Does Private Law Care about Inequality?

It is often said that the private law is blind to power imbalances between parties, including stark differences in resources, power and knowledge. There is a belief that 'everyone is equal in the eyes of the law' means that - at least theoretically - private law does not protect those who are vulnerable or try to fight against inequalities that exist. This lecture will challenge this underlying assumption, showing that there can and should be a role for concerns of inequality to filter down into private law doctrine.

About the Speaker

Professor Jodi Gardner is the Brian Coote Chair in Private Law at the University of Auckland and a Fellow of St John's College, University of Cambridge. She is also a Senior Adjunct Research Fellow at the Centre for Banking & Finance Law, National University of Singapore. Jodi’s research is primarily focused on how private law interacts with social policy and social welfare, including the limitations of doctrinal law in responding to the challenges posed by poverty and inequality. She has written on a variety of different topics in this area including the regulation of high-cost credit contracts, the impact of austerity measures, the effect of open banking on financial exclusion, online auctions, and concurrent liability in tort and contract. Before moving to Cambridge, Jodi was a Lecturer at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where she completed a D.Phil in contract law and consumer protection under Professor Mindy Chen-Wishart. Jodi has held visiting positions at Columbia Law School, the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Policy at Princeton University, and the Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management at the University of Birmingham.

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM Tuesday 1 August 2023

Stone Lecture Theatre (801-316, Auckland Law School, 9 Eden Crescent Auckland, 1010)