Developing a Rational Law of Misleading Conduct

Providing the legal tools to reform the heartland of commercial misconduct

Australian Research Council Discovery Project DP180100932

Laws that prohibit, regulate and remedy misleading conduct are critical to maintaining a fair and efficient market economy. But the current mix of common law, equitable and statutory rules are complicated, confused, conflicting and costly. This Project proposes a novel, integrated analysis, which draws insights from across the spectrum of private and commercial law, to support the development of a rational law of misleading conduct. Its key outcomes include developing a map of the existing law, which can be used to support effective and coherent judicial and legislative law reform in Australia and overseas. The project aims should yield significant legal, economic and social benefits by promoting more just, effective and efficient regulation of misleading conduct.


  • Clarify the holistic operation of the currently disparate sets of rules on misleading conduct through the development of a rigorous taxonomy of the current law;
  • Promote a more integrated and coherent interpretation of the rules regulating misleading conduct across the field of regulated transactions through the development of an original and coherent theoretical model of misleading conduct;
  • Inform targeted law reform within the Australian regulatory system through the development of a detailed ‘roadmap’ that will identify, explain and justify the general law and legislative changes necessary to realise the theoretical model of misleading conduct; and
  • · Provide insight and guidance relevant to other common law countries also grappling with problems of misleading conduct through its research and Project outcomes.

Project Leads

Dr Elise Bant, Professor of Private Law and Commercial Regulation, UWA Law School and Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne

Dr Jeannie Paterson, Professor of Law and Co-director of the Centre for AI and Digital Ethics at the University of Melbourne

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