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Essay on “Past consideration is no consideration”

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A contract is generally considered to be an exchange of promises or an agreement between parties which in due course legally binds the parties; this can be enforced by the English Law. A contract is always, referred to the basic foundations of Contract Law, which refers to promises being kept amongst two parties. It is clear that all people make contracts nowadays and do not even consider for a moment that they are forming contracts; these can be formal or informal, oral or written.

In English Law consideration is one of the three main areas of an enforceable contract. It may be defined as an act, forbearance or promise made by a single party that constitutes the price for which the promise of another, is bought. In simple terms, the basic understanding of consideration may be seen as a ‘give and take’ tactic between two parties.

Occasionally there may be misunderstandings made by individuals/parties in differentiating between a simple contract and a speciality contract. From what is understood, a speciality contract may be; “illustrated by reference to gifts”, as stated by (Richards, 2009).

In the case of one party promising to give another party £50, it is merely seen as a gift, therefore this is considered unenforceable as a simple contract. This may be justifiable as there is nothing which clearly illustrates that, it is a necessity for a party to give something, in order for them to be able to enforce a promise. This is also known as the “quid pro quo,” it has been similarly illustrated in; Dunlop v Selfridge [1915] AC 847 (HL).

The courts of England and Wales acknowledge that the above must be something of value, in order to amount to consideration. A valuable consideration in the perspective of the English La...


... middle of paper ...


...ub principles of consideration, which is also known as one of the most important methodical processes of a formation of a contract. Overall, this may be seen as the essence of a legal contract, the exchange of consideration, which if excluded, will contain nothing more than an unenforceable promise.



Works Cited

1. Martine, Elizabeth A., Jonathon, Law. (2006) Oxford Dictionary of Law, 6th Ed, Oxford University Press.

2. Lampleigh v Braithwaite [1615] EWHC KB J 17

3. Pao On v Lau Yiu Long [1980] AC 614

4. Poole, J. (2008) Contract Law, 9th Ed Oxford. Oxford University Press.

5. Roscorla v Thomas [1842] 3 QB 234

6. Slapper, G. Kelly, D. (2011) The English Legal System, 12th Ed. Routledge.

7. Thomas v Thomas [1842] 2 QB 851, 114 ER 330

8. Dunlop v Selfridge [1915] AC 847 (HL)

9. Richards, P. (2009) Law of Contract, 9th Ed. Pearson Longman.


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