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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

Examination Timing: 00H15M57S

Tamara wanted to inherit her mother's diamond ring and promised her mother to pay £5,000 if the mother would not sell it. When Tamara failed to pay the £5,000, her brother Tarquin sued her.

Can Tarquin enforce Tamara's promise at common law?

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The general rule in contract law is that a person who is not a party to a contract cannot enforce it or be bound by it due to the lack of privity and consideration. In Tweddle v Atkinson (1861) 1 B & S 393; 121 ER 762, the court held that a third party, who has not provided consideration and is not a party to the contract, cannot enforce the agreement. Since Tamara's promise was made to her mother, Tarquin, being neither a party to the contract nor having provided any consideration, lacks the privity required to enforce the promise.

Key Point: The doctrine of privity in English contract law stipulates that only parties to a contract can enforce or be bound by its terms. This principle ensures that contractual obligations are limited to those who have directly engaged in the agreement and provided consideration, thereby maintaining clarity and fairness in contractual relationships.

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