Special Talk: Genevieve Helleringer

Thou Lawyer Shalt Not Lie. An Experimental Design in Behavioural Law & Ethics

Often, negotiation exhibits a tension between cooperation and non-disclosure: on the one hand, sharing of private information increases the potential mutual benefit, while on the other hand, there are incentives for deception. The legal rules relating to deception in the course of negotiating an agreement are complex and uncertain. This uncertainty gives negotiating parties a reason, or a pretext, for deciding that they do not need to disclose information that might affect the conclusion of a deal or its terms. For this reason, some have advocated a change in, and simplification of, the rules. But it is also worth considering whether a strategy using “hard” and “soft “law can encourage mutual cooperation when possible.

How can institutional structures support mutual cooperation? Could the conclusion of a contract and/or the reference to an ethical norm limit the likelihood of deceit, without a change in “hard” law (fraud, misrepresentation, etc)?  This hypothesis is tested via an experimental design consisting of a high-context simulation concerning sale of easement.

The presentation will explain the experiment described above, and comment on pilot data that have been collected. It will also provide insights into the emerging field of behavioural law & ethics, and show how law, ethics and behavioural studies can combine to provide a new lens for looking at various legal issues, including conflicts of interest. It will also explain why, beyond empirical studies, behavioural and experimental studies are a useful tool to carry on research in legal and ethical studies.

Booking required: https://bookwhen.com/uehiro#focus=ev-s9zp-20191009173000

Dinner: RSVP rachel.gaminiratne@philosophy.ox.ac.uk to join a dinner at [tbc].  OUC Staff will be paid for, everyone else PAYG.