UCL Faculty of Laws


Dr Prince Saprai: The ethics of boycotting

17 May 2018

New paper 'Commercial Boycotting and Conscientious Breach of Contract' published in the Journal of Applied Philosophy

Dr Prince Saprai - credit UCL Laws

Dr Prince Saprai, Senior Lecturer in the UCL Faculty of Laws, has published a paper in the Journal of Applied Philosophy with Dr Christopher Mills of the University of Warwick, which explores the moral and legal implications of the practice of commercial boycotting.

About the article:

In this article we argue that commercial boycotting is not an uncontested economic right. Rather, the practice of boycotting often requires further moral justification. We argue that this justification should not rely solely on the consequences of boycotting, nor should it rely solely on the complicity of the consumer. We suggest that both justifications are subject to pressing objections. In light of these objections, we outline an alternative non‐consequentialist justification of commercial boycotting that is grounded in the moral values of conscience and personal integrity. We then explore the scope of this justification in the legal realm. We focus on cases where consumers lack freedom of exchange due to their contractual obligations and conclude by defending a qualified legal right to breach contracts on conscientious grounds.

Read the article