Kent Law School

Critical perspectives research led teaching

Power, property and the law of trusts revisited: Roger Cotterrell's contribution to critical trusts scholarship

22 August 2017

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A two-day symposium exploring Professor Roger Cotterrell's critical scholarship in the field of trusts law will be held at Kent on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 October 2017.

Organised by Kent Law School Lecturers Dr Hayley Gibson and Nick Piška, the symposium will revisit the theoretical perspectives of Professor Cotterrell's original ground-breaking article 'Power, Property and the Law of Trusts: A Partial Agenda for Critical Legal Scholarship'. It was in this article, published in the Journal of Law and Society in 1987, that Professor Cotterrell first outlined his critical, socio-legal approach to the law of trusts.

Dr Gibson said: 'This symposium invites a timely reflection upon the work begun by Cotterrell 30 years ago of extending critical legal thought to the area of trusts. 'Power, Property and the Law of Trusts' provided the key to new inquiries into how the ideology inherent in the property form extends to, and is exacerbated by, the function of the trust. We hope that the symposium will allow for a reflection on how widely critique can be used in the area of trusts; and how the form of the trust can open up new directions in critical thought.'

Nick Piška said: 'A symposium on the politics of trusts is more pressing than ever given the increasing gulf between the richest and poorest in society and the role that the trust industry plays in global wealth management. Too often the trust is ignored, probably because it is not well understood by non-lawyers, and the focus is on the corporate form. We hope this workshop will go some way towards redressing the balance.'

With four key themes for discussion, attendees will be considering questions of power, property, ideology and inequality along with the broader societal significance of the effects of trust law. Speakers include:

Registration for the symposium is available online – a fee of £50 covers lunch, refreshments and a conference booklet.

The symposium is the fifth event for the Law School's Equity & Trusts Research Network and is sponsored by the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA), the Kent Law School research group Social Critiques of Law, and the Law School's Workshop Fund. More information is available online or via email from Dr Gibson or Nick Piška


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Last Updated: 12/09/2017