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date: 12 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the relationship between fiduciary law and social norms—norms that guide conduct with reference to social expectations as opposed to universal morality, for example. It first considers a number of questions about the relation of law and social norms in general; for instance, whether law’s coercion suppresses or interrupts social norms that might flourish in its absence, or under what circumstances should law enable and bolster social norms and why. It then discusses the ways in which fiduciary law interacts with three types of social norms: norms of trust and trustworthiness, norms of loyalty, and norms of altruism. In particular, it explores those aspects of fiduciary law that suggest a balance between trust and detachment, along with fiduciary law’s link to contract law. Finally, it describes how social roles, such as the role of trustee or company director, interact with both social norms and fiduciary law.

Keywords: fiduciary law, social norms, law, trust, trustworthiness, loyalty, altruism, detachment, contract law, social roles

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