What rule was laid down in the case of Merrywheather v. Nixan in regard to joint tort-feasors?

At common law no action for contribution was maintainable by one wrongdoer against another, although the one who sought contribution might have been compelled to satisfy the full damages. This is known as the rule in Merryweather v. Nixan. The reason alleged for this rule was that any such claim to contribution must be based on an implied contract between the tort-feasors, and that such a contract was illegal as being made with a view to commit an illegal act. The rule in Merryweather v. Nixan survived with several exceptions until it was abolished by the Law Reform (Married Women and Tort-feasors) Act, 1935 now replaced by the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act, 1978.

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