In This Essay I Will Discuss How The Doctrine Of Consideration Is Law Assignment

1997 words - 8 pages

In this essay I will discuss how the doctrine of consideration is too firmly fixed to be conquered by promissory estoppel. The doctrine of cconsideration has been a necessary component in contract law for the last number of years. Without its presence within a case, agreement or settlement it will be deemed not legally enforceable. Consideration is to contact law as Elvis is to rock and roll: the King”.[footnoteRef:1]Over the years many individuals have brought cases to court on the basis of using promissory estoppel as a tool to attack the defendant. This essay discusses how promissory estoppel can only be used to protect the appellant and not as a form of attack. [1: Gordon, 'A dialogue about the doctrine of consideration' [1990] (75) Cornell law review 987]
The general role of the doctrine of consideration is to enforce promises that have been made. “In which a promise was made which was intended to create legal relations and which, to the knowledge of the person making the promise, was going to be acted on by the person to whom it was made and which was in fact so acted on”[footnoteRef:2]. The purpose of consideration is as follow “the law feels that someone who has provided consideration for a promise is more deserving of relief than one who has not.”[footnoteRef:3]One may even go as far to say that the doctrine is a detrimental reliance. The doctrine has been heavily criticised in the past by many judges and legal experts. It’s been described as too rigid and unnecessary. Russel LJ stated “ the courts nowadays should be more ready to find its existence so as to reflect the intention of the parties to the contract where the bargaining powers are not unequal and where the finding of consideration reflects the intention of the parties.”[footnoteRef:4] [2: Central London Property Trust Limited V High Trees House Limited [1946] 1 135 (High Court) (Denning LJ)] [3: Mairead Enright, Principles of irish contract law (1st edn, Clarus Press LTD 2007) 76] [4: Andrew Burrows, A casebook on contract (6th edn, Bloomsbury 2018) 114]
The main problem with consideration is its inability to focus directly on rational interpretation of the intention of the parties rather than on the rules of consideration. therefore, many existing obligations cannot be legally enforced. In the famous case of “Central London Property Ltd V High Trees”[footnoteRef:5] the concept of promissory estoppel and consideration created a lot of legal uncertainty. Originally promissory estoppel was based on the interchange of promises, however in this case it was grounded on the dependence we create in others. [5: Central London Property Trust Ltd v High Trees House Ltd [1947] KB 130]
Promissory estoppel goes hand in hand with the doctrine of consideration as it allows the courts to impose promises that have been depended on even if the promise was not part of an exchange. Lord denning stated that “the doctrine of consideration is too firmly fixed to be overthr...


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