Regulating Contracts

Paperback | November 1, 2002

byCollins, Hugh

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Using an interdisciplinary approach involving economics, sociology and law, Regulating Contracts explores fundamental questions about the purposes and effects of legal regulation of contractual relationships. What kind of social relation do contracts create, or, more precisely, how docontracts govern social interaction. How are contractual relations, or more generally, markets constructed? Does the law play a significant role in particular practices, and in particular, what do lawyers, courts, and legal sanctions contribute to the contractual social order? For what distributivepurposes does the law attempt regulation?The controversial conclusions of this study suggest that the law plays an insignificant role in the construction of markets, and that law and lawyers could provide better assistance by using indeterminate regulation that permits the recontextualization of legal reasoning. Legal regulation ofcontracts concerned with redistributive tasks, such as redressing unfairness, countering unjust power relations, and improving access to justice, is evaluated both with respect to the objectives of regulation and the search for the most efficient and efficacious form of regulation.The argument in the book is that control of unfairness is both desirable and practicable, that power relations should be modified for the sake of efficiency, and that better access to justice is unhelpful to the resolution of contractual disputes.

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Using an interdisciplinary approach involving economics, sociology and law, Regulating Contracts explores fundamental questions about the purposes and effects of legal regulation of contractual relationships. What kind of social relation do contracts create, or, more precisely, how docontracts govern social interaction. How are contrac...

Hugh Collins is Professor of English Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:402 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.83 inPublished:November 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199258015

ISBN - 13:9780199258017

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Table of Contents

Part 1: Introduction1. The Tasks for Regulating Contracts2. The Meaning of Contract:- How Contract Thinks About Association; Contractualization of Social Life; Meaning of Contractual Relations; EmbeddednessPart 2: The New Regulation3. The Discourses of Legal Regulation:- Normative Complexity; Self-reference and Closure; The Doctrinal Classification System; The Collision of Private Law with Public Regulation; The Productive Disintegration of Private Law4. The Capacity of Private Law:- Private Law as Regulation; Reflexive Regulation; Standard Setting; Monitoring and Enforcement; ConclusionPart 3: Regulation in the Construction of Markets5. The Construction of Markets:- Trust and Sanctions; Markets Without a State; The Construction of Trust; The Construction of Non-legal Sanctions; The Significance of Legal Sanctions; The Adjudication Process; Conclusion6. Rationality of Contractual Behaviour:- Three Frameworks of Contractual Behaviour; The Non-Use of Contracts; Relational and Discrete Contracts; Reasonable Expectations7. Planning and Co-operation:- Lawyers as Engineers; Informality in Business Dealings; Incompleteness in Planning Documents; Risk; Insufficient Specificity of Self-regulation; Flexibility; Conclusion8. Formalism and Efficiency:- The Form of Legal Doctrine; Closure and Expectation; Commercial Arbitration; Reasoning in the Common Law; The Virus of Formalism; A Transformation in Legal Doctrine?9. Contract as Thing:- Money; Formality; Legal Pluralism; Futures Contracts; Club Markets; Self-regulating AssociationsPart 4: Distributive Tasks of Regulation10. Power and Governance:- Mass Contracts; Principal and Agent; Contract and Organization; Conclusion11. Unfair Contracts:- The Illusion of Unfairness; Open Texture Rules; Regulatory Backfiring; The Adequacy of Regulating Market Failure; Conclusion12. Quality:- Efficient Level of Quality; Form of Standards; Monitoring and Enforcement; Conclusion13. Government by Contract:- Public Services and the Market Mechanism; The Problem of Co-operation; The Problem of Quality; Quasi-Contract in Government; Conclusion14. Dispute Settlement:- The Taste for Litigation; Vindication of Contractual Rights; Access to Justice; For Settlement15. ConclusionBibliographyTable of CasesTable of StatutesIndex

Editorial Reviews

`Regulating Contractsis an important and intersting book. The book will reward the reader with insights on virtually every aspect of contract law.'Robert A. Hillman, Journal of Law and Society