Law Oration 2019

The Victoria Law Foundation invites you to the 2019 Law Oration to be delivered by the Honourable Justice Maxwell, President of the Court of Appeal.

“Equity and good conscience: the judge as moral arbiter and the regulation of modern commerce”.

Revelations from the Banking Royal Commission have given us stark examples of the gap that can arise between commercial behaviour and community standards.

Where does behaviour by one of the players in a business deal cross a line and become ‘unconscionable’?

And when that question arises before a court, what is the judge’s responsibility in making essentially moral decisions in a commercial environment?

The language of conscience underpins a range of private law doctrines, and the law can be used to restrain conduct which is ‘against good conscience’.

The oration will explore unconscionable conduct as an equitable and statutory concept, highlighting the role judges play in making moral judgments about commercial dealings.

About the orator

Justice Maxwell commenced practice at the Bar in 1984. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1998. Justice Maxwell was appointed President of the Court of Appeal in July 2005. In June 2015, he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

About the Oration

The Law Oration is a free public event that gives you the chance to hear the views of some of the most interesting public figures in the law, and to take part in law and justice debates in Victoria.

Proudly presented by Victoria Law Foundation, the annual Law Oration explores important legal issues that affect our lives and shape our community.

Doors open at 5:30pm. Please ensure you allow plenty of time to pass through security.

Event information

Event date 
Wednesday 14 Aug 2019 – 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm


Banco Court, Supreme Court of Victoria, 210 William Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000




Bookings essential
This page was last updated on July 15, 2019