My main area of interest is in the interaction of law and religion. My PhD thesis addressed how religious fraud and religious undue influence should be regulated by courts in England and Wales by exploring both criminal law (Fraud Act 2006), and the civil law doctrine of undue influence in equity. To develop domestic regulation, I draw comparative lessons from the US and Australia. After identifying the doctrinal, theoretical and rights-based challenges, I developed a conception of autonomy to better establish when courts consider individuals to have voluntarily entered into financial transactions in a religious context. This account of autonomy gives more legitimacy to decisions on defendant liability, and, more generally, contributes to the understanding and rationale of both legal wrongs. I passed my Viva examination without corrections.
I intend to publish a modified version of my PhD thesis as a monograph.
I have since written on the key themes examined in my PhD. I have written a book chapter on the significance of Allcard v Skinner (1886), how it inspired the development of doctrinal understandings of presumed undue influence and when religious influence becomes undue in Australia and Hong Kong. I am also working on an article entitled ‘Presumed Undue Influence and The Erroneous Application of Status based Presumptions of Influence.’ I call for the abolishment of automatic presumptions of influence given their outdated and typically unjustified nature in many contexts.