Ross Parsons Corporations Law Lecture 2023: The responsibility of shareholders – Law School: Events Ross Parsons Corporations Law Lecture 2023: The responsibility of shareholders – Law School: Events

Ross Parsons Corporations Law Lecture 2023: The responsibility of shareholders

Ross Parsons Corporations Law Lecture 2023: The responsibility of shareholders

In-person event


In 1911, Justice Louis Brandeis argued that:

‘…there is no such thing as an innocent purchaser of stocks. It is entirely contrary…to what ought to be our whole attitude towards investments, that the person who has a chance for profit by going into an enterprise … should have the chance of gain without any responsibility’.

This lecture asks whether, over a century later, it is now time to revisit that proposition. The lecture will consider whether shareholders should bear responsibility for the actions of the companies in which they hold shares. If so, is that just a moral responsibility, or can it also have a legal dimension? And, if legal, should the law simply facilitate greater shareholder responsibility, or should it be mandated?

About the speaker

Emeritus Professor Stephen Bottomley (ANU College of Law)

Emeritus Professor of Commercial Law, Stephen Bottomley is an expert in corporate law with particular emphasis on corporate governance. His main areas of research interest are corporate governance, and law and regulation. He has also published in the areas of corporate theory, corporate regulation and government-owned enterprises.

His 2008 book, The Constitutional Corporation: Rethinking Corporate Governance was awarded the Hart Socio-Legal Book Prize for outstanding piece of socio-legal scholarship in the same year. Amongst his publications, Stephen is the co-author of Contemporary Australian Corporate Law (2018, Cambridge University Press), Law in Context (2011, 4th edn, Federation Press), and Directing the Top 500 – Corporate Governance and Accountability in Australian Companies (1993, Allen and Unwin). Stephen’s article “The Notional Legislator: The Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s Role as a Law-Maker” (2011) 39 Federal Law Review 1, was awarded the 2011 Zines Prize for Excellence in Legal Research.

In 2021 Stephen was awarded the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Legal Research Medal in the 2020 Australian Legal Research Awards.

Stephen was Dean of the ANU College of Law from 2013 to 2017, prior to which he held positions as Head of School and Deputy Dean in the College.

Stephen is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and a former President of the Corporate Law Teachers Association (now the Society of Corporate Law Academics).

Commentator: Rebecca Lim (Strategic Consultant, Gilbert + Tobin and Practitioner-in-Residence, Sydney Law School)

Rebecca is a strategic consultant at G&T in Sydney particularly in the areas of financial services, digital, ESG and Board advisory services. Rebecca was the General Counsel for Westpac for 10 years and worked in a variety of senior roles within with the Westpac Group for 20 years.

Chair: Dr Jason Harris (Professor of Corporate Law and Director of the Ross Parsons Centre for Commercial, Corporate and Taxation Law, Sydney Law School)

Tuesday 26 September, 2023

Time: 5.30-7pm

Venue: Law Foyer, Level 2, New Law Building (F10)


This event is proudly presented by the Ross Parsons Centre for Commercial, Corporate and Taxation Law at the University of Sydney Law School.


Sep 26 2023


5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

More Info



Law Foyer, Level 2
New Law Building (F10), Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney (Camperdown Campus)


Professional Learning & Community Engagement
02 9351 0248

Comments are closed.