Consideration Of Contract Law : The Doctrine Of Consideration

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This essay will examine the subject of consideration in contract law. In doing so it will examine how and why the doctrine of consideration was initially used and how it has developed over time; by analysing how economic duress has come into play and developed over time to fill in the gap on whether consideration in a contract is sufficient or where one of the parties is threatening to terminate a contract unless the other party agrees to their first party’s demands and where the second party has no apparent choice but to do so. Main Body The doctrine of consideration has probably been regarded as one of the most controversial issues in the English law of contract, the doctrine of consideration is just one of the three critical elements that are needed to make up a contract, and what makes this doctrine so fundamental is its purpose, which seeks out to set legal limits on the enforceability of an agreement, even where they would otherwise be legally binding. As described per Lush J, in Currie v Misa consideration is “… 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 three main SRN: 1063895 rules of this doctrine are that; the consideration must not be past, it must be sufficient but need not be adequate and the consideration must move from the promisee to the promisor. This way we can see how this fundamental doctrine in contract law attempts to ensure that no party enters into an undesirable agreement. “The doctrine of consideration in fact plays a number of different roles. It has been stated that the doctrine of consideration has a formal aspect, in that it can perform an evidentiary function, a cautionary fun... ... middle of paper ... ...ent outcome, some even speculate that the Stilk v Myrick case could have gone the other way. Modern commentators say that had the judge awarded the money to the plaintiff would have created a precedent that would risk other ships’ crews to blackmail the captains into giving them more money, however had the doctrine of economic duress been available at the judge’s disposal it is believed that he would have been more likely to rule that the captain was under economic duress. It is clear now how the doctrine of duress may be used and has lead to rulings being more fair and precise as there are more options available for the judge to make his ruling. It can be argued that more cases are needed to further define the limits of economic duress, however its clear enough as to what falls under this doctrine and how it can be used to protect parties from unfavourable outcomes.
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