UCL Faculty of Laws

Dr Prince Saprai

Dr Prince Saprai

Associate Professor

Faculty of Laws


Joined UCL
1st Sep 2009

Research summary

Prince’s main research interest is in the philosophy of private law. He has written extensively on the normative foundations of contract law and unjust enrichment, and on philosophical puzzles relating to a variety of doctrines in these areas. 

Prince also works on broader questions about transnational private law, the ethics of markets, and the regulation of new technologies. He was recently a member of the Lancet Commission on Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine. The Commission's recommendations for a new governance framework for research and experimental therapies involving stem cells have been widely reported in the media.

He is co-editor of the volume Philosophical Foundations of Contract Law (OUP Oxford hbk 2014 pbk 2016).

His new book Contract Law Without Foundations: Toward a Republican Theory of Contract Law (OUP Oxford forthcoming 2019), attempts to break new ground in the philosophy of contract law by upending the orthodox picture of the field. The book claims that traditional theories of contract law which argue either that contract law reflects or mirrors the morality of promise, or instead that it pursues its own distinct ends or goals, such as economic efficiency, both seriously mishandle legal doctrine by ignoring or underplaying the irreducible plurality of values that shape contract law. The book defends the role of this multiplicity of values in forging contract doctrine, by developing from the ground-up a radical and distinctly republican re-interpreation of the field.

Teaching summary


Contract Law (Joint Convenor)

Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

Philosophical Foundations of the Common Law (Convenor)


Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

PhD Supervision

Prince welcomes approaches for supervision from prospective PhD students.


University College London
PGCLTHE, Teaching | 2011
Mansfield College, Oxford
DPhil, Law | 2009
Mansfield College, Oxford
M.Phil, Law | 2004
Mansfield College, Oxford
BCL, Law | 2002
King's College London
LLB, Law | 2000


Prince Saprai joined the Faculty of Laws in 2009. Formerly, he was an Assistant Professor at the University of Warwick (2008-2009), and had worked as a Stipendiary Lecturer at Merton College, Oxford (2007-2008). He completed his doctorate on the philosophy of contract law at the University of Oxford (2009). In 2013, he was a Visiting Scholar at Georgetown Law. He is a co-convenor (with Dr Kevin Toh) of the Quain Lectures in Jurisprudence. 

In 2016 he received a UCL Faculty of Laws Excellence Award for Legal Teaching (EXALT) in recognition of his teaching on the LLB.

Prince is keen to engage with non-academic audiences and has given lectures to fee earners at Slaughter and May LLP and to the senior judiciary at the Ministry of Justice under the auspices of the Judicial College.

External Appointments:
  • External Examiner, School of Law, University of Warwick (2018-)
  • External Examiner, Law Faculty, University of Oxford (2014-2016)
  • Visiting Scholar, Georgetown Law (2013)