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法律英語閱讀與翻譯教程(20)

2.充分的對價與不充分的對價

2.Consideration:Sufficient and Insufficient

對價是允諾人給予受諾人的某種有價值的東西,以交換受諾人給予允諾人某種的有價值的東西。“有價值的東西”通常是一種行為,如付款行為,或某種克制自己去做其原本有權去做的事,比如成年人控制自己不去抽煙的行為。

Consideration is something of value given by a promissor to a promisee in exchange for something of value given by a promisee to a promissor. Typically, the thing of value is an act, such as making a payment, or a forbearance to act when one is privileged to do so, such as an adult refraining from smoking.

 
對價必須是充分的,但是法院并不刻意關心(過問)對價的適當性。例如,以一便士的價格出售轎車可以構成一個有約束力的合同。(買方/原告)只需要表明賣方事實上想要這一便士即可。這就是所謂的“胡椒子規則”。否則,這枚便士僅構成名義上的對價,即不充分的對價。當事人可能出于避稅的目的而將贈與交易偽裝成合同交易。
Consideration must be sufficient, but courts will not weight the adequacy of consideration. For instance, agreeing to sell a car for a penny may constitute a binding contract. All that must be shown is that the seller actually wanted the penny. This is known as the peppercorn rule. Otherwise, the penny would constitute nominal consideration, which is insufficient. Parties may do this for tax purposes, attempting to disguise gift transaction as contracts.
 
過去的對價是不充分的對價。事實上,這是一種矛盾修辭法。例如,一個年輕女孩的監護人向銀行貸了一筆貸款,目的是使女孩受到良好教育并能使她將來能夠嫁得更好。女孩結婚后,丈夫允諾償還這筆貸款。一般認為監護人不能強制執行該允諾,因為用貸款去撫養和教育女孩屬于“過去的對價,——該對價在女孩的丈夫允諾對其償還之前已經完成。
Past consideration is not sufficient. Indeed , it is an oxymoron. For instance, the guardian of a young girl obtained a loan to educate the girl and to improve her marriage prospects. After her marriage, her husband promised to pay off the loan. It was held that the guardian could not enforce the promise because taking out the loan to raise and educate the girl was past consideration-it was completed before the husband promised to repay it.
 
過去對價的不充分性還與既存義務規則相關。例如,船長向船員們允諾,如船員愿意在人手不足的條件下將船從波羅的海駛回本國,愿將兩個逃跑船員的工資分給剩下的船員。這個允諾是不可強制執行的,因為船員早已簽訂合同,允諾將船安全駛回。
The insufficiency of past consideration is related to the preexisting duty rule. For instance, a captain’s promise to divide the wages of two deserters among the remaining crew if they would sail home from the Baltic short-handed, was found unenforceable on the grounds that the crew were already contracted to sail the ship through all perils of the sea.
 
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