NZ Law Foundation 2016 Distinguished Visiting Fellow Professor Graham Virgo

Public Lecture: "Conscience in Equity: a new Utopia"

Date: Tuesday 16th August 2016
Time: 6pm, refreshments from 5.15pm
Venue: Te Whare Tapere Iti, Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, University of Waikato

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Professor Graham Virgo is Professor of English Private Law in the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge.

In 1516 Sir Thomas More published Utopia, which identifies an attractive vision of law and society. As Lord Chancellor, More helped to develop Equity as a mechanism to secure justice which was not provided through the rigid interpretation of the Common Law. From the start, the equitable jurisdiction was founded on conscience. But, as the jurisdiction has developed, judges and commentators have lost sight of what conscience and unconscionability actually mean.

Even though some commentators have predicted the death of Equity, by refocusing on the essence of conscience, the equitable jurisdiction can be reinvigorated and lead us to a new legal Utopia.