The constructive trust is central to equity’s mission to deal with unconscionable behaviour, to prevent formal legal rules from permitting an unjust outcome, and to prevent clever tricks and devices from allowing claimants to be treated unconscionably. There will always be situations in which some judges will wish to set a formal rule of law aside because its outcome on the facts of that case would be unpalatable. There are other judges who will shrug their shoulders and wonder at the injustice of the rule they are obliged to follow. The constructive trust is both a countervailing rule for judges of this second type, and a helpmeet for judges of the former type.
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