Consideration and Serious Intention

23 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2010

See all articles by Mindy Chen-Wishart

Mindy Chen-Wishart

University of Oxford – Faculty of Law; National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law

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The doctrine of consideration has come under increasing attack. In Gay Choon Ing v. Loh Sze Ti Terence Peter, Andrew Phang Boon Leong J.A. of the Singapore Court of Appeal raises the spectre of its replacement with the doctrines of economic duress, undue influence, unconscionability and promissory estoppel. In response to the reasoning of Phang J.A. and others, I argue that: (i) consideration is not a meaningless doctrine; in particular, the adequacy of consideration is relevant to the enforceability of an agreement and ‘practical benefit’ can be made a meaningful concept; (ii) contract law does not, and should not, enforce all seriously intended undertakings; and (iii) the vitiating factors do not simply interrogate the presence of contractual intention and cannot replace the functions performed by consideration.

Suggested Citation

Chen-Wishart, Mindy, Consideration and Serious Intention. Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, pp. 434-456, December 2009, Available at SSRN:

Mindy Chen-Wishart (Contact Author)

University of Oxford – Faculty of Law ( email )

United Kingdom

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law ( email )

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