Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Nudum Pactum Definition:

Latin: an empty pact; a contract for which there is no consideration.

Related Terms: Consideration

Purported agreements which are without consideration, such as unilateral undertakings which may bind a person morally, but not under contract law, in those jurisdictions which still require consideration.

A contract law term which stands for those agreements which are without consideration, such as a unilateral undertaking, which may bind a person morally, but not under contract law, in those jurisdictions which still require consideration.

In ancient times, when the common law was often premised on a set of Latin maxims, students learned the expression:

"Nudum pactum est ubi nulla subest causa praeter conventionem; sed ubi subest causa, fit obligatio et parit actionem."

In English, a naked contract is where there is no consideration to support the agreement; but where there is a consideration, an obligation exists, and produces an action; now, mercifully shortened to the doctrine of nudum pactum.

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