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Contract law

The burden of proof thus falls on Tom to prove that a valid contract existed between him and Henry. In the scenario, the issue of capacity among the parties does not suffice, as both parties were mature and consenting adults. The issue then becomes to determine whether the promise to make by Henry to Tom amounted to a contract. In this respect, it is important to look at the ways in which a valid contract can be created. A contract can be created expressly, orally or impliedly. Under common law, a contract can be created orally by the courts considering the intention of the parties at the time of making the agreement. This however depends on the intention of the parties at the time of contracting, and the evidence available as to proof that the statements were intended to create a contract. From this therefore, Tom may institute a lawsuit in court against Henry for breach of contract. However, there is limited evidence as to the existence of the offer made by Henry to Tom. This could therefore work to Tom’s disadvantage in proving that a valid contract existed between him and Henry. This is because despite the existence of an offer, it was incapable of performance as the subject matter of the contract was in existent. Secondly, the essentials of a valid contract require that there must be consideration for an agreement between parties to become enforceable in a court of law. Section 2(d) of the Indian Contract Act 1872 defines consideration as, “When at the desire of the promisor, the promisee

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or any other person has done or abstained from doing, or does or abstains from doing, or promises to do or promises to abstain from doing something, such act or abstinence or promise is called a consideration for the promise.” From this definition, it is evident that consideration need not be money. Rather it can take the form of an act or the abstinence or a promise to do or to abstain from doing anything. In the leading case of Currie vs. Misa1 consideration was defined as the, “A valuable consideration in the sense of the law may consist either in some right, interest, profit or benefit accruing to one party, or some forbearance, detriment, loss or responsibility given, suffered or undertaken by the other.” From this definition, a person suing for a breach of contract need to show that he had suffered some loss or some other form of detriment accruing from his reliance on the offer. This detriment need not be in monetary terms, but rather any form detriment (Tufal, 2010, p.1). In the scenario, Tom did not suffer any kind of detriment from the reliance of Henry’s promise. He cannot prove to the court that because of his reliance on henry’s promise he was placed at any disadvantage whatsoever. The requirement to prove the element of consideration thus acts to defeat Tom’s claim against Henry. Similarly, it is a general rule that consideration must not be past. This is because past consideration is no consideration at all. It arises from the promise to pay or perform an act based on work already done. For example, if B promises A to give him some money upon after A voluntarily helping him out to clean his compound, A cannot go on to demand the money in court if B is unwilling to pay up. This position was adopted by the court in the Re McArdle2 where a promise was given to the plaintiff in

Summary

Name Instructor Task Date For a contract to be enforced in a court of law, it must satisfy the essentials of a valid contract. These essentials of a valid contract include, offer, acceptance, consideration, capacity, legality of the subject matter, and the intention to create legal rights…
Author : nicolaanderson
Contract law essay example
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