Centre for Commercial Law

Centre for Commercial Law

Prince Saprai  

LLB (Lond), BCL (Oxon), MPhil (Oxon), DPhil (Oxon)
Associate of the Higher Education Academy
Senior Lecturer in Laws

contact details:
Tel: +44 (0)20 3108 5006 | Internal: x55006 | Room 310
Email: p.saprai@ucl.ac.uk

Dr Prince Saprai is on leave during Term 1.

Prince Saprai joined the Faculty of Laws as a Lecturer in 2009. Formerly, he was an Assistant Professor at the University of Warwick (2008-2009), and had worked as a Lecturer at Oxford. He also completed his doctorate at Oxford, which was a defence of substantive fairness in contract law. In 2013, he was a Visiting Scholar at Georgetown University.

He is on the Advisory Board for the Centre for Ethics and Law, and the Executive Group of the UCL Science, Medicine and Society Network, and is an Associate of the Centre for Philosophy, Health and Justice. He is also Faculty Advisor to the UCL Legal Philosophy Forum.

Prince’s main research interest is in the philosophy of private law. His work makes the central claim, against current thinking, that there is no single moral principle like corrective justice in tort law or the promise principle in contract that provides a foundation for particular fields of private law.

Instead, he claims that private law is constituted by a rich tapestry of moral principles, including principles about good faith, exploitation, the promotion of personal autonomy, the rule of law, fairness, compensation and many others. Prince has defended this anti-foundationalist thesis in relation to a variety of private law doctrines, with a particular focus on contract and unjust enrichment. So, for example, he has written on doctrines including the intention to create legal relations, mistake, undue influence, unconscionability, unfair terms, restraint of trade, specific performance, expectation damages, mitigation, the penalties rule and illegality.

Prince also works on broader questions about the ethics of markets. He has worked, for example, on the role of markets in the context of healthcare, and on the regulation of ethically problematic transactions such as the sale of sex and body parts.


  • G Klass, G Letsas and P Saprai (eds) The Philosophical Foundations of Contract Law (forthcoming OUP Oxford 2014)

Book chapters:

  • ‘Mitgation, Fairness and Contract Law’ (with Dr George Letsas) (forthcoming in G Klass, G Letsas and P Saprai (eds) The Philosophical Foundations of Contract Law (OUP Oxford 2014)
  • ‘The Intention to Create Legal Relations and the Scope of Contract Law’ (subject to peer review forthcoming in A Diduck, N Peleg and H Reece (eds) Law and Michael Freeman (Brill Leiden 2014)
  • ‘Unconscionable Enrichment?' in R Chambers, C Mitchell and J Penner (eds), Philosophical Foundations of Unjust Enrichment (OUP, Oxford 2009) 417-436


  • 'The Penalties Rule and the Promise Theory of Contract’ (2013) 26(2) The Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 443-469
  • ‘Morality and the Market: Containing the Beast’ (2013) 9(2) International Journal of Law in Context 279-284 [Review Essay]
  • ‘Weinrib on Unjust Enrichment' (2011) 24(1) The Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 183-204
  • 'Measuring Expectation Damages’ (2010) 6 In-Pactum 184-192
  • ‘Against Equality of Exchange' (2010) 21(1) King's Law Journal 71-95
  • ‘The Principle Against Self-Enslavement in Contract Law' (2009) 26(1) Journal of Contract Law 25-44
  • ‘In Defence of Consent in Contract Law' (2007) 18 King's Law Journal 361-370 [Analysis]
  • ‘Restitution Without Corrective Justice' (2006) 14 Restitution Law Review 41-54

Book reviews:

  • Alleviating Mistakes by AE Farnsworth (OUP Oxford 2004) in (2006) 69 Modern Law Review 661-663
  • The Law and Ethics of Restitution by Hanoch Dagan (CUP Cambridge 2004) in (2005) 121 Law Quarterly Review 521-524
  • Understanding Unjust Enrichment edited by JW Neyers, M McInnes and SGA Pitel (Hart Oxford 2004) in (2004) 15 King's College Law Journal 468-472

Work in progress:

  • The Correspondence of Private Law and Morality’
  • ‘The Dangers of Personalising Medicines: The Rise of Digital Health Feedback Technology’ (with Dr Sarah Edwards and Professor Robert Horne)
  • ‘Contract Law Without Foundations’ (with Dr George Letsas)



Current Teaching
Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

PhD Supervision
Prince welcomes approaches for supervision from prospective PhD students. He is currently supervising:

  • Anna Donovan (second supervisor)
  • Kristi Gourlay (second supervisor)
  • Radosveta Vassileva (second supervisor)

page updated on 30 September, 2014