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The illegality defence

Author: Great Britain. Law Commission.
Publisher: London : Stationery Office, ©2010.
Series: Law Com. (Series), no. 320.; HC (Series) (Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons), 412.
Edition/Format:   Print book : National government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
This final report concludes a long-running review of the illegality defence, which has considered how the defence applies to the law of contract, unjust enrichment, tort and trusts. The illegality defence arises when the defendant in a private law action argues that the claimant should not be entitled to their normal rights or remedies because they have been involved in illegal conduct which is linked to the claim.  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Government publication, National government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Great Britain. Law Commission.
ISBN: 9780102964554 0102964556
OCLC Number: 607525842
Notes: "Presented to Parliament pursuant to section 3(2) of the Law Commissions Act 1965."
"Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 16 March 2010."
Description: x, 87 pages ; 30 cm.
Series Title: Law Com. (Series), no. 320.; HC (Series) (Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons), 412.
Responsibility: the Law Commission.

Abstract:

This final report concludes a long-running review of the illegality defence, which has considered how the defence applies to the law of contract, unjust enrichment, tort and trusts. The illegality defence arises when the defendant in a private law action argues that the claimant should not be entitled to their normal rights or remedies because they have been involved in illegal conduct which is linked to the claim. If the courts accept the illegality defence, it often involves granting an unjustified windfall to the defendant, who may be equally implicated in the illegality. However, if the courts refuse, they may be seen to be helping a claimant who has behaved illegally. The courts have attempted to set out rules to govern this area, but the rules are complex and confused. The Commission's final recommendations follow the provisional recommendations in a 2009 consultative report (Consultation paper 189, ISBN 9780118404617). In contract, tort and unjust enrichment cases, the courts are showing more willingness to explain the policy reasons that underlie their decisions, and the Commission believes the law should be left to develop through the case law. But in the area of trusts, the Commission recommends a short, targeted bill to amend the law, and a seven clause draft bill is included in the report, along with explanatory notes on the draft bill and an impact assessment.

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