Singapore's Remedial Constructive Trust: Lessons from Australia?
Journal of Equity, Vol. 8, pp.77-107, 2014
Posted: 14 Mar 2015 Last revised: 19 Mar 2015
Date Written: 2014
Although Singapore equity was historically derived from and remains reliant on English equity, in recent years, the Singapore courts have not always followed in the footsteps of English law. One such instance is Singapore’s embrace of the remedial constructive trust. Presently, Singapore law is still in the process of working out its model of remedial constructive trust in two key aspects. The first aspect relates to the scope of the remedial constructive trust; and the second aspect concerns the principles governing the exercise of remedial discretion. This paper considers what Singapore law can and should learn from the Australian experience. Whilst there are key points of reference that can be taken from the Australian jurisprudence, there are also some fundamental distinctions between Singapore law and Australian law that would prevent a direct and automatic transplantation of Australian principles. Indeed, there remain some unresolved issues within the Australian framework of remedial constructive trust.
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