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Re Leonard Foundation Trust (1990),69 DLR (4th) 321 (ON CA)

Facts:

Trust created educational scholarships for people who are white, of British nationality or British parentage. Money for women only 25% of funds available. Many complaints about the scholarship, universities stop publishing it. Trustees bring action to ask court about trust validity.

Issue(s):

Are the terms of a scholarship trust established in 1923 invalid because they are contrary to public policy?

Ratio:

A condition in a trust (if in the public sphere) can be declared invalid for reasons of public policy.
** In such cases, courts will apply the cy-pres doctrine to remove only the invalid conditions.

Analysis:

There are difficulties with finding that the trust violates public policy: balance the freedom of the owner with public policy, might be subjective, public policy has changed since the 1920s. But, although it is privately created, it is operating in the public sphere of universities. Reason for the trust itself is valid: advancement of education/leadership. So, the entire trust should not fail, use the cy-pres doctrine to remove aspects, bring into accord with public policy.

Holding:

Terms are racist and have religious superiority. Trust does not fail: just remove racist parts.


Discussion

  1. Fiat Justitia Ruat Caelum 32

    Major case for property, thanks!

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