The common law world continues to grapple with the possible use of a good faith doctrine in the contractual context. While it has been accepted in Canada, and has been part of American commercial law for many years, there is limited and tentative support in the United Kingdom and Australia. This presentation argues that good faith has a lengthy tradition in the common law, such that ‘hostility’ (as one judge aptly put it) towards the concept in the common law is misplaced. Many current doctrines in the common law reflect an underlying concern with behaviour that would likely breach a good faith requirement. As others have pointed out, the common law response to these types of issues is piecemeal and somewhat unsatisfactory. This presentation argues the traditional common law reluctance here is misplaced. A relational view of contract would provide intellectual support for a nuanced change in the law to recognise good faith as a general organising principle of the common law. The presentation will consider some specific legal issues that would benefit from a good faith approach. The presentation is based on the speaker’s forthcoming monograph Good Faith and Relational Contracts: Theory, Practice and Future Developments (Hart Publishing, 2024).
About the Speaker:
Professor Anthony Gray is a Professor of Law at the University of Southern Queensland. He has sole-authored approximately 150 research articles in his academic career to date, many in top quality journals such as the University of New South Wales Law Journal, Federal Law Review, Monash University Law Review, Sydney Law Review and Public Law Review. He has published in quality research outlets in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. His monographs include Vicarious Liability: Critique and Reform (Hart Publishing, 2018) and The Evolution from Strict Liability to Fault in the Law of Torts (Hart Publishing, 2021). He delivered short courses in Contract Management for Engineering Education Australia from 2000-2012.
CPD credits are available upon application and subject to accreditation by the Law Society of Hong Kong (currently pending).
Register here by 2pm, 1 December 2023 to attend the seminar.