Consideration in English Law

Consideration in English law is one of the three main building blocks of a contract. Consideration can be anything of value (such as an item or service), which each party to a legally binding contract must agree to exchange if the contract is to be valid. If only one party offers consideration, the agreement is not legally a binding contract. In its traditional form, expressed as the requirement that in order for parties to be able to enforce a promise, they must have given something for it (quid pro quo): something must be given or promised in exchange or return for the promise. A contract must be "met with" or "supported by" consideration to be enforceable; also, only a person who has provided consideration can enforce a contract. In other words, if an arrangement consists of a promise which is not supported by consideration, then the arrangement is not a legally enforceable contract. Mutual promises constitute consideration for each other. ("I promise you to do X, in consideration for which promise you promise me to do Y").

In Australia, the bargain theory of consideration prevails, where the act or forbearance of one party or promise thereof is the price for which a promise is bought.

Read more about Consideration In English Law:  Value, Adequacy, Illusory Consideration, Privity, Pre-existing Duties, Estoppel, Deeds and Formality, Alternatives

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