Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Article on Trust and Fiduciary Law


Matthew Harding (University of Melbourne Law School) recently published an article entitled, Trust and Fiduciary Law (June 17, 2014) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 33 No. 1, 2013; U. of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 686.  Provided below is the abstract from SSRN:

How can it be that the fiduciary relationship has trust at its core if trust is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for the existence of such a relationship? My aim in this article is to make some arguments that I think might assist in solving that puzzle. First, I argue that fiduciary relationships are likely to be characterized by relatively ‘thick’ interpersonal trust. Secondly, I argue that moral duties referring to trust play a role in the justification of fiduciary duties, but that the role of trust in the underlying moral duties is contingent, yielding only a contingent connection between trust and fiduciary duties. Finally, I argue that a goal of fiduciary law should be enabling and supporting trusting relationships, but that this goal should be viewed within a broader liberal outlook according to which fiduciary law also enables and supports relationships on terms of detachment.


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