Euro-Diam Ltd v Bathurst: CA 1988

The court had found that securities had been registered misleadingly in the US. The court held that it could not aid illegality. The court considered the defence of ‘ex turpi cause non oritur actio’. Kerr L.J: ‘The ex turpi causa defence ultimately rests on a principle of public policy that the courts will not assist a plaintiff who has been guilty of illegal (or immoral) conduct of which the courts should take notice. It applies if in all the circumstances it would be an affront to the public conscience to grant the plaintiff the relief which he seeks because the court would thereby appear to assist or encourage the plaintiff in his illegal conduct or to encourage others in similar acts.’ and ‘it makes no difference whether the illegality is raised in the plaintiff’s claim or by way of reply to a ground of defence’ and ‘To grant relief in our case does not assist or encourage [the deceased] or others in his situation to continue in their disapproved conduct.’


Kerr LJ


[1990] 1 QB 1, [1988] 2 WLR 517


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedSamuel Gyaniao v Design Corner Ltd EAT 15-Jun-2001
The employee sought to appeal a decision at a preliminary hearing that he had not been dismissed. He had asserted that the employment contract was illegal because income tax and NI contributions were not being deducted properly, and therefore was . .
CitedHewison v Meridian Shipping Pte, Coflexip Stena Offshore Ltd, Flex Installer Offshore Ltd CA 11-Dec-2002
The claimant was awarded damages for injuries suffered in his work as a seaman. The respondents claimed that he should not receive damages, since he had made false declarations as to his health in order to obtain employment, hiding his epilepsy . .
CitedSharma v Hindu Temple and others EAT 10-Oct-1991
. .
DisapprovedTinsley v Milligan HL 28-Jun-1993
Two women parties used funds generated by a joint business venture to buy a house in which they lived together. It was vested in the sole name of the plaintiff but on the understanding that they were joint beneficial owners. The purpose of the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 26 May 2022; Ref: scu.180847