Restitution On Mistakes Of Law

Always revitalising and evolving


About the project

The Singapore Academy of Law’s Law Reform Committee examined the contract law rule that money paid out under a mistake of law, rather than a mistake of fact, is not recoverable. It recommended that the rule should be abolished through an amendment to the Civil Law Act (Chapter 43, 1999 Revised Edition).

Project status: Completed

  • The report was published in April 2001.
  • The report was cited in Tan Sook Yee & Tang Hang Wu, “Equity, Trust and Restitution” (2001) 2 Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review of Singapore Cases [SAL Ann Rev] 198 at paragraph 12.39; Andrew Phang Boon Leong, “Contract Law” (2002) 3 SAL Ann Rev 122 at paragraph 9.53; and Yeo Tiong Min, “Restitution” (2002) 3 SAL Ann Rev 345 at paragraph 19.2.
  • It proved to be unnecessary for Parliament to consider acting on the report, as in 2002 in Management Corporation Strata Title Plan No 473 v De Beers Jewellery Pte Ltd [2002] SGCA 13, [2002] 1 SLR(R) 418, the Court of Appeal, following the lead taken by the United Kingdom House of Lords in Kleinwort Benson v Lincoln City Council [1998] UKHL 38, [1999] 2 AC 349, decided that it would abrogate the rule judicially.

Areas of law

 Contract law
 Restitution law


Click on the image above to view the report

Last updated 10 May 2019


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