House of Lords (opinions of the Lords of Appeal for Judgement in the case Kleinwort Benson Ltd. v. Lincoln City Council and others) 29 October 1998

Hector MacQueen, Nils Jansen, Lena Olsen, Carolina Vicente E. Cunha, Willibald Posch, Luisa Antoniolli Deflorian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


[Scottish perspective at pp. 352-57]

The facts of Kleinwort Benson Ltd v. Lincoln City Council will become clear from the following case notes. The case has attracted quite some attention in England. This is not only because it includes the final speech on the law of restitution by Lord Goff of Chievely, it also raises some highly interesting questions. How should interest rate swaps with local authorities be judged? When should recovery for mistake of law be allowed? Do judicial decisions act retrospectively?

It is especially the latter question which is a central point in the discussion of the case in the ensuing case notes. Foreign observers obviously are baffled by the fully retrospective effect which the majority accords to judicial change. Is not this against the whole idea of precedent in the common law?

For further reading as to English comments one may consult M. BRIDGE, Restitution and Retrospective Law; J.M. FINNIS, ‘The Fairy Tale's Moral’, [1999] 115 Law Quarterly Review 170–175; L. SMITH, ‘Restitution for Mistake of Law’, Restitution Law Review 1999, 148–158.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-83
JournalEuropean Review of Private Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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