Instructor(s): Jim Phillips

For graduate students, the course number is LAW2058Y.

This course will meet exclusively via audio-visual conference, two times a week. To enrol in this course all students must meet or exceed the tech requirements for enrolment in University of Toronto courses, which can be found here []

Note: The Quercus program will be used for this course. Students must self-enrol in Quercus as soon as confirmed in the course in order to obtain course information.

The trust is a creation of the branch of English-derived jurisprudence known as Equity. The course offers an opportunity to increase students’ understanding of the history and nature of Equity, operating as a supplement to the common law. The trust is the most important aspect of equity that has endured to this day, because it is predicated on the distinction between a common law title to property and an equitable title to property.

This course will examine the basic concepts of the trust, its essential elements, and the practical consequences of failure to ensure that all essential elements are in place. The course will also study the basic legal structure of the ‘charitable’ sector and its regulation by the federal Income Tax authorities, because charitable trusts are one aspect of the law of charitable organizations. (No knowledge of Income Tax law is required for this course). The course will also examine selected aspects of the administration of a trust as an ongoing institution.

The trust has practical application in every field of applied law. For reasons of convenience, most of the examples which we will study will be drawn from the area of personal trusts, that is, situations where the creator of the trust is employing the institution to make economic provision for persons or causes which he or she cares about. The student should remember that the principles derived from these cases have equal application in the more complex commercial uses of the trust as well.

There will be a 3-hour final examination, scheduled during the official examination period.
Academic year
2020 - 2021

At a Glance

First Term



78 JD


T: 2:00 - 4:00 pm (AV Conference)
Th: 2:00 - 4:00 pm (AV Conference)