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The article is divided into three main parts. The first part consists of a brief account of the current state of play in English law. In the second and third parts of the article, the focus of attention shifts to Australia and the United States respectively. An outline of developments in these countries is provided, and an attempt is made to identify the lessons that can be learned from those developments. Throughout, the subject matter is the territory which would be occupied by the English doctrines of promissory and proprietary estoppel if they were fully developed. In the United States, the relevant doctrine is termed “promissory estoppel”, and in Australia it is generally known as “equitable estoppel”. There are signs that the latter designation is now catching on with the English judiciary as well, and where appropriate the term “equitable estoppel” is used to denote the combined doctrines of promissory and proprietary estoppel.

Keywords: Australia; Equitable Estoppel; Promissory Estoppel; Proprietary Estoppel; USA

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2000

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  • Until 2007 the King's Law Journal was known as the King's College Law Journal. It was established in 1990 as a legal periodical publishing scholarly and authoritative Articles, Notes and Reports on legal issues of current importance to both academic research and legal practice. It has a national and international readership, and publishes refereed contributions from authors across the United Kingdom, from continental Europe and further afield (particularly Commonwealth countries and USA). The journal includes a Reviews section containing critical notices of recently published books.
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