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Clayton v Ramsden [1943] AC 320, 112 LJCh 22, [1943] 1 All ER 16.

Facts:

Father set condition in will for daughter that if she is to keep her inheritance she must not marry someone who is not of Jewish parentage and faith.

Issue(s):

Is Jewish parentage and faith sufficiently clear to be allowed as a condition?

Ratio:

No, it is not. If the Court cannot determine precisely when a condition applies, then it is void for lack of clarity.

Analysis:

(Clavering v Ellison) must be able to apply a condition precisely.
-Jewish parentage applies to race but it's not clear how much Jewish lineage is required.
-Jewish faith: There is no degree of attachment indicated.

Holding:

Condition defeated without defeating grant.

Comments:

There's a presumption against the testator trying to control the living.
-This shows the limits of property. There is a requirement to communicate clearly to the agent who is to carry out your will, in this case the (Protestant) Court.
-Not about intention but expressed intention.
-The right of the property holder is limited by the right to certainty by the recipient.

The certainty that is required is conceptual not factual. It's about how the Court could apply the instructions, not how they bear on the current facts.


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