Category Archives: General

Dan Priel, ‘The Return of Legal Realism’

Abstract: The main goal of this essay is to explain in what sense ‘we are all realists now’. It examines various answers to this question suggested by existing literature and proposes another. The key is identifying a fundamental divide among the legal realists on what makes their view ‘realistic’. One group of legal realists, of […]

Steve Hedley, ‘The Rise and Fall of Private Law Theory’

Abstract: Over the last four decades of common law thought, there have been increasingly sophisticated attempts to develop comprehensive theories of private law. Chief amongst these are (1) theories of corrective justice, (2) economic theories, and (3) formalist accounts. The common feature of these apparently diverse ‘grand theories’ is a lack of trust in collective […]

Geoffrey Vos, ‘The UK Jurisdictions After 2019’

Introduction: I am delivering this lecture at a time of great change. The General Election has produced a hung Parliament and there remains uncertainty about Brexit. Contrary to what many have said and even more think, Brexit is not just a political question, it raises intensely difficult legal issues that are worthy of careful research […]

Bell J on ‘The Individual Judge’

“UNSW Law Journal has now released the video of Bell J’s keynote speech at the launch of its thematic issue on ‘The Individual Judge.’ Pleasingly, this was certainly no puff piece. Indeed, beyond praising the journal’s ‘honoured place’ amongst peer-reviewed law journals and describing the issue’s article as ‘very readable and stimulating’, she didn’t (unless […]

Gregory Shaffer, ‘Theorizing Transnational Legal Ordering of Private and Business Law’

Abstract: This essay introduces a symposium issue that theorizes and assesses transnational legal ordering of private law and business regulation in relation to the state. Such law and regulation seek to produce order in an issue area that relevant actors construe as a problem. The issues that the symposium covers include labor rights, corporate social […]

Dan Priel, ‘Law and Digestion: A Brief History of an Unpalatable Idea’

Abstract: According to a familiar adage the legal realists equated law with what the judge had for breakfast. As this is sometimes used to ridicule the realists, prominent defenders of legal realism have countered that none of the realists ever entertained any such idea. In this short essay I show that this is inaccurate. References […]

Vivian Grosswald Curran, ‘The Un-Common Law’

Abstract: National courts today find themselves ever more confronted with issues that are borderless, and sometimes global. As part of a larger project to determine the potentials of future international legal cross-consultations and harmonization, this paper takes a look at the past of the common law, some aspects of its origins, evolution and characteristics. Curran, […]

‘Harmful, Harmless, and Beneficial Uncertainty in Law’

“Law is full of vague standards; legally relevant facts are frequently unclear; sanctions and damages are often uncertain; and the likelihood of detection is rarely known precisely. In our forthcoming paper, we ask how these sources of uncertainty, common in any legal system, affect utility of risk-neutral actors such as business firms. We conclude that […]

Benjamin Zipursky, ‘The Cathedral Through The Looking Glass: A Commentary On Dagan And Dorfman’s Just Relationships

Introduction: In their edifying and ambitious recent article Just Relationships, Professors Hanoch Dagan and Avihay Dorfman suggest that everyone before them has erred in their account of the distinction between public law and private law. Classic liberal scholars – a category meant to cover Thomas Hobbes and William Blackstone through the nineteenth century to Richard […]

Donal Nolan, ‘Rights, Damage and Loss’

Abstract: This article is an exploration of the relationship between the concepts of rights, damage and loss. The focus of the analysis is on the law of negligence, though some of the claims have wider ramifications. The article is divided into three main sections: first, on the relationship between rights and damage; second, on the […]