Ben McFarlane, ‘Proprietary Estoppel: The Importance of Looking Back’

In one of Lord Hoffmann’s final speeches in the House of Lords, he borrowed from Hegel to remind us that: ‘The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk’. The observation was made in a case examining proprietary estoppel and, drawing on the judgment of Hoffmann LJ (as he then was) in Walton v Walton, this chapter explains the advantages of a ‘backwards-looking’ model in understanding the nature and operation of the promise-based strand of proprietary estoppel applied in cases such as Thorner v Major.

McFarlane, Ben, Proprietary Estoppel: The Importance of Looking Back (April 2015). PS Davies and J Pila (eds), The Jurisprudence of Lord Hoffmann (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2015); Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No 15/2015.

First posted 2015-04-03 06:53:47

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