NZ Law Foundation 2016 Distinguished Visiting Fellow Professor Graham Virgo

Staff and Student Seminar: "Judicial discretion in private law"

Date: Monday 15th August 2016
Time: 1-2pm
Venue: Moot Court, New Law Building, University of Waikato

Light lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to

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

In English private law a commonly expressed view sees that there is no legitimate role for the exercise of judicial discretion. In 2014 the Supreme Court rejected the notion of a remedial constructive trust in FHR European Ventures LLP v Cedar Capital Partners LLC and Lord Neuberger described it as equity ‘at its flexible, flabby worst’. The suspicion of judicial discretion remains a cause of concern in England, particularly when the New Zealand judiciary and commentators appear to embrace it.

This seminar will consider what judicial discretion means and whether it is possible to balance the need for certainty with the need to ensure a just result, with particular reference to the remedial constructive trust and the defence of illegality.