'Undemocratic' Trusts and the Numerus Clausus Principle

7 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2018 Last revised: 18 May 2018

See all articles by E. Gary Spitko

E. Gary Spitko

Santa Clara University - School of Law

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

In Democracy and Trusts, Professor Carla Spivack argues that, pursuant to the numerus clausus principle, a court is empowered to impair legislation authorizing a certain trust form where the legislation was not the product of "democratic decision-making." This imaginative claim is predicated upon two antecedent claims. First, Professor Spivack argues that the numerus clausus principle should apply to equitable interests. Second, she argues that the numerus clausus principle does not invest legislatures with the sole authority to determine allowable property forms; rather, courts also have an important role to play in composing the list of property forms. This review essay first briefly considers the two antecedent arguments before evaluating Professor Spivack's main claim that, in certain circumstances, the numerus clausus principle bestows upon courts a type of veto power over trust legislation.

Keywords: trusts, numerus clausus

Suggested Citation

Spitko, E. Gary, 'Undemocratic' Trusts and the Numerus Clausus Principle (2018). 43 ACTEC Law Journal 325 (2018); Santa Clara Univ. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2018-5. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3138986

E. Gary Spitko (Contact Author)

Santa Clara University - School of Law ( email )

500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
United States
408-551-1771 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.scu.edu/law/FacWebPage/Spitko/

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