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Vol 31 No 3 September-November 2017

Certainty and promissory estoppel after Crown Melbourne Ltd v Cosmopolitan Hotel (Vic) Pty Ltd

By Luca Moretti

 

The recent decision of Crown Melbourne Ltd v Cosmopolitan Hotel (Vic) Pty Ltd is a surprising case, perhaps the greatest surprise being that a weak claim in estoppel made it all the way to the High Court. This reflects the state of confusion that has surrounded the doctrine of promissory estoppel since the seminal case of Waltons Stores. This article considers one aspect of this complex doctrine — how certain must a representation be to give rise to a promissory estoppel? None of the judgments in Crown provide an entirely satisfying articulation of the appropriate certainty standard and so this article draws out the strengths and shortcomings of each. As part of that analysis, I consider the historical development of the certainty standard and focus on the judgments of Mason CJ and Wilson J and Brennan J in Waltons Stores. Those judgments contain four relevant principles that should have guided the alteration to the certainty standard that occurred in Crown and will be relevant for the standard’s future application and development.

 

 

Words, words, words! What did You mean? Contractual interpretation and the reasonable business person

By the Hon Justice Ruth McColl AO

 

During this seminar, I wish to focus on three aspects of the role of the parties’ intentions in contractual interpretation. First, the objective theory of contract with its focus on the parties’ presumed, rather than actual, intention. Secondly, some practical consequences of the objective theory, including the proposition that that theory can lead to an interpretation of the contract which none of the parties intended. Thirdly, to look at an area where the parties’ actual intention can, in certain circumstances, be taken into account; the law of rectification.


  • Certainty and promissory estoppel after Crown Melbourne Ltd v Cosmopolitan Hotel (Vic) Pty Ltd
    By Luca Moretti
    page 3
  • Words, words, words! What did You mean? Contractual interpretation and the reasonable business person
    By The Hon Justice Ruth McColl AO
    page 17
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    Non Member Price: $30.00
     
    Main File Type pdf
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