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Trusts Law in Australia
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Trusts Law in Australia

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ISBN 9781760021771 NEW RELEASE 30/11/18

Trusts Law in Australia, now in its fifth edition, provides a comprehensive and scholarly analysis of modern trusts law. Earlier editions have been praised for their utility both as a text for students and as for the sophisticated analysis of decisions they provide for practitioners.

The text is logically structured, setting out the conceptual foundations of trusts before dealing with all of the key topics including express trusts, charitable trusts, voluntary trusts, resulting trusts, constructive trusts, writing and related requirements, the rules against perpetuities and accumulations, life tenants, remaindermen, tracing, and the duties, liabilities, powers, rights, appointments, retirement and removal of trustees.

Professor Denis Ong’s meticulous analysis of both the facts and reasoning of key judgments identifies conceptual anomalies in the law, and interprets and at times critiques the relevant Australian and UK authorities. Each chapter finishes with a summary of relevant legal principles, making the book unusually accessible.

Among the important decisions included in this new edition:

  • In Korda v Australian Executor Trustees (SA) Limited (2015) 255 CLR 62, the High Court stated the requirements for establishing an intention to create an express trust.
  • In Australian Financial Services and Leasing Pty Limited v Hills Industries Limited (2014) 253 CLR 560, the High Court clarified the defence of a bona fide change of position.
  • In Fischer v Nemeske Pty Ltd (2016) 257 CLR 615, the High Court addressed the distinction between trust and debt.
  • The Federal Court in Jones v Matrix Partners Pty Ltd [2018] FCAFC 40 and in Lane v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation [2017] FCA 953, and, on the other hand, the Victorian Court of Appeal in Commonwealth v Byrnes [2018] VSCA 41, disagreed on the controversial ramifications of the trustee’s right of indemnity.
  • In Hasler v Singtel Optus Pty Ltd (2014) 87 NSWLR 609 and Fistar v Riverwood Legion and Community Club Ltd (2016) 91 NSWLR 732 the New South Wales Court of Appeal examined the volatile doctrine of accessory liability in equity.


Table of Cases 
Table of Statutes

1. Introduction

The Trust 
The Three Categories of Trusts

2. The Trust Compared with Some Other Concepts

Personal Representatives 
Equitable Charge, Equitable Personal Obligation and Condition Subsequent 
Unincorporated Associations 
Company Directors 
Company Liquidators 
Trust Powers and Mere Powers 

3. Three Certainties Required for Creation of Express Trust

Certainty of Intention 
Certainty of Subject Matter 
Certainty of Objects 

4. Writing Requirements for Certain Types of Transactions

Section 23C(1)(a) of Conveyancing Act 1919 (NSW) 
Section 23C(1)(b) of Conveyancing Act 1919 (NSW) 
Section 23C(1)(c) of Conveyancing Act 1919 (NSW) 
The Principle in In re Schar 
Section 54A of Conveyancing Act 1919 (NSW) and Doctrine of Part Performance 
Section 23C of Conveyancing Act 1919 (NSW) and Adamson v Hayes 
Dispositions by Will 

5. Complete Constitution of Voluntary Trust

The Basic Principle 
Executory Trusts 
Particular Applications of Basic Principle 
Capacity to Create a Trust 

6. TRUSTEES: Duties, Liabilities, Powers, Rights, Appointment, Retirement and Removal

Duties of Trustees 
Liabilities of Trustees: Rights of Beneficiaries 
Powers of Trustees 
Rights of Trustees 
Appointment, Retirement and Removal of Trustees 

7. Charitable Trusts

Charitable Trusts are Trusts to Promote Charitable Purposes 
Categories of Charitable Trusts 
Trusts for the Relief of Poverty 
Trusts for Advancement of Education 
Trusts for Advancement of Religion 
Trusts for Other Purposes Beneficial to Public 
Statutory Modification of Fourth Category 
Statutory Severance of Non-Charitable Purposes from Charitable Purposes 
The Doctrine of Cy-près 
Statutory Cy-près 
Control of Public Collection and Disposition of Funds raised for Charitable and Other Public Purposes 

8. Resulting Trusts

Statement of Principle 
Presumption of Resulting Trust 
Presumption of Advancement (Presumption of Gift) 
Joint Bank Accounts between Purchasers and Volunteers 
The Enigmatic Episode of Tony Vandervell: Vandervell v Inland Revenue Commissioners 
Can a Trust be Created by the Transfer of a Bare Legal Estate? 
Resulting Trusts Precipitated by Transfer of Property in Trust for Illegal Purposes 

9. Constructive Trusts

Acquisition of Legal Title with Actual or Constructive Notice of Earlier Inconsistent Equitable Interest 
Property Acquired through Giving of Knowing Assistance to Another in Latter’s Breach of Fiduciary Duty 
Fiduciary’s Duty to Account for Unauthorised Gains 
Unconscionable Reliance on Legal Title 
Vendor as Conditional Constructive Trustee of Property under Contract of Sale 

10. Tracing

Tracing at Common Law 
Tracing in Equity 
Tracing and Romalpa Clauses 
No Tracing Where Agent a Mere Debtor 
Does Defence of Change of Position apply to Law of Tracing? 
Backward Tracing? 

11. The Rights of Life Tenant and Remainderman Regarding Income and Capital

Rule in Howe v Lord Dartmouth 
Apportionment Legislation 
Distinguishing Capital from Income: Company Shares and Pastoral Properties 
Burden of Loss or Expenditure to be Borne as between Capital and Income 
Rule in Allhusen v Whittell 

12. The Rule Against Perpetuities and the Rule Against Accumulations

Statement of Rule Against Perpetuities 
Statement of Rule Against Accumulations 


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