For this assignment I will elaborate on the doctrine of consideration. I will put into context what purpose the doctrine serves in English contract law. I will additionally expand on its relationship with the other requirements of ‘agreement’ and the ‘intention to create legal relations’. In this assignment I will also bring into focus the enforceability issue and the past-consideration rule. In answering, discussing the main and cases on the subject. when relevant I will evaluate the extent to which social policy, economic factors, business realities or other factors have played a part in changing contract law and how the courts have applied and developed established principles.
It seems best fit to begin with the purpose the doctrine serves in English contract law. ‘Consideration is one of the principal ingredients of an enforceable simple contract in English law It was not always such a requirement but has been a principal part of English contract law formation and history since approximately the 16th century’. One theory is that it evolved as a means of restricting the development of assumpsit, in that only promises supported by consideration could be enforced. The law thus evolved in such a way as to enforce bargains rather than promises.
To thoroughly understand consideration I shall define its meaning. Consideration