Adam Perry is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law and Garrick Tutor and Fellow at Brasenose College. He holds a BA in economics from the University of Winnipeg, an LLB from the University of Victoria, and BCL, MPhil, and DPhil degrees from the University of Oxford. He was a law clerk at the British Columbia Court of Appeal, and has held academic positions at the European University Institute, the University of Aberdeen, and Queen Mary University of London. He joined the Faculty of Law at Oxford in 2015.
Dr Perry's interests are in administrative law, constitutional law, and jurisprudence. His articles have appeared in the Cambridge Law Journal, Law Quarterly Review, Modern Law Review, and Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, as well as in I-CON, Legal Theory, Philosophy & Public Affairs, and Public Law. His current research includes projects about (i) the relationship between law and fiction; (ii) constitutional conventions; (iii) the nature of deference; and (iv) statutory interpretation. Dr Perry welcomes email contact from prospective research students interested in public law or jurisprudence.
- When should an appellate court reject a trial judge’s finding of fact? One condition is when a court believes that a judge’s finding of fact is ‘plainly wrong’. This condition has been endorsed many times in English law and wider common law jurisprudence. Courts have not explained what makes a finding plainly wrong, however. Scholars have largely ignored the issue. Here I draw on recent work in epistemology to provide a new analysis of the plainly wrong standard. Rationally, a court should not both believe that a judge is a better fact finder and that the judge was wrong to find some fact. If a court does happen to believe both, then it must abandon one of these beliefs. Specifically, it should abandon the belief it is less confident of, other things being equal. So, a court should reject a judge’s finding if it is more confident that it is wrong than that the judge is a better fact finder. In a slogan: a plainly wrong finding is a definitely wrong finding. This analysis has implications beyond appellate review of judicial fact finding, including for review of administrative fact finding and for judicial deference generally.
Journal Article (17)
Case Note (1)
Administrative law, constitutional law, constitutional theory, jurisprudence