Taming Horses in the Wild, Wild West: Patel v Mirza

The interplay between law and policy has long been a bone of contention in the courts, underpinned by the famous declaration that public policy is an “unruly horse” – once you are astride it, it may lead you astray from the sound law. This could be said to be particularly pertinent to the defence of illegality – where a person claiming restitution has premised his case upon an illegality, public policy has traditionally dictated that his claim be barred (the “illegality defence”, or “defence of ex turpi causa”).