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Trusts Law (Senior Status)


Module description

On this exciting module you will learn about the basic form of the trust. Beginning with the historical origins of the trust, we will study its creation and transformation into a legal vehicle essential to the law of property, commercial and social life. One of our key concerns will be the role that conscience plays in equity in general, and as an underlying feature of the trust. We will appreciate that the trust is central to the management of wealth. We will also be concerned with breach of trust, grounds of equitable liability and the tracing of assets in breach of trust.

If you are particularly interested in equity and trusts you may wish to subsequently take the advanced option Equity, Commerce and Society. Specialising in equity and trusts is essential to the investment and wealth management industry, commercial practice, civil wrongs such as tax evasion and understanding cutting edge techniques for the trade in dematerialised securities.

Indicative module syllabus

  • The Trust: From Feudalism to Capitalism
  • Forming the Trust (1): Formalities
  • Forming the Trust (2): Certainty
  • Equity and Conscience
  • The Beneficiary Principle (purpose trusts and unincorporated associations; offshore trusts; introduction to charity)
  • Breach of Trust
  • Third Parties and Breach of Trust
  • Tracing
  • The Trust and Commerce

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • convey a comprehensive understanding of the historical role of the trust and its transformation in modernity
  • critically evaluate the law of formalities and certainty
  • understand the beneficiary principle and the basic outline of the law of charity and purpose trusts
  • demonstrate a thorough understanding of the use of the trust in offshoring wealth
  • convey a systemic knowledge of the law of tracing
  • critically understand the relevance of knowing receipt and dishonest assistance
  • understand and evaluate the office of fiduciary and the trust as an investment vehicle
  • understand and assess the relevance of trusts to unincorporated associations
  • think critically about the past, the present and the future of equity
  • demonstrate a thorough understanding of the centrality of conscience to equity and trusts.