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The Modern Law of Estoppel$
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Elizabeth Cooke

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198262220

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198262220.001.0001

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The Formal Estoppels

The Formal Estoppels

(p.6) 2 The Formal Estoppels
The Modern Law of Estoppel


Oxford University Press

Sir Edward Coke, writing in 1628, mentioned three kinds of estoppels: by matter of record, by matter in writing, and by matter in pais (estoppel that arises in the country and need not involve writing). What Coke calls ‘estoppel by matter of record’ is often now called estoppel per rem judicatam, which can be roughly translated as ‘estoppel because the court has already decided’. It is the rule that when a question has once been litigated, the parties cannot bring it back to court for another try. The other two categories listed by Coke also remain vital parts of the law; they are the basis of what are called the ‘formal estoppels’. They are triggered by the actions or statements of the estopped person, but they sit a little uneasily beside the vast body of law which grew out of them and which behaves in a rather different way.

Keywords:   formal estoppels, law, title, estoppel per rem judicatam, Sir Edward Coke

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