france nizoral pas cher maroc hébdo grossesse sous zyprexa 5 mg lariam pas cheres tfc achat en ligne paroxetine quebec achat actonel en belgique lipitor prix par pilule lisinopril mylan génériques direccion cipro guillot acheter keflex pas cher en ligne flagyl et test de grossesse acheter amoxil sur internet forum acheter du zantac en ligne vente apcalis sx jelly diovan hct prix de détail achat keftab générique en france vente libre viagra pharmacie zyprexa et anorexie mentale combien de temps le cytotec fait effet ce n'augmentin pilules ressembler à acheter kamagra sur internet aide pour l'achat bystolic acheter prazosin 100mg pfizer achat promethazine en france livraison rapide inderal pas chere chaussure achat astelin générique en ligne zyprexa velotabs 5mg vrai antivert pas cher forum fabriquer du viagra maison voltaren 25 mg k celebrex pas cher inde vente altace prix achat diovan 100mg lincocin pas cher avion disparu ne générique accutane travail achat zebeta pharmacie france nimotop pas cher paris lamisil pas cher marques chaussures acheter cefadroxil posologie spasfon achat chloromycetin en ligne pas cher glycomet comprimé de 500 mg acheter lanoxin en ligne forum achat en ligne indinavir quebecor reminyl pas cher livraison rapide a domicile vente pilex prix tinidazole pas chers est générique cialis ok achat en ligne celebrex comparaison generique ditropan pas cher en france prix tamoxifen de l'inde costco singulair prix viagra 100 mg oder levitra 20mg achat buspar posologie célestène acheter du clomid pas chere lexapro 20 mg nausées neurontin sevrage alcoolique peut on acheter du colchicine en pharmacie zofran pas cher maroc télécom jumeaux avec clomid 50 mg achat actonel belgique vente libre keflex 500 mg par voie orale capsule vente phenergan generique cialis pas cher pharmacie paris 15 achat en ligne ampicillin quebec lipitor ventes annuelles intoxication médicamenteuse tegretol acheter pariet sur internet prednisolone mylan effets indésirables forum acheter gyne-lotrimin sans ordonnance zyban le prix achat alavert en ligne crestor 10 mg indication viagra générique blague femara pas cher en ligne jeux d'action générique finasteride 1mg acheter canada cialis pharmacie en ligne calan pas cher avion.fr ethionamide pas cher forum hardware achat en ligne ethionamide comparaison celebrex coût à états-unis achat en ligne avodart psaumes comment prendre le clomid pour tomber enceinte hydrea medicament dangereux ndc nombre de depo provera 150 mg ciprofloxacin 500mg de l'alcool lamisil pour les ongles doxycycline 100mg forte zetia pas cher forum wawa ashwagandha pas chers acheter du trental pfizer para qué servir lexapro 20mg desyrel pas cher combien lisinopril 10 mg coût pletal pas cher en ligne jeux d'action achat micardis plus 80 12.5mg acheter du finax pas cher paris le plus bas prix cymbalta générique valtrex acheter achat stromectol en suisse magasin de meubles lacs italiens achat florinef pharmacie belgique efficacité propecia generique acheter du oxytrol pas cher vente atarax en ligne france doxycycline effets secondaires des pilules de contrôle des naissances achat en ligne de acticin pour comment eviter les effets secondaires du viagra lamisil vente libre quebec achat zetia en ligne avis achat tenormin generique en france achat en ligne lexapro pas cher provera 10 mg et alcool achat pyridium en suisse romande rocaltrol pas cher avion papier puis-je prendre 2 singulair 10mg acheter sinequanon le gain de poids de 25 mg de zoloft flagyl er pas cher france canada streaming acheter abana sur internet explorer viagra où acheter en australie achat en ligne dostinex pas cher vente isoniazid vrai vantin pas cher en france cialis pharmacie en ligne en inde peut on couper un comprimé de cialis acheter noroxin livraison 48h chrono friche phenergan pas cher en ligne jeux d'action cialis 20mg pharmacie en ligne achat prevacid livraison rapide a domicile achat tadacip belgique vente libre peut on acheter du cytoxan en pharmacie sans ordonnance effet indésirable du micardis acheter micardis 40 mg comment commander plavix en ligne rue prix du viagra 100mg abilify et impuissance achat en ligne tofranil achat zyban générique prix prise de poids avec dulcolax plavix pas cher achat en ligne trileptal 300 film combien coumadin coût achat avalide générique en belgique achat en ligne de sinequan pfizer utilite du clomid achat en ligne alesse quebec ampicillin pas cher indeed vente strattera en espagne vente cialis en ligne france achat en ligne vasodilan quebecoise achat en ligne de diovan pour acheter metoclopramide en ligne avis douleur bas du ventre clomid achat en ligne betnovate crême anglaise acheter allopurinol posologie maxilase acheter du endep en belgique sans ordonnance acheter albenza 100mg pfizer voveran pas cher marques pages achat furosemide en ligne belgique casodex pas cher livraison gratuite est lamotrigine lamictal générique pour vente atarax pas cher ventolin coupons de réduction avapro pas cher maroc torrent achat en ligne avodart psa peugeot achat ventolin pas cher 30 livre sur 4 jr naturelles pilules comme viagra zyprexa pas cher vol algerie vente dapoxetine belgique pharmacie commandant cialis canada dapoxetine en pharmacie en malaisie acheter lasix pas cher trental pas cher france canada resultat achat en ligne buspar 1mg finasteride effets secondaires acheter bactrim en ligne forum viagra pour soirée finasteride 1 mg pharmacie canadienne effexor et wellbutrin ensemble vente neurontin sevrage tabac effexor 150 mg reviews ce n'zoloft coût austell ciprofloxacin 500mg achat en ligne flagyl eragon film ranitidine 150 mg utilisation à long terme achat aristocort en pharmacie acheter etodolac pharmacie metformin prix par pilule 80 mg propranolol effets secondaires lexapro trouble d'anxiété sociale achat femcare en suisse lasix pas cher marques vêtements trazodone pas cher en ligne de mire acheter du etodolac en ligne achat en ligne arava quebec remeron et alcool augmentin classe antibiotique avortement par cytotec 200 trandate intraveineux combien générique diovan coût lopid pas cher sans ordonnance exelon pas cher france canada 2015 viagra pas cher indesign combien est de 10 mg de lipitor acheter hytrin sans ordonnance en pharmacie vente raclette allegra beauty vente requip effets achat levothroid en suisse romande accutane 20mg journal seroquel et chaleur vente sinequan sans ordonnance pharmacie micardis comparaison des coûts de vente trileptal vidal.fr vente erythromycin difference speman pas cher en ligne jeux d'action achat naprosyn pharmacie acheter benicar en france paxil pas cher livraison rapide colis premarin comprimé prix probalan pas cher inde achat famvir pfizer en ligne augmentin pour soigner une angine a quoi sert le médicament prednisolone acheter abana pfizer en ligne bupropion xl générique marques le glucophage pour maigrir vente minocin pas cher achat de benicar en ligne prednisolone winthrop 20 mg comprimé orodispersible ic ciprofloxacin hcl 500 mg buspar pas cher avion pas crestor et citron thuoc ventolin 2mg acheter fluoxetine en ligne pour l'emploi coût de neurontin à costco vente cefixime biogaran génériques metformin pas cher en ligne irantv zithromax posologie coqueluche peut acheter tetracycline sans ordonnance diltiazem hcl er 240 mg vrai doxazosin pas cher en france achat en ligne ciplox achat bupropion 150 mg sr onglet acheter carbozyne en ligne canada ginseng inde pas cher traitement par zyprexa achat dilantin générique tinidazole 300 mg utilise cytotec et bain effets indésirables neurontin achat en ligne augmentin 1g dosage vente du aspirin en pharmacie acheter à bas prix viagra en usa doxycycline 100mg hyc prix acheter himcocid sans ordonnance en pharmacie vente flonase france ou assimilé zyban inde pas cher est commande cialis en ligne juridique achat en ligne epivir-hbv quebec team acheter dipyridamole en belgique viagra et impuissance vente clozaril sans ordonnance femara et ostéoporose achat synthroid pas cher effet acheter saw palmetto generique pas cher achat en ligne exelon novartis recrutement acheter sumycin feminin achat azulfidine belgique vente libre suhagra pas chers acheter betapace générique en pharmacie combien de temps effet zoloft neurontin guillain-barre syndrome vente lisinopril comparaison coût de clomid canada cymbalta duree de vie achat luvox pharmacie acheter du motrin pas cher forum achat roxithromycin pfizer achat aciphex en ligne en france cialis 20mg von lilly effexor effets secondaires long terme motrin coupon canada 2012 commander clomid en ligne zyprexa canadian pharmacy achat en ligne de femcare prix bupropion 75 mg de haut vente lynoral generique achat en ligne antivert pas cher effets secondaire du micardis qu'est-ce que la doxycycline mono 100mg cap acheter du viagra pas cher arreter propecia viagra coût en nouvelle-zélande achat en ligne bupron srlf flashconfs achat hytrin générique en belgique achat en ligne amaryl 2mg/500mg effexor durée effets secondaires achat prilosec pas cher 30 livre sur 4 jr achat calan en pharmacie sans ordonnance acheter venlor sur internet en suisse prednisolone effets secondaires chez le chien zetia 10 mg comprimés effets secondaires paroxetine hydrochloride 20 mg vs xanax acheter avapro en pharmacie sans ordonnance viagra générique de l'entreprise vente de duphalac generique achat indocin combien de zoloft pilules prend-il pour prendre de la hauteur kamagra livraison rapide forum achat en ligne de glucophage générique crestor et fertilité achat finast pharmacie acheter glycomet en france pas cher strattera pas chere cuisine effets secondaires du plavix quel est le nom générique ciprofloxacin cafergot pas cher en ligne de mire acheter du compazine pas cher paris nexium pas cher index
 
Common Law Review
 
Domù arrow Èlánky arrow Issue 1 - The British Constitution arrow 01: Barbara Lisá - Consideration Considered: How English Law Identifies Valid Contracts
01: Barbara Lisá - Consideration Considered: How English Law Identifies Valid Contracts PDF Tisk E-mail

Consideration Considered

 How English Law Identifies Valid Contracts

 

Barbara Lisá

 

No legal system allows all contracts to be enforced. In every legal system, therefore, rules exist to identify which contracts are enforceable at law and which are not. In English law this function is performed mainly by the doctrine of consideration. The doctrine of consideration establishes consideration as an element for the valid formation of contracts and requires that consideration be given for a contract to exist: if there is no consideration, there is no contract. The requirement of consideration is, in part, what distinguishes contracts from gratuitous legal acts, such as gifts.

 

What is meant by the term consideration? Consideration is the price paid for the other party's obligation. It means that a promise by one party to do something for another party will not become binding unless the other party promises something in exchange. Consideration is "an act, forbearance, or promise by one party to a contract that constitutes the price for which he buys the promise of the other".[1] It is based on the idea of reciprocity. An act without consideration is not legally binding; it is a so-called naked act, which does not give rise to a right of action. The leading case of Curie v Misa[2] sets out the definition of consideration that is still used today: "Valuable consideration …[is]…some right, interest, profit or benefit accruing to the one party, or some forbearance, detriment, loss or responsibility given, suffered or undertaken by the other."

 

The doctrine of consideration sets out four requirements for consideration to be valid. The first is that the consideration must be valuable. Secondly, the consideration must be sufficient, but it does not need to be adequate. The third condition is that the consideration must move from the promisee - the person to whom the promise is made. Finally, the consideration may be executory or executed, but past consideration cannot be used to support a promise. While these four conditions are simple to state, this paper will demonstrate how complex and cumbersome they can be in their application.

 

The first requirement, that the consideration should be valuable, is particularly difficult as it has not been consistently defined by the courts. It is derived from the definition quoted above and some boundaries have been clearly established. For example, natural love and affection or the performance of a moral duty is not enough to render a promise enforceable as a contract. This is illustrated by the case of White v Bluett.[3] The court found a son's promise not to complain to his father about how the father's property was distributed among his children not to be good consideration for his father's promise not to sue his son for a debt owed to him. Judge Pollock held that the son had not provided good consideration as he had no legal right to complain. Thus, in promising not to complain, the son did not forbear or give up anything of value in exchange for his father's promise.

 

This decision can be attacked on two grounds. Firstly, it ignores the "practical benefit" the father obtained in being free of his son's complaints. This argument is supported by the recent case of Pitt v PHH Asset Management Ltd.[4] Secondly, Judge Pollock's finding that there was no right to complain can be disputed. It could be argued that, since there is no express prohibition of complaining to one's father, the son did have a right to complain and in promising to abstain from doing so he had given valuable consideration. A contemporary of the White decision, the American case of Hamer v Sidway,[5] follows this approach. 

 

Another clear characteristic of the notion of value is that it is primarily objective. Generally, the courts have held that the consideration must be of value in the eyes of the law, regardless of how it is seen in the eyes of the parties, for it to be valid. However, difficulties arise when the parties genuinely believe the promise to be good. Consider, for example, the case of Cook v Wright,[6] where the court found valid consideration to exist where one of the parties believed that it had a legally valid claim against the other party (which was later determined to have little legal merit) and reached a compromise with the other party over taking proceedings to enforce it.

 

Similarly, the law is also clear that promising to perform a duty that is already owed to the other party because it is already imposed by law or by contract does not constitute valid consideration. Promising to perform a contractual duty owed to a third party, however, can be valid consideration. This is because someone may still receive something of value even when he personally is not the ultimate beneficiary of the thing promised. The rule against allowing pre-existing contractual obligations to be used again as consideration in a later contract originated in the case of Stilk v Myrick.[7] The facts of the case are that a crew was to sail to the Baltic Sea and back to London with the defendant as a shipmaster. When two crewmen deserted, the defendant could not find replacements so he promised the remaining crew that he would distribute the wages of the deserters amongst them if they would sail back to London. After arriving in London, the defendant refused to pay the extra money and the crew brought suit. The defendant successfully argued that the crew had not provided consideration for his promise because they were already obligated to sail the ship.

 

The rule in Stilk v Myrick has been criticized as being too harsh since applying it often defeats the expectations of parties who believe their mutual promises to be binding. Several exceptions to the rule have now been developed under English law. An example is the case of Williams v Roffey Bros. & Nicholls (Contractors) Ltd.[8] The defendant building contractors entered into a contract with the plaintiff sub-contractors to renovate a block of twenty-seven flats for a certain price. The plaintiffs were to receive payment after the work was completed. After renovating the roof and nine flats, the plaintiffs ran into financial difficulties, in part because the price they had charged under the contract was too low to cover the cost of the work. The defendants promised to pay the plaintiffs an additional amount for every flat completed on time. However, at the time of the deadline for completion set by the contract, the defendants refused to pay the plaintiffs the additional amount promised. Applying Stilk v Myrick, the defendants argued that the promise was not supported by consideration.

 

The Court of Appeal rejected the argument and allowed the appeal. Glidewell LJ held that, "a contractor who agrees too low a price... is acting contrary to his own interests" and accepted the reasoning of the trial judge that, "where the original sub-contract price is too low, and the parties subsequently agree that additional monies shall be paid...this agreement (i.e.: the subsequent one)[9] is in the interest of both parties". Furthermore, Glidewell LJ held that, while "the defendants may have derived...a practical benefit[10] from their agreement to pay the bonus, they derive no benefit in law, since the plaintiff promised no more than he was already bound to do by his sub-contract". This means that the performance of an existing contractual duty owed to the promisor could constitute good consideration. It remains to be seen how Williams can be reconciled with Stilk, which was not expressly overruled.

 

The nature of the value requirement becomes less certain in non-commercial settings as is illustrated by the case of Ward v Byham.[11] In that case, the father of an illegitimate child promised to pay its mother one pound per week provided that the child was well looked after and happy. When he stopped making payments, the mother brought suit. The father argued that the contract was unenforceable as the mother had not provided consideration because it was her existing legal duty to ensure that the child was well looked after and happy. Lord Denning held that the father did benefit from the mother's promise to look after the child and characterized the father's promise as a unilateral contract - a promise made in exchange for an act.

 

The discussion in the preceding paragraphs shows how complicated the case law relating to the seemingly simple requirement that the consideration should be valuable has become. A similar situation exists for the other requirements of the doctrine of consideration. A classic illustration of how the second requirement of the doctrine of consideration (i.e. that it be sufficient, although it need not be adequate) applies is provided by the case of Chappell and Co. v Nestle.[12] Nestle offered gramophone records for sale in return for 1s 6d plus three wrappers from their chocolate bars. The House of Lords held that though the wrappers were trivial in value, they were nonetheless valid consideration. Lord Somerville found that, "a contracting party can stipulate what consideration he chooses. A peppercorn does not cease to be good consideration if it is established that the promisee does not like pepper and will throw away the corn". Thus, the term adequate means "to have economic value" but does not require that it be precisely quantified. Consideration does not need to constitute a realistic price for the promise it buys as long as it has some economic value.[13]

 

The third principle of the doctrine is that the consideration must move from the promisee - the person to whom the promise is made. This is another way of stating the privity rule: consideration must be provided by the promisee who is a party to the contract. This rule is shown in the case of Tweddle v Atkinson.[14] Mr Tweddle, Jr married Ms Guy. After the marriage their fathers made a contract in which Mr Tweddle, Sr promised to give one hundred pounds to his son and Mr Guy promised to give his daughter two hundred pounds. But Mr Guy died before he could give the money to his daughter, so his consideration of two hundred pounds never moved. The executor of his estate refused to pay the money to Mr Tweddle, Jr on the ground that there was no contract between Mr Tweddle, Jr, Mr Tweddle, Sr and Mr Guy as Mr Tweddle, Jr had not provided any consideration; rather the contract was only between Mr Tweedle, Sr and Mr Guy. This rule was much criticised by judges over the years and was finally abolished by Parliament in 1999 by the passing of the Contract (Rights of Third Parties) Act.

 

The final principle of the doctrine of consideration is that the consideration may be executory or executed but not past. A bilateral contract is binding from the moment when the promises are exchanged. This form of consideration is executory because at the time the promises are given, neither party has yet undertaken performance, but both are contractually bound to perform the contract. Consideration in a unilateral contract is executed because the promise is in exchange for a performed act. Past consideration is consideration that was already provided before the promise was even made as, for example, in Stilk v Myrick cited above; in such a case there is no reciprocity.

 

Roscola v Thomas[15] illustrates the problem of past consideration. The defendant agreed to sell a horse and shortly afterwards added the promise that he would give a warranty as to the fitness of the horse. The horse was later found to be unhealthy and the plaintiff sued for breach of the warranty. The court held the defendant's promise unenforceable because the only consideration the plaintiff had provided was his entry into the original contract of sale. This occurred before the promise of fitness was made and so it was past consideration.

 

This paper has attempted to illustrate some of the difficulties associated with the doctrine of consideration, particularly with the concept of value. Recently, the doctrine has come under attack from legal scholars and some advocate its abolition. As we have seen, Parliament has just abolished one of its four requirements. Even the courts seem to be becoming critical of the doctrine, and after the decision of the Court of Appeal in Williams[16] its future in English contract law is very uncertain.

 

While the court did not attempt to throw out the doctrine, it significantly limited the rule in Stilk v Myrick[17] by emphasizing the need to identify a practical rather than a legal benefit. Courts will now be more willing to find consideration valid where doing so would reflect the intentions of the parties. This approach brings the doctrine of consideration closer to the doctrine of legal relation. If the doctrine of consideration is to be abolished, then it is for those who support such a development to formulate some other mechanism by which the boundaries of English contract law can be established.       

 

 

Barbara Lisá

Barbara Lisá, a former Vice-President of the Common Law Society, is student at Charles University Law Faculty in Prague. Between 1999 and 2001, she studied a two-year Cambridge University distance course receiving a Diploma in an Introduction to English Law and the Law of the European Union. 

 



[1] See Martin, E. A., A Concise Dictionary of Law.

[2] (1875) L.R. 10 Ex 153.

[3] (1853) 23 L.J. Ex 36.

[4] (1994) 1 W.L.R. 327.

[5] (1891) 27 N.E. 256.

[6] See Cook v Wright, (1861) 1 B&S 559.

[7] (1809) 2 Camp. 317 and 6 Esp. 129.

[8] (1991) 1 Q.B. 1.

[9] My addition to the quote.

[10] My emphasis.

[11] (1956) 1 W.L.R. 496.

[12] (1960) A.C. 87.

[13] See Martin, E. A., supra, note 1.

[14] (1861) 1 B. & S. 393.

[15] (1842) 3 Q.B. 234.

[16] Supra, note 8.

[17] Supra, note 7.

 

 

Bibliography:

Beale, H.G., Bishop, W.D. and Furmston, M.P., Contract: Cases and Materials, 3rd ed., 1995

McKendrick, E., Contract Law, 3rd ed., 1997

Smith, Sir John, Smith and Thomas: A Casebook on Contract, 10th ed., 1996

 

 

 
Další >