High Court of Australia

Pipikos v Trayans [2018] HCA 39

12 Sep 2018

Case Number: A30/2017


Kiefel CJ, Bell, Gageler, Keane, Nettle, Gordon, Edelman JJ


Equity – Doctrine of part performance – Where respondent sole registered proprietor of property purchased by respondent and her husband – Where respondent and her husband made improvements to property – Where appellant claimed agreement between appellant and respondent entitled appellant to half-interest in unimproved land – Where alleged agreement did not meet formality requirements of s 26(1) of Law of Property Act 1936 (SA) – Where s 26(2) of Law of Property Act provides that s 26 does not affect law relating to part performance – Whether acts of part performance entitled appellant to specific performance of alleged agreement – Whether acts of part performance must be unequivocally, and in their own nature, referable to agreement of kind alleged – Whether sufficient for purposes of doctrine of part performance to establish that contracting party has knowingly been induced or allowed by counterparty to alter his or her position on faith of contract.

Words and phrases – "enforcement of equities", "equitable estoppel", "equitable fraud", "equity of the statute", "fraud", "parol contract", "part performance", "specific performance", "Statute of Frauds", "unequivocally referable".

Law of Property Act 1936 (SA) – s 26.

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