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Dr John Picton Ph.D

Lecturer Law


Personal Statement

I specialise in Charity Law, particularly as it relates to donation. Most recently, I have been looking at economic understandings of philanthropic motivation, interpreting those theories in the context of precedent. My thesis, which I completed at the University of Liverpool, was on donor intention and the constitutional reform of charities through use of the cy-près doctrine and related mechanisms. I have continued writing and researching on charitable constitutional reform in economic and social contexts.

I am a member of the Charity Law and Policy Unit at the University of Liverpool. I teach Equity and Trusts, Land Law and Charity Law.

Downloadable papers at SSRN.


Research-linked writing for media: 'Why Are Charities Getting A Bad Press?' for the BBC; 'Purely Academic: The Rare, Gruesome Nature Of Failed Charitable Gifts By Will' and 'Quiet Revolution of Freedom of Information Law' for Third Sector Magazine.

Blogs for The Conversation: 'Supreme Court Legacy Ruling: Leaving A Gift To Charity Can Be Egoistic Aswell As Altruistic'; 'Jeff Bezos Has Asked for Charitable Giving Advice - Here's What He Should Do With His Money'; 'Why Charities Should be Allowed to Campaign Freely at Election Time' and 'Forget Mark Zuckerg's Charity - We Need Corporate Tax Reform'.

Open access book reviews for the LSE Review of Books: 'Charity Sucks' by Iqbal Wahhab; 'The Right to Buy? Selling Off Public And Social Housing' by Alan Murie; 'The Divide: A Brief Guide To Global Inequality And Its Solutions' by Jason Hickel and Kids - Child Protection in Britain: The Truth by Camila Batmanghelidjh.

Administrative Roles

  • Director of Undergraduate Recruitment (2015 - 2017)
  • Deputy Director of Undergraduate Recruitment (2014-2015)
  • Warden at Crown Place Student Accommodation (2014 - 2016)

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