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Speech by Sir Terence Etherton MR: Equity and Conscience – Eldon Professor’s Lecture

|Speeches|Sir Terence Etherton
  1. I would like to talk today about equity and conscience.
  2. There are important areas of current equity jurisprudence where a specific ingredient of unconscionability (or unconscionableness, as Lord Walker has called it) is required. To name but some: receipt of trust property with knowledge it was transferred in breach of trust; receipt of a mistaken payment with knowledge of the mistake; rescission in equity of a unilateral transaction; and proprietary estoppel.  I will elaborate in due course on these, and examine the continuing appropriateness in modern law of the unconscionability ingredient, but for the moment I would like to look more generally at the relationship between equity and conscience.

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