Giumelli v Giumelli

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Citation: (1999) 196 CLR 101

This information can be found in the Textbook: Paterson, Robertson & Duke, Principles of Contract Law (Lawbook Co, 3rd ed, 2009), p. 161 [9.30]


Background facts

  • Parents and son partners in family orchard business
  • Parents promised son that if he stayed and worked on property, he will receive some of the land later
  • Son gave up opportunity to pursue a different career
  • A fallout happened, parents refused to transfer property

Legal Issues



  • The Relying Party has a prima facie entitlement to relief based on the assumed state of affairs
  • This means enforcing the promise, which will be qualified if it is too unjust to the Representor
  • However, in this case, since the brother has already been awarded the property and made improvements on it, a monetary compensation will be calculated based on the value of the property
  • Recognises expectation interest

Cause of action

  • Court recognised that the court exercises discretion in giving effect to equitable estoppel. The discretion means that it is the estoppel which generates the remedy, thus it is a cause of action.
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