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Andrews v Parker

(1973) Qd R 93

Overview

This case dealt with the issue of illegality on the ground of public policy.

The plaintiff (male) commenced living with the defendant (female) who was married and subsequently, at the defendant's request, transferred property into her name on condition that if she returned to her husband the ownership would be transferred back to the plaintiff.

The defendant returned to live with her husband and refused to transfer the property back to the plaintiff.

Was the agreement illegal as being immoral (infringing on the sanctity of marriage)?

 

Facts

This case dealt with the issue of illegality on the ground of public policy.

The plaintiff (male) commenced living with the defendant (female) who was married and subsequently, at the defendant's request, transferred property into her name on condition that if she returned to her husband the ownership would be transferred back to the plaintiff.

The defendant returned to live with her husband and refused to transfer the property back to the plaintiff.

Held (Justice Stable)

The contract was not immoral. It was not to bring designed to bring about an extra-marital affair, which already existed at the time of contract. It was to provide for what happened when/if that state of affairs ended.

See: EK Teh, 'Case note: Extra-marital cohabitation not immoral' (1973) 4(2) University of Tasmania Law Review 201-206

Commentary