This paper explores the concept of consideration in contract law from a comparative angle, looking at both English and German law. The concept, which distinguishes an enforceable promise not made by deed from a gratuitous promise of a gift, is commonly seen as a singular brainchild of the Common Law in comparison to Civil Law. However, its function can be seen to resemble the German Civil Code provision which might be its sibling as it determines inversely how gifts are treated differently from reciprocal contracts. On that basis, the propositions of this paper seek to enhance the understanding of contract law in both the Civil Law and the Common Law by improving the rather imprecise German distinction of gifts and bargains as well as refocusing the English doctrine of consideration on its core function.
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