David McIlroy, Review of Nicholas McBride, The Humanity of Private Law – Part I: Explanation

The Humanity of Private Law – Part I: Explanation by Nicholas J McBride. Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2019, 272 pp (£80.00 hardback). ISBN: 978-1-50-991195-0. The first issue of the Modern Law Review in 1937 carried an article by Richard O’Sullivan KC entitled ‘A scale of values in the common law’. In his corpus of writings, O’Sullivan made two central claims. The first was that there was a scale of objective values which gave shape to the common law, and which promoted human flourishing. The second was that the common law was superior to the civil law because, by not relying on Roman law sources, it had been better able to give effect to the civilising elements in Christianity. Nicholas McBride begins the first volume of his two-part work, The Humanity of Private Law, by stating that he wants to explore whether Richard O’Sullivan was right to claim that ‘The Common Law of England is one of the greatest civilising forces in the world’ …

David McIlroy, Review of Nicholas J McBride, The Humanity of Private Law – Part I: Explanation, Legal Studies. Published online by Cambridge University Press: 19 March 2020.

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