Terence Etherton, ‘Equity and conscience’

I would like to talk today about equity and conscience. 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 …

Sir Terence Etherton MR, Equity and conscience, Northumbria University – Eldon Professor’s Lecture, 25 October 2017.

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