law, the principle preventing someone from asserting a claim
inconsistent with what was previously alleged.
at the bar; Bar legally; Legally prevent; Halt, legally speaking;
Bar in court; Block legally; Prevent, in legalese; Thwart in
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is a legal doctrine recognised both at common law and in equity
in various forms. It is meant to complement the requirement of
consideration in contract law. In general it protects a party who
would suffer detriment if:
defendant has done or said something to induce an expectation
plaintiff relied (reasonably) on the expectation...
would suffer detriment if that expectation were false.
by the defendant has been accepted as another element by courts,
in an attempt to unify the many individual rules of estoppel.
is generally only a defense that prevents a representor from
enforcing legal rights, or from relying on a set of facts that
would give rise to enforceable rights (e.g. words said or actions
performed) if that enforcement or reliance would be unfair to the
representee. Because its effect is to defeat generally
enforceable legal rights, the scope of the remedy is often
limited. Note, however, that proprietary estoppel (applicable in
English land law) can be both a sword and a shield and the scope
of its remedy is wide.
an example of estoppel, consider the case of a debtor and a
creditor. The creditor might unofficially inform the debtor that
the debt has been forgiven. Even if the original contract was not
terminated, the creditor may be estopped from collecting the debt
if he changes his mind later. It would be unfair to allow the
creditor to change his mind in light of the unofficial agreement
he made with the debtor beforehand. In the same way, a landlord
might inform a tenant that rent has been reduced, for example, if
there is construction or a lapse in utility services. If the
tenant relies on this advice, the landlord could be estopped from
collecting rent retroactively.
is closely related to the doctrines of waiver, variation, and
election and is applied in many areas of law, including
insurance, banking, employment, international trade, etc. In
English law, the concept of legitimate expectation in the realm
of administrative law and judicial review is estoppel's
counterpart in public law, although subtle but important
term appears to come from the French estoupail or a variation,
which meant "stopper plug", referring to placing a halt
on the imbalance of the situation. The term is related to the
verb "estop" which comes from the Old French term
estopper, meaning "stop up, impede". Note the
similarity between the English terms "estop" and
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