Troja v Troja: 1994

(New South Wales) The court explained the application of the forfeiture rules in cases involving murder. Historically: ‘In a time of attainder, forfeiture, and common exaction of the death penalty following conviction for murder, the niceties of the civil property claims of the perpetrator of a homicide tended to be given less prominence. The abolition of criminal forfeiture, the repeal of the civil impediments upon suing, and the reduction, and final abolition, of the death penalty, have presented the legal system with new problems affecting property law. The so-called ‘forfeiture rule’ was one of the solutions devised to fill the gaps left following the abolition of the old rule. ‘ and ‘A search for a rule more flexible than the absolute legal rule stated in Cleaver, and in subsequent English cases, was soon seen to be necessary because of the grossly unjust consequences which that rule, in its full rigour, produced, both for the perpetrator of the homicide, and others taking through that person. In a word, the absolute rule, whilst apparently defensive of human life, paid no regard to the virtually infinite variety of circumstances in which a homicide may occur, and the ameliorative circumstances that may sometimes exist, especially in a domestic situation.’


Kirby P


(1994) NSWLR 269




CitedCleaver v Mutual Reserve Fund Life Association CA 1892
The deceased’s executors objected to his widow maintaining action on a trust created by an insurance policy in her favour under the Act. She had been convicted of his murder. The executors’ case was that ‘it is against public policy to allow a . .

Cited by:

CitedDunbar (As Administrator of Tony Dunbar Deceased) v Plant CA 23-Jul-1997
The couple had decided on a suicide pact. They made repeated attempts, resulting in his death. Property had been held in joint names. The deceased’s father asked the court to apply the 1982 Act to disentitle Miss Plant.
Held: The appeal was . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Crime, Wills and Probate

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.199532