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The nemo dat rule and its statutory exceptions - commercial law and transactions - Essay Example

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A Critical Analysis of the Statement that, “The statutory exceptions to the nemo dat rule “developed piecemeal and interpreted restrictively by the courts, do not in policy terms represent either a rational or a cohesive set of rules for balancing the conflicting…
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The nemo dat rule and its statutory exceptions - commercial law and transactions
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The nemo dat rule and its statutory exceptions - commercial law and transactions

t the owner and who does not sell the goods under his authority or with the owner’s approval; the purchaser acquires no better title to the goods than that which the seller had (Clarke and Kohler, 2005, p. 30). This rule states that if a bona fide purchaser unknowingly purchases and subsequently sells stolen goods, he will be held liable in common law for the whole market price of those goods as at the date of transaction (Atiyah, 2005, p. 28). Common law states that the proper owner of the goods retains the legal title; as such, the nemo dat rule applies to the successive bona fide purchasers, implying that the actual owner can successfully bring an action against the fifth bona fide purchaser in trover as decided in Beverly Acceptances Ltd. v. Oakley, (1982) RTR 417.1
Goode (2004, p. 16) notes that even though this rule was put in place to protect the true owners of personal property and to allow them to assert their superior title over anyone else over the property, the rule propagates to a greater extent injustice to bona fide purchasers. Besides, it propagates injustice to third parties who are innocent making them lose their claim the moment the true owner appears to assert his title (Sealy, Hooley, and Hooley, 2008, p. 23). Therefore, in order to prevent injustice on the bona fide purchaser and third parties, there are a number of exceptions to nemo dat rule which have been put in place in English law as noted in Lowther v. Harris, (1927) 1 K.B 393.2 It is worth noting that these exceptions only provide a certain degree of protection to the bona fide purchaser and innocent third parties as well as well as the true or original owner (Goode, p. 2009, p. 45). In the English Law, this principle is clarified under the Sale of Goods Act.
The Sale of Goods Act 1994 specifies that the seller has to fulfil certain responsibilities before goods are sold legally. Rose (2001, p. 14) says that one of the most important clause of this rule is the ‘retention of ... Read More
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