Kant and Hegel offer two very different accounts of contract as a transfer of rights. In this paper, I argue that Kant’s approach largely corresponds to that taken by the German legal system, in which the transfer of property rights arises separately from the original contractual obligation. Hegel’s account of contract is instead most comfortably associated with the approach taken by the French legal system, in which a contract is sufficient on its own to effect a full transfer of property rights. I conclude that only German law and Kantian transfer theory properly conceive of contract as an obligation, while the Hegelian and French approaches risk erasing the obligational content of contract entirely.
Sérafin, Stéphane, Transfer by Contract in Kant, Hegel, and Comparative Law (2018). Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, Volume XXXI, No 1 (February 2018).