Equity and Trusts
Topic: Equity and Trusts
Patrick Parkinson has asserted that ‘a single doctrine of equitable estoppel’ was ‘established from the majority judgments in Waltons Stores (Interstate) v Maher’ (P Parkinson (ed), The Principles of Equity, (LBC Information Services: 1996), 222).
However, Young, Croft and Smith, On Equity (Lawbook Co: 2009) at 829, contend that ‘the idea that there was one overarching principle governing all cases of equitable estoppel’ is ‘heresy’ and ‘has now been jettisoned’.
In your opinion, which of these represents the more accurate statement of the law today? Why? Does it matter which view is correct?
You should support your argument by detailed reference to at least four cases.
Read the question carefully.
You must discuss and research and support and back up your arguments clearly.
Each parts of the question must be discussed separately step by step and clearly.
The assignment must be completed in 12-point default Times New Roman (font and style).
REFERENCING = You must follow the style of citation found in Melbourne University Law Review Inc, Australian Guide To Legal Citation, 3rd ed (Melbourne: the Review, 2011), on the Web at http://mulr.law.unimelb.edu.au/ and also in the subject guide for law available on the Murdoch library home page at: http://libguides.murdoch.edu.au/law.
A single doctrine of equitable estoppel is contained in the common law. It precludes a party from denying an agreement or a promise that was made to another party prior to the case. If the truth has been established about the agreement or promise made earlier, then the doctrine of equitable estoppels will be applied (Con-Stan Industries Ltd v Norwich Winterthur Insurance Limited). The truths can be established by judicial acts or representations by legislative officers. According to Waltons stores (interstate) .v. Maher (P.Parkinson (ed)), Walton was estopped from avoiding agreements he had promised Maher. Athough there was no evidence of the agreement, Waltons was held liable.
The principle of equity provides that the beneficiary can recover his property under trust if it can be traced. This principle aims at providing fairness and justice and not like in common law where equity seems to be strict and rigid (Legione v Hateley). The overarching doctrine consists of different estoppels which are irrelevant to others. Some estoppels change facts and parties rights, they can be permanent or temporary. Therefore the idea that there is an overall principle governing equitable estoppel, is not in common law and cannot be practiced today in law. Therefore, the accurate approach to law today is through the single doctrines of equitable estoppel.
The following is the reason why the single doctrine of equitable estoppel is appropriate in today’s’ law; A party can be prevented from harm by another person’s voluntary conduct i e. Silence or acquiescence. Specific types of estoppel exist in common law, which include; promissory estoppels, which occurs when a party experience damage because of failed promise by another party. An estoppel certificate provides a written agreement in which the parties sign the agreement in the certificate; they will not later change the facts about the agreement. Mortgage and loan agreements usually use an estopel certificate, after signing the document the borrower cannot alter, dispute or deny those facts. The doctrine of estoppels by deed prevents the denial of the truth concerning facts contained in the deed. Collateral estoppel prevents a re-argument of a legal issue that was determined in valid judicial process.
Equitable estoppels can be used as shied, thus it acts as evidence that prevents one party from denying the truths that has been established. A victim can recover any lost properties through enforcing the doctrines of equitable estoppels. This can only be used as a shield and not as a sword to be used to establish criticism against another party ( Lambertini v. Lambertini).
The approach to this issue matters a lot, thus a single doctrine to equitable estoppels is appropriate in order to facilitate equity and justice to the complaint. On the other hand, the defendant who committed breach should not be discharged free by the court yet he has caused damage to another party. Equitable remedies are available to settle cases concerning equitable estoppel, which include; induction, rectification, actual performance subrogation, equitable liens and compensation. The most common applicable remedies include injunction, where the defendant will be required to do or withdraw from doing something and actual performance, which requires the agreement to be executed as was agreed before. The principle of equity is very crucial when administering fairness and justice in law (Hughes v. Metropolitan Railway Co.)
Lambertini v. Lambertini, 655 So. 2d 142 (Fla. 3d Dist. Ct. App. 1995).
Con-Stan Industries of Australia Pty Ltd v. Norwich Winterthur Insurance (Australia) Limited,  Gibbs CJ, Mason, Wilson, Brennan and Dawson JJ
Legione v. Hateley  57 ALJR 152 CLR 406, High Court of Australia.
Hughes v Metropolitan Railway Co (1876-77) LR 2 App Cas 439 UKHL 1.