Paul Finn is one of Australia’s great jurists – a figure of national and international significance as both an academic and a judge. While perhaps known for his work on fiduciary obligations and equity more generally, Finn has also been at the forefront of many other areas of private and public law. His work on integrity of government has been particularly influential; his decision about native title sea rights just one of his many landmark judicial determinations. In this book, a stellar cast – Chief Justice James Allsop of the Federal Court, Justice Michael Barker of the Federal Court, Sir Ross Cranston of the Queens’ Bench, Professor Joshua Getzler of Oxford, Justice Stephen Gageler of the High Court, Associate Professor Pauline Ridge of the Australian National University, Professor John Williams of Adelaide and Professor Sarah Worthington of Cambridge – explore, analyse, celebrate and critique the writings and judgements of an exceptional legal figure.
This work is an edited collection of papers which were delivered earlier this year at a conference in Canberra which celebrated the legal career of the Hon Paul Finn. Paul Finn is well known in Australia and internationally for his ground-breaking work on Fiduciary Obligations and for his work as an outstanding judge of the Federal Court of Australia. Although, his contribution to the law of fiduciary obligations has been significant and will be enduring, he contributed widely to many areas of the law including contract law and Native Title Rights. He had a particular interest in the integrity of governmental decision making. The conference in Canberra, which had the title “Finn’s Law”, reflected Paul Finn’s life by, not only covering those areas of the law which were close to his heart, but also by reason of the fact that the papers were delivered by many eminent persons who had worked with or had been taught by him. They include the Hon James Allsop, Chief Justice of the Federal Court, Justice Michael Barker of the Federal Court, Sir Ross Cranston of the Queens’ Bench, Professor Joshua Getzler of Oxford, Justice Stephen Gageler of the High Court, Associate Professor Pauline Ridge of the Australian National University, Professor John Williams of Adelaide and Professor Sarah Worthington of Cambridge.
The quality of the papers in the book is outstanding as one would expect and it is not possible to identify any as being better than others. That said, the papers by Professor Joshua Getzler, professor of law and Legal History at Oxford, and the paper concerning the manner in which values and principles inform commercial life and commercial law by the Hon James Allsop are well worth extra consideration. It would be wrong not to mention the contribution of Sir Ross Cranston, “A Legal Life”, which is a biographical consideration of Paul Finn’s life and his contribution to the law across academia and as a judge. - Queensland Law Reporter – 23 December 2016 –  50 QLR
Table of Contents
About the Contributors
Table of Cases
Table of Statutes
1. A Legal Life
2. Fiduciaries: Following Finn
3. Participatory Liability and the Hallmarks of an 'Australian Equity'
4. Conscience, Fair-dealing and Commerce – Parliaments and the Courts
5. The Equitable Duty of Loyalty in Public Office
6. Personality and Capacity: Lessons from Legal History
7. To What End?: Public Law and Public Power
John M Williams
8. To Akiba and Beyond: Old Hopes and New Dreams for Native Title