Joshua Getzler was appointed in 1993. In his modern legal research he works on the duties of investment agents in financial markets, on the legal and economic structure of debt and equity securities, on the liability and ontology of juridical entities, and on theories of trust, fiduciary duty and co-ownership. In his historical research he is working on the nature of fiduciary accountability in private and public relationships, including Crown liabilities, public finance, and private banking and investment; and more generally the evolution of property, trust, corporate and charitable (especially religious) forms, principally in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. His doctoral monograph concerned the juristic and economic factors governing control of water resources in the historical common law. He is now engaged in commissioned studies of the inter-relationship of native title, trust and fiduciary accountability, and treaty law in relation to First Nations, with special reference to British North America and Upper Canada and New Zealand. A long-term interest is the role of the lord chancellors and royal justices in law and politics before the Great Reform Act, from Macclesfield and King through to Hardwicke and Eldon.
Joshua's first degrees in law and history were taken at the Australian National University in Canberra, and his doctorate in Oxford, as a member of Balliol and Nuffield Colleges. He has taught and researched as a fellow at the Australian National University and the Hebrew University, and as a visiting professor at the University of Chicago, Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Tel Aviv University. He maintains links to Australia as Conjoint Professor of Law at the University of New South Wales and as an Overseas Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, and In 2023 he commences a stint as Global Visiting Professor at NYU Law School. He co-edits the OUP monograph series Oxford Legal History and the American Journal of Legal History, and serves on the editorial board of the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies and the Journal of Equity. He is an Academic Member of the Chancery Bar Association and is a trustee and member of the board of the Selden Society for English legal history.