Private Client analysis: Re Druce is the third in a line of English cases dealing with the application of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA 1998) to trust law. It is another illustration that no area of the law of England and Wales, even the most traditional, is insulated from the HRA 1998 or the Convention to which it gives domestic effect. The first case in this area was Re Erksine, in which Mark Herbert sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge considered whether adopted children were ‘issue’ and thus whether they would take under a lifetime trust. The second case, Hand v George decided by Mrs Justice Rose, again dealt with the rights of adopted children under a Will trust. The third case, Re Druce, involved the rights of adopted, legitimate and illegitimate children, also under a lifetime settlement. In all three cases, the court decided that the children in question took by virtue of the application of the HRA 1998. This analysis explains why the HRA 1998 applies to a settlement created in 1959 and addresses some practical implications of the case. Written by Eliza Eagling, barrister, at 5 Stone Buildings.
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