The rules on offer and acceptance (and certainty) ascertain whether agreement has been reached (see Chapter 1 ). We now examine the requirements for agreements to be legally enforceable contracts. The English rules are complex to the point of eccentricity. The cornerstone of the common law is the doctrine of consideration, which appears ‘surprising, even shocking’ to civilian eyes. We examine whether it serves any useful purpose in the modern law of contract. A possible alternative is the doctrine of ‘intention to create legal relations’. Consideration has proved especially controversial as a requirement for the modification of contracts (Debate 3). Finally, we examine calls for an expanded, reliance-based form of liability – and inquire whether ‘estoppel’ is truly distinct from contract law, or a branch of it.
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- Enforceability: Consideration, Intention and Estoppel
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- Chapter 2