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Explain The Rule Known As "The Rule In Pinnel's Case" And How It Impacted Upon The Doctrine Of Consideration

2267 words - 9 pages

Synopsis: This essay examines the rule knows as The Rule in Pinnel's Case and how it impacted upon the doctrine of consideration. It also examines the problems arising from the Rule in Pinnel's Case, the subsequent exceptions that were developed to circumvent the rule and in detail the most important exception of them; Promissory estoppel and how it solved the problem's arising from the Rule. The distinction between traditional estoppel and this new type of estoppel 'Promissory Estoppel' are also examined and how Promissory estoppel has been accepted in Australia.A contract is an agreement that the law will enforce, a promise (or set of promises) that the courts will enforce, a legally enforceable contract . Many problems arise that require the examination of whether a contract exists. To resolve this, a useful formula is Offer + Acceptance = Agreement, and Agreement + Intention + Consideration = Contract. Consideration is defined by Sir Frederick Pollock as ' an act or forbearance of the one party, or the promise thereof, which is the price for which the promise of the other is bought, and the promise thus given for value is enforceable'. The process outlined forms the vast majority of contracts. An offer is made by party A to party B; that offer (or some negotiated variation of it) is accepted by party B. Therefore an agreement exists. All of those components are necessary for a contract to exist. The type of contract that will be examined in this essay is one that is made between a Creditor (the party that lends out the money to the Debtor) and a Debtor (the party who borrows the money from the Creditor) It will also be examined how The Rule in Pinnel's Case was an unfair rule and how the problem arising from the Rule in Pinnel's Case was solved.The Rule in Pinnel's Case states that payment of less than you owe will not totally discharge your debt obligation, this is because the creditor's promise (not to sue for the balance) is a promise made without consideration (coming from the promisee / debtor) and is therefore not enforceable by the debtor. This rule was formulated in Pinnel's case (1602) 77 ER 237:There, the court took the view that the payment of a lesser sum on the due date in satisfaction of a greater amount was no satisfaction of the whole. The court did, however, say that 'the gift of a horse, hawk or robe, etc in satisfaction is good. For it shall be intended that a horse, hawk, or robe, etc might be more beneficial to the plaintiff than the money in respect of some circumstance, or otherwise the plaintiff would not have accepted it in satisfaction of the debt' The court also made it clear that the payment and acceptance of a lesser amount on a day prior to that specified in the original agreement would constitute valid consideration as the debtor's early repayment is something more that required by the original agreement. (Vermeesch, RB & Lindgren, KE 2005)The rule is also sometimes referred to as The Rule in Foakes vs. Beer...

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