Dextra Bank & Trust Co Ltd v Bank of Jamaica

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Dextra Bank & Trust Company Limited v Bank of Jamaica
Royal Arms of the United Kingdom (Privy Council).svg
Court Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
Decided 26 November 2001
Citation(s) [2001] UKPC 50
Court membership
Judges sitting Lord Bingham of Cornhill
Lord Goff of Chieveley
Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough
Sir Martin Nourse
Sir Patrick Russell
Keywords
Unjust enrichment, mistake

Dextra Bank & Trust Company Limited v Bank of Jamaica [2001] UKPC 50 (26 November 2001) is an important case in unjust enrichment in the Privy Council.

Facts[edit]

Dextra drew a cheque for $2,999,000 from its bankers to lend to the Bank of Jamaica. Its agents told Dextra the money was for a loan. The Bank of Jamaica was told the money was for foreign currency purchased by its agents. They gave the money to the agents, but the agents were fraudsters. Dextra wanted restitution.

Judgment[edit]

The Privy Council held that the claim failed, first because Dextra had made no relevant mistake of fact, and second because the Bank of Jamaica had changed its position. On the question of the change of position defence, Dextra argued that the Bank of Jamaica were relatively at fault, and therefore their defence should fail. Lord Bingham and Lord Goff said in the course of their advice,

Comment[edit]

The decision in Dextra has been broadly accepted by academic lawyers, although it has been pointed out that the difference between a "misprediction" and a "mistake of fact" is a very narrow one.[1] In Papmichael v National Westminster Bank plc [2003] EWHC 164 the court held that where the claimant paid drachmas into an account under the mistaken belief that the drachmas would be converted into US dollars, that was a mistake of fact which could found a restitutionary claim.

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Goff, Robert; Jones, Gareth (2007). The Law of Restitution (7th ed.). Sweet & Maxwell. 4-002. ISBN 9780421926004.