More than half a century ago, when reviewing D. W. M. Walters, The Constructive Trust (London: Athlone Press, 1964), L. A. Sheridan noted that ‘as a classificatory device’, the term constructive trust ‘has served only to confuse’ ((1965) 28 MLR 378). Dr Liew is to be congratulated for, once again, attempting the impossible task of theorising constructive trust. This book is not a comprehensive survey of case law relating to ‘constructive trusts’, but an endeavour to distil a theory of the term. The book therefore disregards a number of doctrines which, in the author's view, are not within its scope. For example, he argues that dishonest assistance, knowing receipt, and trusteeship de son tort, which are traditionally understood to entail remedies against a constructive trustee, are better understood as personal liabilities arising from fraud on the part of the so‐called ‘constructive trustee’, rather than examples of the proprietary remedy of constructive trusts. It is also argued that mistaken payments and the retrospective revesting of title to property in the context of equitable fraud ought to be analysed as express or resulting trusts.The author's impossible task understandably resulted not in a theory, but a system of constructive trusts, as set
The Modern Law Review – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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