Archive for the ‘res iudicata’ Category

CPO s.3(1) and res iudicata

November 12, 2012

In Humphries v Humphries ([1910] 2 K.B. 531, CA (Eng)) L agreed to grant T a fourteen year lease of a house but there was no written contract or memorandum complying with section 4 of the Statute of Frauds (the equivalent of section 3(1) of the Conveyancing and Property Ordinance). T denied the existence of the contract in an action for rent arrears but did not plead the Statute of Frauds. L succeeded. T fell into arrears again and L brought proceedings. This time, T sought to rely on the Statute of Frauds but was not allowed to do so:

‘It may well be expedient to avoid the risk of fraud and perjury when there is no written evidence of a contract relating to land, by refusing to allow any evidence of such a contract to be given; but where the evidence has actually been taken and the contract has been proved by parol to the satisfaction of the Court, the reason for refusing it has disappeared, and a refusal to allow the contract to be sued upon would be an encouragement to dishonesty without any corresponding advantage to the public.’ (537, Farwell L.J.)

Michael Lower