Summary Of Promissory Estoppel

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The nature of promissory estoppel is to protect the promisee’s expectations by holding the promisor to the promise. There are four requirements to the promissory estoppel that affect its scope. A pre-existing contract or a legal obligation which is then modified, a clear and an unambiguous promise, reliance: change of position and that it must be inequitable to allow the promisor to go back on his promise. Firstly, if a party is under pre-existing duty to perform, then there is no consideration given for the modification of the contract thus making the modification voidable. In the case of Combe V Combe, there was a promise made between a husband and his estranged wife. The promise was that the husband will make payments for the maintenances…show more content…
Where it insists on a sufficient precision and freedom from ambiguity to ensure that the representation will be reasonably understood in the sense required. And that only one reasonable meaning should be apparent. In the case of Woodhouse A.C. Israel Cocoa Ltd v Nigerian Product Marketing Co Ltd, a contract for the sale of coffee beans was agreed to be paid in sterling pound, but the seller mistakenly sent out the invoice with price in Kenyan shillings. At that time the market value of Kenyan shilling and sterling pound was equal so the buyers accepted the invoice and delivery without any objection. But the value of pounds fell dramatically in relation to Kenyan shillings. The buyers then sought to buy in pound as it was stated in the contract. But it was held by the court that the buyer’s acceptance of the invoice amounted to a clear and unambiguous promise to accept on those terms. So a promissory estoppel was invoked. Thirdly, there must be a reliance on the promise or representation by the promise. This requires detrimental reliance so that if the promise is revoked it will be worse than if it never have been made. In the case of Alan V El Nasr, it was argued by the sellers that because the buyers gained their benefit they had not acted on their reliance to the promise. And it was held by the court that detrimental reliance is not a requirement of promissory estoppel. The only thing that needs to be established is that the promisor changed his
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