This is a review of John Gardner’s From Personal Life to Private Law. The book raises a host of interesting issues, but this review concentrates on Gardner’s discussion of ‘strictly’ and ‘loosely’ relational duties. The main claims of this review are that Gardner overestimates the number of strictly relational duties that arise in private life, and that private law does not, in general, serve to promote or protect the special relationships which underlie strictly relational duties. In this sense private law largely treats us as if we were strangers to each other.
Penner, James, As If We Were Strangers: From Social Life to Private Law (March 11, 2019). Forthcoming, Jurisprudence; NUS Law Working Paper No 2019/006.