Michael Whincop Memorial Lecture 2022 - Ethics, Economics and Law: Missed conversations with a friend

Michael Whincop Memorial Lecture 2022 - Ethics, Economics and Law: Missed conversations with a friend
Michael Whincop Memorial Lecture 2022 - Ethics, Economics and Law: Missed conversations with a friend

Principal speaker

Professor Charles Sampford


The late Professor Michael Whincop and I had many fruitful and enjoyable conversations about institutional governance and the respective roles of legal regulation, ethical standard setting, economic incentives and institutional design. We were particularly interested in the role of ethics and economics in good governance. This is a discussion that is as old as economics whose "father' is generally considered to be Adam Smith, professor of moral philosophy at the University of Glasgow. Michael was interested in ethics filling the gaps that economics could not fill. I tended to see it the other way around - how economic incentives can help us realize the values ethics. One of the many sadnesses generated by Michael's untimely departure is that I could not continue these discussions through various global challenges we have experienced in the last two decades. This lecture will identify and run through some of those challenges and what I have thought and written about them and on which I would have loved to hear his views - including the Global Financial Crisis, the Global Carbon Crisis, the Global Virus Crisis and current debates about economic and regulatory policy. I was proud to have recruited him to the Griffith Law School, delighted to teach tax with him, honoured when he served as my Deputy in the National Institute for Law, Ethics and Public Affairs and devastated at his loss.

I am delighted to be able to deliver this lecture as my tribute to my very brilliant young friend.


Professor Sampford (DPhil Oxon) is the Director of the Institute for Ethics, Governance and Law - a multi-university Strategic Research Centre headquartered at Griffith and established on the initiative of the United Nations University. He topped politics, philosophy and law at Melbourne, combining them in his 1986 Oxford DPhil. Griffith approached him to be their Foundation Dean of Law starting in March 1991 and he established the curriculum and research culture that has helped Griffith Law reach global rankings as high as #33 in the world and #1 in Australia. He led the ARC (Australian Research Council) Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance and the ARC Governance Research Network - ARC Centre and network in law and governance. He has led 21 other large ARC projects and 30 other major grants from national and international sources. He has been on Foreign Fellowships at both Oxford and Harvard (the latter as part of a Senior Fulbright Award). His work on ethics and integrity systems was recognized by the ARC as one of the 20 researchers across all Australian disciplines who had the greatest impact ("Graeme Clark Outcomes Forum' in Parliament House Canberra). He has also had board experience in public, corporate and NGO sectors.

Professor Sampford has published 32 books and over 150 articles and chapters as well as been invited to give over 300 keynotes and other public presentations. His eulogy for Michael is much downloaded. The Honourable Mr Robert French said in his 2021 Whincop lecture: "as anyone who read Charles Sampford's eulogy would notice, words can move us."

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RSVP on or before Monday 25 July 2022 10.35 am, by email lawfutures@griffith.edu.au , or by phone 0737355058

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