Consideration (in contract law) (Ro.: cauza contractului/ obligaţie contractuală, De.: ~e Vertragspflicht, Fr.: contrepartie, n.f./ contre-prestation, n.f., Gr.: παροχή, Cz.:  protiplnění) (See also: Lawful performance, Mutual promise) = a contractual element representing the obligation a party commits to (to pay a specific amount of money, to conclude a precontractual agreement, to proceed in a certain manner, etc.), when negotiating an agreement. 

For example, A promises to paint B’s fence in exchange for 200 EUR. In return, B asserts: 'I agree to pay 200 EUR for the painting of the fence'.

The amount of money represents consideration for the painting, while the painting represents consideration for that specific amount of money. 

In the Austrian legislative system, each declaratory statement above bears the name of Willenserklärung. The declaratory statement (Willenserklärung) becomes a consideration (Vertragspflicht) if the binding offer and its acceptance match perfectly.

In both common and civil law systems, consideration represents an essential element in the formation of the contract, and it must exist in order for the agreement to be legally enforceable.

In German legislative systems, one party’s consideration entails the other party’s performance. Thus, in the case of a sales agreeement, if the goods are not supplied and if the property right is not transferred, there is no obligation for payment and vice versa.     

Executed ~ (Ro.: obligaţie contractuală care trebuie îndeplinită la data scadentă, De.: ~ebis zum Zeitpunkt der Fälligkeit zu erfüllende Vertragspflicht, Fr.: contrepartie à exécuter à la date de l'échéance, n.f., Gr.: εκπληρωθείσα ~) = an obligation a party commits to, at the exchange of promises regarding acts to be performed on a future date (for example, a bilateral agreement for the supply of goods with future delivery).

Executory ~ (Ro.: obligaţie contractuală care trebuie îndeplinită în schimbul unei alte obligaţii contractuale care a fost deja îndeplinită, De.: ~eLeistung die im Hinblick auf eine Gegenleistung erbracht wird, Fr.: contrepartie exécutoire, n.f., Gr.: εκκρεμής ~) = an obligation envisaging the submittal of an asset or the performance of a certain action, in exchange for a promise whose promised act has already been performed. 

For good and valuable ~ (Ro.: cu titlu oneros/ în schimbul unei contraprestaţii corespunzătoare, De.: entgeltlich, Fr.: à titre onéreux, Hr.: αντιπαροχή) = a necessary element in the formation of a contract, regarding the advantages conferred to one party (money, assets, performance, etc.).


Useful links

Legislation - Romanian Civil Code, Articles 1235-1239 [Romanian] – Civil Code of Quebec, Articles 1410-1411 [English] - Australian Contract Law- Consideration [English]

Article 287 of the Greek Civil Code [Greek]

Jurisprudence - Thomas v. Thomas, UK, 1842 - Chappell & Co Ltd v. Nestle Co Ltd, UK, 1960 - Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co Ltd v Selfridge & Co Ltd, 1915 

Online Publications - MacMillan, Catharine, Stone, Richard, 2012, Elements of the law of contract, University of London International Programmes - Weitzenböck, Emily M., 2012, English Law of Contract: Consideration, Norwegian Research Center for Computers & Law, Oslo University – Lorenzen, Ernest G., 1919, Causa and Consideration in the Law of Contracts, Yale Law Journal - Valente, Dena, 2010, Enforcing promises: Consideration and Intention in the Law of Contract, University of Otago


Atiyah, P. S., 1971, Consideration in contracts: A fundamental restatement, Canberra, Australian National University Press


By Alexandru Coraș