Principle and Policy in Contract Law
Competing or Complementary Concepts?
- Author: Stephen Waddams, University of Toronto
Although presented as being derived from the past, principles in contract law have been subject to constant reformulation, thereby facilitating legal change while simultaneously seeming to preclude it. Principle and policy have been mutually interdependent, propositions not usually being called principles unless they have been perceived to lead to just results in particular cases, and as likely to produce results in future cases that accord with common sense, commercial convenience and sound public policy. The influence of policy has been frequent in contract law, but Stephen Waddams argues that an unmediated appeal to non-legal sources of policy has been constrained by the need to formulate generalised propositions recognised as legal principles. This interrelation of principle and policy has played an important role in enabling an uncodified system to hold a middle course between a rigid formalism on the one hand and an unconstrained instrumentalism on the other.Read more
- Proposes a new view of the relationship between principle and policy in contract law, avoiding simplistic explanations of complex legal phenomena
- Provides an alternative to the stark 'one or the other' choice between formalism and instrumentalism
- Demonstrates that the concept of principle has accommodated legal change and explains how contract law has succeeded in combining stability with flexibility
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- Date Published: December 2011
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9781139119221
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: empire of reason or republic of common sense?
2. Intention, will, and agreement
3. Promise, bargain, and consideration
4. Unequal transactions
6. Public policy
8. Conclusion: joint dominion of principle and policy.
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