1st Edition

The Modern Cy-près Doctrine
Applications and Implications

ISBN 9781138976283
Published February 29, 2016 by Routledge-Cavendish
400 Pages

USD $49.95

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Book Description

It is unusual, in the precise world of law, to find instances of where ‘near enough is good enough’. This book explores when this is possible, referring to property and monetary transfers, under the increasingly important and influential cy-près doctrine.

The doctrine decrees that, when literal compliance is impossible or infeasible, the intention of a donor or testator should be carried out ‘as nearly as possible’. Over the past thirty years, this doctrine has marched into other legal territory where ‘as near as possible’ is also considered sufficient, such as in class actions litigation and under non-charitable trusts.

Discussing and analyzing key developments across the Commonwealth jurisdictions and the USA, this book considers whether there is a new and overarching definition which can be attributed to the cy-près doctrine. It asks whether there is a doctrinal symmetry of analysis that truly renders it a body of ‘cy-près law’ in the modern context and whether the doctrine can be expected to play an even greater role in the future.

This book is of interest to researchers and practitioners working in trusts and charity law, property law, contract law, and class actions jurisprudence.

Table of Contents

Introduction.  The Cy-Près Doctrine in the Context of Trusts.  Charitable Trusts: Cy-Près Delineation.  Charitable Trusts: General Cy-Près.  Charitable Trusts: Statutory Cy-Près. Charitable Public Appeal Funds.  Non-charitable Trusts.  The Cy-Près Doctrine in the Context of Litigious Remedies.  Class Actions Cy-Près: An Introduction.  Class Actions Cy-Près: Principles.  Cy-Près Specific Performance.  Cy-Près: More than a Doctrine?

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Dr Rachael Mulheron is Senior Lecturer in Law at Queen Mary University of London. She is also author of The Class Action in Common Law Legal Systems: A Comparative Perspective (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2004).


"The Modern Cy-Près Doctrine [is] a useful and relevant reference text for class action practitioners... [and] a useful guide to anyone objecting to a proposed cy-près scheme or wanting to suggest improvements to it." - The Canadian Class Action Review, vol. 4 no. 1, July 2007