A Historical Introduction to the Law of Obligations

Paperback | April 1, 2001

byDavid Ibbetson

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The English law of obligations has developed over most of the last millennium without any major discontinuity. Through this period each generation has built on the law of its predecessors, manipulating it so as to avoid its more inconvenient consequences and adapting it piecemeal to social andeconomic changes. Sometimes fragments borrowed from other jurisdictions have been incorporated into the fabric of English law; from time to time ideas developed elsewhere have, at least temporarily, imposed a measure of structure on a common law otherwise messy and inherently resistant to any stableordering.In this book David Ibbetson exposes the historical layers beneath the modern rules and principles of contract, tort, and unjust enrichment. Small-scale changes caused by lawyers successfully exploiting procedural advantages in their clients' interest are juxtaposed alongside changes caused byfriction along the boundaries of these principal legal categories; fossilized remnants of old doctrines jostle with newer ideas in a state of half-consistent tension; loose-knit rules of equity developed in the Chancery infiltrate themselves into more tightly controlled Common law structures. Theresult is a system shot through with inconsistencies and illogicalities, but with the resilience to adapt as necessary to take account of shifting pressures and changing circumstances.

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The English law of obligations has developed over most of the last millennium without any major discontinuity. Through this period each generation has built on the law of its predecessors, manipulating it so as to avoid its more inconvenient consequences and adapting it piecemeal to social andeconomic changes. Sometimes fragments borro...

David Ibbetson is a lecturer in law at Oxford University

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.75 inPublished:April 1, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198764111

ISBN - 13:9780198764113

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Table of Contents

Prologue: The Prehistory of the English Law of ObligationsI Form and Substance in Medieveal Law1. Structural Foundations2. Unity and Fragmentation of the Mediaeval Law of Contract3. Trespass, Trespass on the Case, and the Mediaeval Law of Tort4. The Substantive Law of Torts5. The Substantive Law of Contract2 The Triumph of Trespass on the Case6. Tort, Property, and Reputation: the Expansion of the Action on the Case7. The Rise of the Action of Assumpsit3 The Modern Law of Tort and Contract8. Trespass, Case, and the Moral Basis of Liability9. The Law of Torts in the Nineteenth Century: The Rise of the Tort of Negligence10. The Law of Torts in the Twentieth Century: Expansion and Collapse of the Tort of Negligence11. Foundations of the Modern Law of Contract12. The Rise of the Will Theory13. The Decline of the Will Theory: Legal Regulation and Contractual Fairness4 Unjust Enrichment14. Unjust Enrichment15. Legal Change and Legal Continuity

Editorial Reviews

`Review from previous edition A Historical Introduction to the Law of Obligations is a remarkable book which every lawyer with any interest in the law of obligations should read.'Peter Cane