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Doctrine Of Promissory Estoppel Free Essays
So it would be fair to argue that it is always expected that doctrines are not immune from their own specific difficulties and the courts would be sensible to make use of only the doctrines which are more precise and give less ground for errors. Taking all the arguments into account “the doctrine of consideration is nevertheless still an established part of… common law landscape in general”. It was also mentioned by Lord Steyn that “there are a few cases where even in modern times courts have decided that contractual claims must fail for want of consideration”. Even though the doctrine of consideration might seem to lack flexibility, it is its inflexibility preventing uncertainty in the English law. For this reason, consideration cannot be ignored and will not be ignored. The doctrine of PE might be seen as an alternative to consideration to provide the parties with more flexibility but it cannot replace consideration. In conclusion, the current legal position and the limitations of promissory estoppel, manifested from the continuing evolution of promissory estoppel, may pose turbulence in contract law and open the flood gate to cases.
“Estoppel is a mechanism for enforcing consistency; when I have said or done something that leads you to believe in a particular state of affairs, I may be obliged to stand by what I have said or done, even though I am not contractually bound to do so” However, PE has evolved as an alternative to contract law’s doctrine of consideration. It allows the courts to enforce a contract without the aspect of consideration if the following criteria are met. 1. A clear and unequivocal promise to suspend existing contractual rights, 2. Change of position by promisee in reliance on the promise, 3. Inequitable for the promisor to go back on the promise. PEs proliferation and emergence has led some Scholars to sound the “death knell” for the bargain theory of consideration as they view PE as an insignificant and secondary doctrine of contract formation. The milestone for PE was laid in the case Hughes v Metropolitan Railway and was revived in the 1940s by Denning J in Central London Property Trust Ltd v High Trees House Ltd where a claim was brought to resume payment of the original rental amount after the war has stopped in 1945.
'Promissory estoppel is now a mature doctrine - UK Essays
This equitable doctrine, which originally acted as an exception, now appears as an open and unlimited doctrine. These facts supply even more materiel and room for discussion about the two doctrines but even though there is room for a lot of debate, for the time being, both of these doctrines must go hand in hand with each other to provide the best possible judgement with regards to the current social mind sets. The courts would have to choose the best possible from the two doctrines considering the effects the outcome could have on the society and the law. Bearing in mind that consideration is a common law concept, and promissory estoppel an equitable one, only time will tell which one these doctrines will win the upper hand. The current legal position of promissory estoppel is not justifiable as it raises a lot of unanswered questions and lacks certainty. Therefore, only by allowing the doctrine of PE to grow and develop, one will be able to say if the promise to accept less eventually becomes an undisputable doctrine. ‘I  declare that this piece of work contains  words. I have read and fully understood the provisions relating to unfair practices (including plagiarism) as cited on the VLE.
The doctrine of PE helps to make promises binding without consideration. Nevertheless, if one was to take a deeper look at it, then it becomes obvious that the courts have applied PE only to cases promises to accept less but yet have to acknowledge cases involving promises to give more. This approach appears to be a bit unfair as it seem to benefit only the promisee. Also, the efforts to divert from the established approach set by the Hughes and the High Trees case have caused to question the boundaries of promissory estoppel as a reputable and well-established area. Given the arguments above, it should be clear now on the arguments for and against PE. The above discussion on doctrine of consideration makes it the main element of a binding contract and the lack of it may even make the contract voidable. On the other hand, the doctrine of PE makes a contract enforceable without consideration. By comparing the two doctrines, it would be sensible to say that PE is more lenient. This could be because the criteria for the doctrine of PE may be rather easily satisfied than the criteria for consideration. The reason for this might be because the requirements for PE seem more clearly defined than the ones for consideration.
Doctrine of Promissory Estoppel - Essay Example
Adam Kramer, “The many Doctrines of PE” (2002), Volume 37, Student Law Review 17 Phuong N Pham, Waning of Promissory Estoppel, Cornell Law Review, Vol. 79, Issue 5 (1993-1994) Orit Gan, Journal of Gender, Race & Justice, Vol. 16, Issue 1 (Winter 2013), pp. 49 Jason Snyder & Emerson H. Tiller, The Political Evolution of Contract Law: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Promissory Estoppel (2009, pp. 7) Electronic Sources:
Jill Poole, Textbook on Contract Law (11th Edition, Oxford University Press, 2012) Mindy Chen-Wishart, Contract Law, (4th Edition, Oxford University Press, 2005) E. Cooke, The Modern Law of Estoppel (OUP, 2000)
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Doctrine of Promissory Estoppel. Essay - 1109 Words
The exact purpose or role of proprietary estoppel is a matter of some debate. On the one hand, and in similar fashion to the related doctrine of promissory estoppel, proprietary estoppel can...
Doctrine of Promissory Estoppel. - WriteWork
The doctrine is believed to be “plagued by uncertainty and inconsistency”. If one was to explore why it is uncertain and inconsistent, then it is because courts often imply consideration into cases by making it more of formality or technicality rather than a doctrine. To see to what extent this criticism is understandable is by looking at the case of Williams v Roffey Bros in which the court was willing to find consideration in the practical benefit arising to the promisor from making the promise. This decision by the courts was very questionable, because consideration would normally not apply to cases concerning completion of contractual duties in an existing agreement. This is why it could be argued that it seems to give scope for unfairness and might even lead to unlawful cases in the future. In order to distinguish or relate the two doctrines, it is important to understand the doctrine of PE. According to a law journal, it could be seen as the law of waiver – giving up ones rights and therefore could be called equitable forbearance. E Cooke in her book ‘The modern law of estoppel’ describes it as followed.
Doctrine of Promissory Estoppel
To what extent is it possible to predict the circumstances in which a plea of
proprietary estoppel will be successful and the consequences thereof for the person against whom the estoppel operates?
Promissory Estoppel In Tax Laws - Law Teacher
Now take a look at some of the advantages of the doctrine of PE. It is to be seen as a shield to protect against retrospective claims. So it can help to protect the weaker party from exploitation in a negotiation procedure. Actually, scholars seem to agree with the view of the doctrine being an advantage to the less powerful parties like consumers or employers as they are mostly powerless or unprepared against much bigger parties. To express it in a different way “the doctrine of estoppel is used to prevent the party who created the belief that the contract was valid from taking advantage of the statutory rule” and that makes the promise binding even if it lacks consideration. This leads to the other advantage of PE, which makes it of suspensive nature, because no reasonable man would want to have his rights extinguished as a consequence of a plain promise as one can seen from the case against High Trees. It only allows the rights to be suspended but does not terminate it. This section will discuss the disadvantages of PE. One of the major arguments going against it is the uncertainty it creates in law.
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