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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2014




Queen's University Faculty of Law




Fiduciary relationships play an important role in civil law and common law jurisdictions. While both legal systems offer similar outcomes in upholding fiduciary law principles, the way they achieve these ends is fundamentally different. In common law jurisdictions, fiduciary law is rooted in the law of property. By contrast, in civil law jurisdictions, fiduciary principles find their source in contract law. This article seeks to reconcile these differences, by identifying universal principles that apply to both systems. The author describes the sources of fiduciary law in the common law and the civil law, then highlights underlying differences between the two systems and identifies common principles. Ultimately, she argues for the adoption of a hybrid system of fiduciary law, built upon broad unifying principles that could apply in both common law and civil law jurisdictions

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