Past consideration refers to an act or performance that was done before an agreement was made between the parties. In contract law, past consideration is generally not valid or enforceable. Here are some key aspects of past consideration:
No bargaining power: Past consideration is not valid because there was no bargaining power or mutual exchange between the parties at the time the act or performance was done.
No enforceable agreement: An agreement must be made before the performance or act is done in order for it to be enforceable. If the performance or act was done before the agreement was made, there is no valid consideration for the agreement.
Exceptions: There are some exceptions to the rule against past consideration, such as if the performance or act was done at the request of the promisor and there was an understanding that the promisor would compensate the promisee.
Future promises: If a promisor promises to compensate a promisee for a past act or performance, the promise must be based on new consideration, such as a promise to perform a new act or provide new services in exchange for the compensation.
Overall, past consideration is generally not valid or enforceable in contract law because there was no mutual exchange or bargaining power between the parties at the time the act or performance was done. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, and future promises may be valid if they are based on new consideration.