The Test For Promissory Estoppel Essay

1565 Words May 1st, 2016 7 Pages
Lord Denning, in High Trees, set out the test for promissory estoppel, which consists of three requirements, in addition to the limitation of operation that it may not be used as a cause of action. To estop the promisor from enforcing his legal right, there must be: 1. a clear and unequivocal promise not to insist on strict contractual rights (intended to affect the legal relations between parties); 2. the promisee must reasonably rely on the promise; 3. it must be inequitable for the promisor to resile from the promise.
Another, more developed, form of equitable estoppel is proprietary estoppel, which will arise from a belief that an interest in another party’s land has been granted. This type of estoppel is free from the restriction that it may only be used as a defence.
However, in the Australian case of Walton Stores, promissory estoppel has been recognised as giving rise to a cause of action; this development could and should be adopted in English courts. To show why, I will be drawing upon developments in domestic and international law, attempting the reconcile the doctrine with that of consideration, and point out the limitations that this change would nonetheless be subject to.
Estoppel and Consideration
The most apparent conflict arising from estoppel lies in its relationship with consideration. Consideration requires, for the enforceability of a contract, “either some right, interest, profit or benefit accruing to the one party, or some forbearance,…

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