AN INTERPRETIVE ACCOUNT OF UNCONSCIONABILITY IN TRUST LAW
Keywords:unconscionability, contract law, trust law
The principle of public policy and factors such as fairness, reasonableness and good faith have – since the introduction of constitutionalism in South African law – become the cornerstone of the law and of its impact on all relationships – even the
relationships in contracts. One such development is the assimilation of the doctrine of unconscionability in contract law. In this article, this concept, within the context of a trust formed by way of contract, is investigated. While the doctrine of
unconscionability is not without controversy, the question arises as to whether it has any role to play in trust law. The two-pronged approach traditionally used to determine the presence of an unconscionable contract or term is evaluated in light of its potential application in the case of trust deeds. The author submits that the incorporation of the doctrine will be advantageous in the developmental process in respect of a new constitutional trust-law order that is in harmony with the spirit,
purport and objects of the Constitution. The doctrine of unconscionability has become a reality in South African law of contract; it should therefore also be embraced in the establishment of the trust as a dynamic tool in the commercial environment.
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