Category Archives: Legal History

Harshitha Satish, ‘The Valdez Oil Spill, Environmental Impact and Corporate Liability’

ABSTRACT Despite the 21st century being more educated, richer, healthier, peaceful and better connected than the previous centuries, a negligent happening of the past – Exxon Valdez oil-spill of 1989 – still looms, hovers and monitors our actions today. Though it is not the largest oil spill recorded, the impact on the Alaskan shoreline makes […]

Gregory Klass, ‘Arthur Linton Corbin’

ABSTRACT This chapter on Arthur Linton Corbin will appear in the forthcoming collection, Scholars of Contract Law. The chapter provides a brief summary of Corbin’s life, then discusses five topics: Corbin’s Socratic approach to the classroom and his introduction of the caselaw method at Yale; Corbin’s analytic approach, which was inspired by Hohfeld and is […]

Edmund Ursin, ‘Roger Traynor, the Legal Process School, and Enterprise Liability’

ABSTRACT Roger Traynor, who served on the California Supreme Court from 1940 to 1970, the last five years as Chief Justice, was one of America’s great judges. This Article compares Traynor’s view of the lawmaking role of courts with the dominant jurisprudential perspective of mainstream legal scholars at time, that of the legal process school. […]

Simon Pratt, ‘Defensible endowments: comparing different approaches in English and ancient Roman law’

ABSTRACT Whilst the parallels between ancient Roman fideicommissa and English trusts are well-documented, the author argues that insufficient attention has been given to their fundamental differences. This is particularly evident in the different methodologies employed by each system to protect endowments from potential attack by impatient beneficiaries. Accordingly, this article explores how English jurisprudence relied […]

Conor Hanly, ‘Jury Selection in Victorian England’

ABSTRACT The process of empanelling a jury in nineteenth-century England was controlled in most of the country by the County Juries Act 1825. At a formal level, the process was orderly and followed three stages: the preparation of a jury panel from the county jurors’ books, the summoning of the men on the jury panel, […]

Steven Medema, ‘What Happened on Blackstone Avenue? Exorcising Coase Theorem Mythology’

ABSTRACT The present paper revisits the path by which Coase came to set down the result now generally known as the Coase theorem in his 1960 article. I draw on both the published record and archival resources in an effort to clear away some of the mist and, as it will emerge, dispel some of […]

A Christian Airhart, ‘Sanctity of Contracts in a Secular Age: Equity, Fairness and Enrichment by Stephen Waddams’

ABSTRACT What conditions must be met before the law will enforce a promise? If one asks lawyers and students from across the common law world, they will answer: an offer, an acceptance of the offer, and a mutual exchange of value. Of course, they will add, it is not as simple as that; such a […]

Joe Sampson, ‘The Place of Fault in Grotius’s Conception of Liability for Wrongdoing’

ABSTRACT This article compares Grotius’s treatments of liability for wrongdoing in natural law and the law of Holland to emphasise the conceptual centrality of fault in both, and places Grotius’s analyses in their historical context by tracing the treatment of strict liability in those intellectual traditions upon which he drew. It focuses in particular on […]

Harwell Wells, ‘Shareholder Meetings and Freedom Rides: The Story of Peck v Greyhound

ABSTRACT In 1947 the civil rights pioneers James Peck and Bayard Rustin, members of the radical religious group the Fellowship of Reconciliation and its offshoot the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), prepared to embark on the Journey of Reconciliation an interracial protest against segregated busing in the American South. But first they did something else […]

‘Mrs Chester’s lost child: inconsolable psychological injury and Justice Evatt’s finest judgment’

This seminar/webinar recovers a brilliant dissenting judgment about psychological injury and assesses how modern law responds to similar claims. Justice Evatt’s 1939 dissent in Chester paved the way for later, more enlightened approaches to the duty of care. Author Gideon Haigh will speak about Evatt’s career and empathy for Mrs Chester’s suffering. Associate Professor Kylie […]