Category Archives: Legal History

PG Turner, ‘Lex Sequitur Equitatem: Fusion and the Penalty Doctrine’

Abstract Since an early article of Professor Brian Simpson’s, the opinion of historians and lawyers has been that the penalty doctrine which disallows the enforcement of penal stipulations in voluntary transactions derives from a fusion of law and equity. Specifically, the doctrine derives from ‘fusion by convergence’: the independent development by separate courts of law […]

‘Greer’s Property and Dispossession

“Allan Greer, McGill University, has published Property and Dispossession: Natives, Empires and Land in Early Modern North America with the Cambridge University Press. Allan Greer examines the processes by which forms of land tenure emerged and natives were dispossessed from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries in New France (Canada), New Spain (Mexico), and New […]

Book Launch: Mark Lunney, A History of Australian Tort Law, King’s College London, 5 February 2018

“Lunney dives into Australian contributions to common law development and its need to be viewed in the context of the British race patriotism that characterised the intellectual and cultural milieu of Australian legal practitioners. Using not only primary legal materials but also newspapers and other secondary sources, he traces Australian developments to what Australian lawyers […]

Mark Movsesian, ‘Markets and Morals: The Limits of Doux Commerce’

Abstract In this essay for a symposium on Professor Nathan Oman’s new book, The Dignity of Commerce, I do three things. First, I describe what I take to be the central message of the book, namely, that markets promote liberal values of tolerance, pluralism, and cooperation among rival, even hostile groups. Second, I show how […]

‘A New Blackstone’

William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England (Ruth Paley and Wilfrid Priest eds, Oxford University Press, 2016). William Blackstone was for a long time one of the central figures of both British and American legal thought. His Commentaries on the Laws of England was the text by which many learned law in England. In […]

‘CALL FOR PAPERS: French law versus Common law au XIXe siècle. La naissance d’une concurrence entre modèles juridiques (Rennes/Paris, 4 April 2018 and 9 October 2018)’

“À l’origine d’une comparaison, d’une concurrence, d’un jeu de miroirs. Depuis une trentaine d’années, de nombreux juristes français s’émeuvent devant l’expansion des systèmes de common law. Ils constatent que celui-ci est à la mode dans les grands cabinets d’avocats, dans les think tank économiques et commerciaux ou dans certaines institutions internationales. Ils observent, par contraste, […]

Just Published: Mark Lunney, A History of Australian Tort Law 1901-1945: England’s Obedient Servant?

Little attention has been paid to the development of Australian private law throughout the first half of the twentieth century. Using the law of tort as an example, Mark Lunney argues that Australian contributions to common law development need to be viewed in the context of the British race patriotism that characterised the intellectual and […]

Donald Gifford, ‘Technological Triggers to Tort Revolutions: Steam Locomotives, Autonomous Vehicles, and Accident Compensation’

Abstract Waves of technological change explain the most important transformations of American tort law. In this Article, I begin by examining historical instances of this linkage. Following the Industrial Revolution, for example, machines, no longer humans and animals, powered production. With greater force, locomotives and other machines inflicted far more severe injuries. These dramatic technological […]

Jan Smits, ‘The Phylogeny of the Unpaid Seller’s Right to Vindicate Goods: A Test Study’

Abstract This contribution applies computational phylogenetics, the quantitative study of the evolutionary history of organisms, to the vexed history of the price payment-rule. This rule makes the transfer of movable property dependent on the buyer’s payment of the price. The study provides a dataset of 56 variations of the price payment-rule from 41 different jurisdictions […]

Larry Garvin, ‘The Best of Cases, the Worst of Cases’

Abstract This consists of my lightly edited contributions to a symposium on the best and worst cases in contract law, to be published in the Florida State University Law Review in 2018. The first short essay explores why Kingston v Preston, Lord Mansfield’s classic opinion on the constructive conditions of exchange, is so good – […]