David 2
ADMITTED TO THE LEGAL PROFESSION
29 Apr 1991
SIGNED VICTORIAN
BAR
ROLL
23 May 1996
ACCREDITED AS MEDIATOR
03 Feb 2005
QUALIFICATIONS
B.Com. (Hons), LLM.
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Lord Denning Dumped on Proprietary Estoppel


Sidhu v Van Dyke

On 29 April I blogged here about the forthcoming decision of the High Court in Sidhu v Van Dyke, a case where a man promised a woman a share of a property if she continued to live and work on it. Judgment has now been published: Sidhu v Van Dyke [2014] HCA 19.

 The High Court has rejected the proposition that in a proprietary estoppel case there is any shift in the onus of proof to the defendant. In particular, it has rejected the notion that there is any presumption of reliance once a representation is established. The Court stated “reliance is a fact to be found, it is not to be imputed on the basis of evidence which falls short of proof of the fact”.  The Court also explicitly rejected Lord Denning’s statement to the contrary in Greasley v Cooke [1980] 3 All ER 710.

Although this conclusion accepted a principal submission of the appellant, the appellant still failed. The reason was that the High Court found that the real question to be determined was whether detrimental reliance ought to be inferred from the whole of the evidence. The Court found that it was.