The responsibility, given, suffered, or undertake by the

The administration of contacts in Law has always
played a part in making sure that there is fairness in legal relations.
Consideration in contract law has always been key in creating a lawful contract
and for many years has been regarded as essential element in creating a fair and
lawful contract and is one of three major parts including the likes of, offer
and acceptance  . Consideration as
defined means, something must be given up for an exchange of something and
replaced the idea of “something for nothing”, which was developed in the
protestant reformation of the 16th century. However, it has over time
many legal analysts have questioned whether consideration is necessary, and its
removal has been advocated by some such as Lord Goff, who’s observation on consideration
in the case of White v Jones1 said that ‘our
law of contract is widely seen as deficient in the sense that it is perceived
to be hampered by the presence of an unnecessary doctrine of consideration’2. However,
some such as Anson state that consideration is ‘the only test of the intention
of the promisor to bind himself by a contract’. This essay will seek to evaluate
considerations importance in contract law, its complications and any
alternatives to consideration.  


Consideration definition

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Consideration has been the
subject to lots of it’s scrutiny due to the fact of its lack of flexibility
within the definition of consideration. Some argue that the definition of
consideration is too rigid and narrow. This definition for the doctrine of
consideration was initially influenced through the case of Currie v Misa3 which said
that consideration ‘consists either in some right, interest, profit, or benefit
accruing to the one party or some forbearance, detriment, loss or
responsibility, given, suffered, or undertake by the other’4.


A highlighting issue with
consideration if the fact that consideration must be sufficient and not
adequate. This specific factor on consideration has been put under much
scrutiny and was highlighted in the case Chappel v Nestle5. This case
proved that not everything in law is valued within its worth for money, as the
wrapping papers in this case formed part of consideration, without having a
numerical value. In contrary the case of White v Bluett6


White v Jones 1995 2 AC 207 at p263

L Wright, ‘Should the Doctrine of Consideration Be Abolished?’ (1936) 49 Harv L
Rev 1225.


Currie v. Misa 1875 LR 10 Ex 153


Chappell & Co Ltd v Nestle Co Ltd 1960 AC 87 (HL)

White V Bluett (1853) LJ Ex 36