Thu, 17 Aug 2006 16:01:07 +0100
Trident General Insurance v McNiece
You might try Reynolds' note (1989) 105 L.Q.R. 1.
Trident was an odd case. An insurer, like a bookmaker,
would not stay long in business admitting that a sum is due but
refusing to pay on the basis that they cannot be compelled to do
so by the payee. Even if an insurer did refuse to pay, the promisee/insured
would be able to compel payment to the third party payee through
an order for specific performance (see Brennan J p 138-139).
real source of the dispute in Trident was whether the claimant
was one of the parties insured at all. The privity rule was then
invoked as a fall back but wasn't what the initial/real argument
to what Trident's ratio is, that is obscure.
own view, is that the result would have been unimpeachable if the
promisee had been before the court. It is sometimes said that it
is unacceptable to leave the third party at the mercy of the choice
of the promisee as to whether to obtain a remedy on his behalf,
if the third party has no right under a contract or trust to compel
the promisee to do so. My view is that this is just tough luck on
the third party (see Brennan J at p 140).
University of Oxford
Does anyone know of any appellate judicial discussion, or academic
commentary, which tries to make sense of the decision of Trident
General Insurance v McNiece? I have checked one Aussie textbook
on contract but there did not seem to be much discussion of subsequent
Does anyone have an opinion as to the best juridical understanding
of the Trident case?
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