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Informal Carers and Private Law

By: Brian Sloan
Media of Informal Carers and Private Law
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Published: 07-12-2012
Format: EPUB eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 290
ISBN: 9781782250470
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Hart Studies in Private Law
RRP: £76.50
Online price : £61.20
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Loren Epson

About Informal Carers and Private Law

Every day, large numbers of altruistic individuals, in the absence of any legal duty, provide substantial and essential services for elderly and disabled people. In doing so, many such informal carers suffer financial and other disadvantages. This book considers the scope for a "private law" approach to rewarding, supporting or compensating carers, an increasingly vital topic in the context of an ageing population and the need for savings in public expenditure. Adopting a comparative approach, the book explores the recognition of the informal carer and his or her relationship with the care recipient within diverse fields of private law, from unjust enrichment to succession. Aspects of the analysis include the importance of a promise of a reward from the care recipient and the appropriate measure of any remedy. In considering the potential for expansion of a "private law" approach for carers, the book addresses the fundamental and controversial question of the price of altruism.

Winner of the University of Cambridge's Yorke Prize 2014

Table Of Contents

1. Introduction
1.1 The Concern of this Book
1.2 Social Policy Context and Normative Considerations
1.3 Questions to be Addressed in the Book
1.4 Subject Matter of the Book
1.5 Summary
2. Property Law Claims: Proprietary Estoppel and Constructive Trusts
2.1 Introduction and Background
2.2 The Elements of Proprietary Estoppel
2.3 The Remedial Discretion
2.4 The Legitimacy of Proprietary Estoppel
2.5 Carers and the Constructive Trust
2.6 Conclusion: The Limitations of Estoppel
3. Statutory Enforcement of Testamentary Promises
3.1 Introduction and Background to the New Zealand Legislation
3.2 The Promise
3.3 Proposed Reforms to the 'Promise' Requirement
3.4 The Services or Work
3.5 The Remedy
3.6 Conclusion
4. Unjust Enrichment
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Care Services as Enrichment
4.3 The Unjust Factor
4.4 Unjust Enrichment in the Domestic Context in England and Wales
4.5 The Distinctive Canadian Approach
4.6 Conclusion
5. Family Provision
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Justifying the Use of Family Provision Law to Recognise the Carer
5.3 The Eligibility of the 'Pure' Carer under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
5.4 The Relevance of Care Provided to the Quantification of Relief
5.5 Conclusion
6. Inter Vivos Provision on the Breakdown of Caring Relationships
6.1 Introduction
6.2 The Position in England and Wales
6.3 The Approach in Australia
6.4 Conclusion
7. Undue Influence
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Policy Issues
7.3 Undue Influence and Informal Carers
7.4 Applying the Elements of Presumed Undue Influence to Care Cases
7.5 Conclusion
8. Conclusion
8.1 Carers and Private Law
8.2 Unconscionability of Dealing
8.3 Unconscionability of Outcome
8.4 The Limitations of Statutory Discretions
8.5 The Measure of Relief
8.6 The Future


“... as a study of English private law, this is a fine, path-breaking book that poses questions and raises issues that deserve close attention and will, in years to come, undoubtedly assume even greater social and political significance.” –  Peter Cane, The Law and Politics Book Review, Volume 23, No. 12

“This is an enormously impressive book on a highly topical issue...a wonderful book. It is carefully argued with considerable sensitivity to the legal complexities raised. It combines a detailed knowledge and commitment to the law system with a passion to find better ways of recognizing care…and in doing that…has provided an invaluable contribution to the literature.” –  Jonathan Herring, Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, Volume 35, Issue 4

“This reconsideration of the informal care relationship which is made possible through the explosion of some of its associated myths and the exposé of some of the areas within which the law fails to protect those worthy of its reach make this an insightful and valuable book. The analysis is both thoughtful and sensitive and, although beyond the book's stated scope, references to the provisions of public law and the wider social context within which care takes place are provided, enabling the important task of joining this study to the work of others and to the debates concerning care's place in its wider law and policy domains. The references to other jurisdictions add a rich comparative dimension to the central study, as does the contemporary contextualisation, providing a cohesive social commentary that runs through the fairly forensic treatment applied to each of the disparate areas under review... essential reading for those concerned with law's application to informal care-giving.” –  Nicole Busby, The Edinburgh Law Review, Volume 17

“... I found this book fascinating and a very valuable contribution to the growing literature on carers.” –  Anne Stewart, Social & Legal Studies, Volume 23(3)

Informal Carers and Private Law carries important potential: it provides a way of thinking about informal care issues, and consequently social policy, through the categories and concepts of private law...[The book is] an example of how private law can provide language and concepts for political thought.” –  Nick Piska, Feminists@Law

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