Justifying Anglo-American Trusts Law

William & Mary Business Law Review, Forthcoming

38 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2021

See all articles by Ying Khai Liew

Ying Khai Liew

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Law School

Date Written: 2020


Is the existence of trusts law within Anglo-American law justified? The literature to date does not provide a satisfactory answer. Situating the doctrinal features of trusts law within the liberal tradition of political morality, this paper suggests that trusts law is justified because it enhances personal autonomy in a unique way. It is comprehensively autonomy-enhancing, with express, constructive, and resulting trusts each playing a unique role in achieving this aim. Thus, the law provides a facility for property owners to unilaterally deal with their own property (express trusts), allows individuals the freedom to enlist others in their pursuit of their goals (some constructive trusts), and ensures that only conclusive choices have long-lasting legal effects (other constructive trusts and resulting trusts).

Keywords: Anglo-American; Trusts; Liberalism; Autonomy; Express Trusts; Constructive Trusts; Resulting Trusts

JEL Classification: K1, K10, K11, K19

Suggested Citation

Liew, Ying Khai, Justifying Anglo-American Trusts Law (2020). William & Mary Business Law Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3741177 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3741177

Ying Khai Liew (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Law School ( email )

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185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010

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