The doctrine is of utmost importance where there has been a promise to perform an act in future. These are the type of contract that are said to be executory in nature. If there has been a mere promise to perform an act it would only be enforceable if is by way of a deed. (Mckendrick 2009).
The definition of consideration was provided in the case of Currie v Misa1 which revolve around the concept of benefit being provided to the person who made the promise (the promisor), or a detriment to the person to whom the promise was made. Thus detriment or benefit as specified would suffice so as to make a promise enforceable. This definition has been problematic in instances where the contract is executory was a whole. However, the definition has been found to be confusing and as a result it has been said that in order to resolve the issue of consideration the mutuality in the agreement should be looked into and consideration evaluated thereupon. (Poole 2010).
The first requisite of consideration is that it must be sufficient and need not be adequate, that is it is as a matter of fact considered by courts as being capable of being consideration. The adequacy is not considered because of the fact that the courts do not wish to interfere where the party merely entered into a bad bargain (Thomas v Thomas)2 this is what is known as the principle of ‘freedom of contract’ (Chappell v. Nestle)3. However, there have been time when it has been found that consideration which has no economic value will not be sufficient and thus will not suffice as consideration. (White v. Bluett)4 (Atiyah et al 2006)
Existing obligation which arises due to operation of law and is not related to any contract that is no contract has been made for additional services is held not be enforceable as there is no consideration or to be more precise because of public policy