Encyclopedia > Consideration

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Consideration is a central concept in the common law of contracts. It is often called the thing that is exchanged, no matter how miniscule (the classical example being the peppercorn[?] or mustard seed. It is said that a contract will fail for a lack of consideration. Documents under seal were considered to contain consideration: the giving of the seal, as a symbolic object. It is also stated that courts will generally not look behind consideration to reform contracts, i.e. that even if the price is not the market price, courts will accept it as the price under the doctrine of freedom to contract[?].

While the concept of consideration is not generally accepted in civil law systems some recognize the similarity between consideration and cause, as some civil codes recognize that all contracts must have a cause, though this is not generally accepted.

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