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http://ssrn.com/abstract=2224330
 
 

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Translating Fiduciary Principles into Public Law


Ethan J. Leib


Fordham University School of Law

David L. Ponet


United Nations

Michael Serota


Independent

February 25, 2013

126 Harv. L. Rev. F. 91 (2012)
Fordham Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2224330

Abstract:     
Because public office is a public trust, fiduciary architecture can help orient us in figuring out how political power should be exercised legitimately. Part of the appeal of conceiving the political relationship between representative and represented in fiduciary terms is that it regards politics in more realistic and textured ways — as a constellation of power relationships in a web of trust and vulnerability — rather than as a mere social contract no one ever signed. Thinking of legislators as public fiduciaries tells us much about the nature of the relationship between the governed and their governors and it can also provide some normative benchmarks for evaluating the political morality of elected representatives and for designing the institutions that channel and control their conduct.

The essay develops two points. Part I elaborates upon some of the messiness associated with identifying relevant fiduciaries and beneficiaries in the political sphere; and Part II interrogates whether judicial remedies are appropriately calibrated to generate the trust necessary for public fiduciary relationships to function well.

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Date posted: February 26, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Leib, Ethan J. and Ponet, David L. and Serota, Michael, Translating Fiduciary Principles into Public Law (February 25, 2013). 126 Harv. L. Rev. F. 91 (2012); Fordham Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2224330. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2224330

Contact Information

Ethan J. Leib (Contact Author)
Fordham University School of Law ( email )
140 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
United States
David L. Ponet
United Nations ( email )
New York, NY 10017
United States
Michael Eli Serota
Independent ( email )
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