This article argues that more explicit recognition ought to be accorded to unilateral promises in European private law. While such promises are given effect to, this is often by virtue of the fiction that they create contractual liability, a fiction which masks the true nature of liability as unilaterally undertaken. The argument is advanced through a comparison of the differing approaches of German, English and Scots law to unilateral promises. It is concluded that a wider and more explicit enforcement of unilateral promises would benefit the future development of European private law.
- promise, contract, private law