Ceylon Coffee, the Comtesse and the Consignee: A Historical Reappraisal of Rochefoucauld v Boustead

2015-10-13T08:29:13Z (GMT) by Gregory W. Allan
This paper examines the Court of Appeal judgment of Rochefoucauld v Boustead [1897] 1 Ch. 196 through use of archive records, rarely cited law reports and nineteenth-century academic opinion. A full and hitherto untold account of the facts of the case is presented. It is revealed that the land which was the subject matter of the dispute was sold under the direction of the Ceylon District Court, and that the plaintiff was an accomplished individual who utilized various means to frustrate her former husband's attempts to obtain the land. The Court of Appeal's rulings that the defendant was a trustee of the land for the prevention of fraud, and that the trust was to be treated as an express trust, are also analysed with the aim of establishing how these issues were understood at the time of the judgment. It is argued that both of these aspects of the judgment were regarded as uncontroversial because there was a settled concept of equitable fraud, and because trusts imposed for the prevention of such fraud were an established category of trust in their own right, separate from express, resulting or constructive trusts.

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