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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Theorizing Transnational Fiduciary Law

  • Author(s): Davis, Seth;
  • Shaffer, Gregory
  • et al.

This symposium Article theorizes and assesses transnational legal ordering of fiduciary law. Fiduciary law imposes legally enforceable duties on those entrusted with discretionary authority over the interests of others. The fiduciary law of a state may apply to fiduciary relationships having a transnational (or even global) scope. Fiduciary norms themselves are transnational to the extent that they settle as governing legal norms in ways that transcend and permeate state boundaries. Curiously, however, fiduciary legal theory and transnational legal theory have yet to meet. This symposium takes the first steps towards a comprehensive theory of transnational fiduciary law. To assess transnational legal ordering of fiduciary law, one must study the extent of normative settlement across state boundaries. This can be done in terms of a meta concept of fiduciary law involving a transnational body of law, or in terms of the processes that give rise to discrete domains of fiduciary law to address particular problems as understood by relevant actors. Comparative legal analysis is critical for assessing the extent of concordance and divergence in the development and practice of fiduciary law across states. This Article introduces symposium articles that assess transnational fiduciary law as a meta concept; transnational legal ordering of fiduciary law in discrete domains; and comparative fiduciary law. Together, these articles suggest that processes of transnational legal ordering can give rise to transnational fiduciary law and the potential development of discrete transnational legal orders that transcend and permeate nation-states.

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