The deed of forgiveness was held to be an unconscionable bargain. Bill was under a special disability, it was said, because he had in effect an emotional dependence on Neil.
(8) The finding of unconscionable bargain meant that their Honours now had to consider the appropriate relief, given that the plaintiffs were seeking to have the deed of forgiveness set aside, but not the entire transaction, as indicted above.
(12) Although it was not necessary for them to do so, their Honours examined the matter of relief if an unconscionable bargain were established.
It is of course a truism to say that equity acts in personam and that a finding that the transaction was an unconscionable bargain would create in Bill a personal equity allowing him to have the transaction set aside as voidable.
The equitable principles relating to undue influence and relief against unconscionable bargains
are closely related, but the doctrines are separate and distinct.
Returning to the cases on the unconscionable bargain doctrine which adopt a clear claimant-sided orientation, further analysis reveals, at least, two different approaches within them: the 'causal-connection' approach and the 'status' approach.
(147) In that case an old, illiterate man mortgaged his home to support the business ventures of his son and central to the Court of Appeal's refusal to utilise the unconscionable bargain doctrine was the view that the transaction was not to the manifest disadvantage of the father.
(34) See L Fox O'Mahony and J Devenney, 'The Elderly, Their Homes and the Unconscionable Bargain doctrine', forthcoming in Modern Studies in Property Law--Volume 5 (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2009) and FR Burns, 'The elderly and undue influence inter vivos'  23 Legal Studies 251.
(108) See J Devenney (2002) 'A Pack of Unruly Dogs: Unconscionable Bargains, Lawful Act (Economic) Duress and Clogs on the Equity of Redemption'  JBL 539.
It is quite clear that the doctrine applied by the English courts during this period of reincarnation for the unconscionable bargain
is significantly different from that applied by courts in other common law jurisdictions....
At general law, bargains wrought in unfair circumstances were ameliorated to some degree by the development in equity of the doctrine of unconscionable bargains. Statutory unconscionability in the TPA is a descendant of this equitable doctrine, which was most famously explained by Mason J in Commercial Bank of Australia Ltd v Amadio.
(30) When explicating the equitable doctrine of unconscionable bargains in Amadio, the High Court clearly stated that it was only the setting in which a contract is made that is relevant to a finding of unconscionability.