The remainder of chapter three consists of an examination of the use ofequitable estoppel in four situations that the law of contract has notadequately been able to deal with: first, work undertaken in anticipation of acontract that does not materialise;secondly, the ‘battle of theforms’; thirdly, firm offers in theconstruction industry; and, fourthly,variations of contract unsupported byconsideration. These issues are given arelatively detailed treatment. Spence spends several pages, for example,explaining why contract, tort and restitution all fail to explain the cases inwhich compensation has been granted for work done in anticipation of a contractwhich does not materialise. Spence arguesthat equitable estoppel is capable of providing more satisfactory results in allof the problem areas he discusses. In doing so, Spence assumes withoutdiscussion that equitable estoppel is capable of operating in relation to anassumption that a person will act in a particular way in the future. Spenceargues, for example, that equitable estoppel would be capable of arising on thefacts of two cases in which lessors undertook alteration work in anticipation ofa lease, and . Spence describes the relevantassumption in these cases as follows:
Closely connected with the cause of action question is whether an assumption,which does not relate to an existing or expected legal relationship between theparties, is capable of founding an equitable estoppel. Although this issueraises fundamental questions about the nature and scope of the doctrine, it isnot addressed in . A restrictive interpretation wasadopted by Brennan J in , when he articulated theelements necessary to establish an equitable estoppel. Brennan J held thatit was necessary for a plaintiff to prove that he or she assumed that aparticular legal relationship existed or would exist between the plaintiff andthe defendant, and the defendant would not be free to withdraw from thatrelationship. Although it is not clear whatconstitutes a ‘legal relationship’ for this purpose, it is difficultto see how this requirement could have been satisfied in .This raises the important question whether an equitable estoppel can arise whereone person relies to their detriment on an assumption which is simply that apromise will be performed, or that a person will act in a particular way. InPriestley JA indicatedthat it could. He observed that an equitable estoppel could operate in relationto ‘an assumption that a contract will come into existence or an interest granted to the plaintiff by thedefendant’.
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• For example if a person claimed that they signed a contract, they will be estopped from later denying that they did not. What is equitable estoppel?
Australian Contract Law | Julie Clarke
In this country, the doctrine of equitable estoppel has played a major part in the increasing judgement of courts that aims to stop misconduct of parties involved in negotiations during both the pre-contractual and non-contractual situations. However the current law fails to impose a duty that favours negotiating in good faith and though its application seems to support appropriate mechanisms for developing a good faith doctrine in appropriate situations.
John T. Blanchard, P.C. -- Specific Performance
It really matters the doctrine that’s correct as equity estoppel has its limitations in other areas that require the other sub-species of estoppel that are more specialised and specific. Equitable estoppel does not change non-contractual promises to contractual ones but is a close remedy of damages of torts for negligent misstatement or fraud. The aspects of time, permanence and unconsciousness cannot be put under the umbrella of the equity estoppel that seek to address mostly cases of conscience which comes to the relief of those that are labour at a disadvantage and are being exploited by these at an advantage. In the subsets and the other forms of estoppel, they broaden the scope of estoppel and put requirements of each so for it to be in effect..
Glossary of Legal Terms — Judicial Education Center
– Equitable doctrine allowing the court to enforce a promise even though a valid contract was not formed when a person reasonably acted in reliance on that promise. Promissory Estoppel allows the court to compensate the person for their expenditures and/or to avoid the unjust enrichment of the other party.