The 'Prima Facie Expectation Relief' Approach in the Australian Law of Proprietary Estoppel
35 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2018 Last revised: 9 Oct 2019
Date Written: November 14, 2018
Whatever the position may have been before the High Court’s decision in Giumelli v Giumelli, it is now well-accepted that, in Australia, proprietary estoppel attracts the prima facie remedy of expectation relief. This paper asks why this remedial approach exists, and how it ought best to be understood. It notes that the ‘prima facie expectation relief’ position may either provide a strong or weak default position — in other words, courts have a choice either to depart from the prima facie position only where the remedy would be significantly disproportionate, or to take a more nuanced approach. Favoring the latter position, it discusses the principle- and policy-related reasons why this provides the best understanding of the remedial approach.
Keywords: Proprietary Estoppel, Australia, Detriment, Proportionality
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