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The Discretionary Remedial Constructive Trust: "[A] debate as cogent as a discussion of the merits of English versus American unicorns"¹

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posted on 2021-11-15, 01:43 authored by Meagher, Jacob Joseph

Those who seek settled property rights in Equity will find little comfort in this paper. With legal realism in mind the author asks what are the courts of Equity doing to property when recognising an institutional constructive trust? The author concludes that there is little distinction between a remedial and an institutional constructive trust; they are the same remedial equitable mechanisms for transferring property from A to B in equity. That is, an ICT, like the RCT is are awarded/imposed/recognised by the courts based on the underlying concepts of fairness and justice (or the equitable term of art; 'unconscionability'). The ICT is seen as legitimate because it hides behind the mask of language of 'institution'. Finally if jurisdictions continue to recognise and impose the ICT, then there is no logic in rejecting the RCT as an any less legitimate tool in the Equities armory.  ¹ William Swadling "The Fiction of the Constructive Trust" (2011) 64 Current Legal Problems 399 at 432.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Name

LL.B. (Honours)

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970118 Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Research Paper or Project



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Law


Bennett, Mark