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This volume brings together three separate works written by Paul Finn over nearly 40 years. The first, Fiduciary Obligations, was published in 1977. It has been out of print for many years, though it is still widely cited both in judicial decisions in common law countries and in international scholarship on fiduciary law. It has been regarded widely as a 'seminal' or 'classic' piece. Its publication preceded two important developments. The first was the High Court of Australia's systematic reappraisal of equity jurisprudence in the 1980s. This contributed significantly to the shaping and future direction of modern fiduciary law in Australia. The second was the growth in civil litigation in common law countries against banks, advisers in many guises, commercial 'agents', franchisees, joint venturers and other commercial actors which raised issues as to the extent to which, if at all, functions they performed for customers, etc, could attract strict fiduciary standards of conduct or merely those lesser standards otherwise imposed by the common law or equity. These two developments inform the second work in the volume, The Fiduciary Principle , which was published in Canada in 1989, but is relatively unkwn in Australia. Though its scope was limited designedly to those standards of conduct the fiduciary principle imposed on private law fiduciaries, it indicated when, and to what extent, a person or body would be a 'fiduciary' for the purposes of those standards. It accepted that, while 'fiduciary' could t be defined, it could be described. That description, founded on a 'legitimate expectation' test, is commonly used both in Australia and elsewhere. The third piece, Fiduciary Reflections was published in 2014 and contains the author's personal reflections on the course of Australian fiduciary law since the publication of Fiduciary Obligations. It suggests that, despite the clear signposts for the future development of fiduciary law given by the High Court in the 1980s, recent decisions of subordinate Australian courts seem to be heading, unnecessarily, in the opposite direction. Now at risk are the coherence of fiduciary law and its rationale. * Click here for information on our forthcoming title Finn's Law: An Australian Justice edited by Tim Bonyhady.
Paul Finn has degrees from the Universities of Queensland (BA, LLB), London (LLM) and Cambridge (PhD), and Honorary Degrees (LLD) from the University of Queensland and Flinders University. His awards include the Yorke Prize from Cambridge University. He is also a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. Until his appointment to the Federal Court of Australia in 1995 he was, briefly, an academic at the University of Queensland (1975-1976), and thereafter at the Australian National University (ANU) where he taught in the Law Faculty before becoming a Professor and Head of the Law Department in the Research School of Social Sciences at the ANU in 1988. He wrote two books; Fiduciary Obligations (1977) and Law and Government in Colonial Australia (1987); two monographs, Official Information (1991) and Official Misconduct (1993); and between 1985 and 1996 he edited eight volumes of essays on public and private law. He has also written many articles and book chapters on public, private and criminal law. As a judge he was based initially in Canberra. He later moved to Adelaide. He is well known for some number of his judgments, several of which have been cited in appellate courts in England and Canada. He was appointed the Arthur Goodhart Professor of Juridical Science by the University of Cambridge for 2010-2011. He resigned from the Court in 2012 and has since then been a professorial fellow or adjunct professor at the ANU and the Universities of Melbourne and Adelaide.