Elspeth Reid

Scotland has a mixed legal system in the sense that elements of both the Common Law and Civil Law traditions coexist in many areas of its private law. This topic offers an illustration of that mixed character. There is no Scots doctrine of legitimate expectations or estoppel as such, but the functional equivalent is to be found in the law of personal bar, a topic of considerable practical importance as well as theoretical interest. While the English law of estoppel has been drawn upon extensively by the Scots courts, estoppel and personal bar do not directly equate, as will be discussed below. Moreover, there are features of the Scots doctrine which suggest similarity with the Civil Law of abuse of rights, and some of the terminology used for bar has an identifiable ius commune derivation. The questionnaire set by the General Reporter invited discussion of the general nature and origins of the doctrine, with an emphasis on its implications for contract law, but it should be noted that personal bar has extensive application in many other areas of the law.

Cite as: Elspeth Reid, Protecting Legitimate Expectations and Estoppel in Scots Law, vol 10.3 ELECTRONIC JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE LAW, (December 2006), <http://www.ejcl.org/103/art103-11.pdf>.

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