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Courts had to decide whether to amend restrict or to

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Courts had to decide whether to amend, restrict or to extend promissory estoppel when considering the different facts presented by these new cases. Exercise 6.6 Read the case of Combe v Combe (Parker and Box Page 135) and answer the
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following questions: 1) What were the facts of this case? A husband promised to make maintenance payments to his estranged wife but failed to do so. The wife brought an action to enforce the promise invoking promissory estoppel. Her action failed. There was no pre-existing agreement which was later modified by a promise. The wife sought to use promissory estoppel as sword and not a shield. 2) What effect did this case have on the use of promissory estoppel by parties in a legal action? A husband promised to make maintenance payments to his estranged wife but failed to do so. The wife brought an action to enforce the promise invoking promissory estoppel. Her action failed. There was no pre-existing agreement which was later modified by a promise. The wife sought to use promissory estoppel as sword and not a shield. The High Court of Australia confirmed the operation of promissory estoppel in Australia and set out the elements required in Legione v Hateley . Other cases in Australia have further modified the operation of the doctrine. Read Parker and Box, pages 135-139 and answer the following questions: 3) What are the elements that must be proven to successfully argue promissory estoppel, as set out in Legione v Hateley ? 1. There must be an assumption in the mind of the promisee 2. The promissor was responsible for the assumption 3. The promisee reasonably relied upon the assumption 4. The promissor knew or intended for the promise to rely on the assumption 5. The promisee would suffer detriment if the promissor is permitted to renege on the promise 4) Describe what you think is meant by detriment in promissory estoppel? (see Je Maintiendrai P/L v Quaglia case ) – (actual or prospective?) Mere failure to carry
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out the promise by the promissor does not amount to detriment. The promisee must show that they have put themselves in a position where they will suffer material disadvantage if the promissor reneges. Actual detriment is not required, though. Prospective (potential) detriment will suffice. In the case of Je Maintiendrai Pty Ltd v Quaglia , the court held that it is sufficient if the promisee is able to show either actual or prospective detriment as a result of having acted upon the promise. 4) From the above cases, it can be said that promissory estoppel could be used‘as a shield, but not as a sword’. Explain in your own words what is meant by that phrase. This was a radical departure from established precedent. Previously, promissory estoppel could only be used ‘as a shield’.
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