Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mapping the Common Law

Mapping the Common Law: Testing the Boundaries between Contract, Tort, Restitution and Equity, is a day-long conference to be held June 29, 2012, in the Auckland Museum Auditorium, Auckland, New Zealand.  It is sponsored by the Legal Research Foundation, which the conference’s brochure identifies as “a leading law reform body in New Zealand.” 

As the flyer explains:
The common law is broken into divisions (contract, tort, restitution, equity, judicial review, etc.) and subdivisions or causes of actions (for example, within tort: trespass, negligence, defamation, nuisance, Rylands v. Fletcher).  This classification generally works well.  However, problems arise when the same facts give rise to concurrent causes of action (breach of contract and negligence; negligence and nuisance; breach of trust and unjust enrichment) and when concepts from one division of common law appear in another (for example, when an account of profits is ordered as a remedy for breach of contract).

This conference explores:
  • why and how the common law method of case reasoning produces a classification;
  • the historical origins of the current classification of common law;
  • the problems of concurrent liability and cross-fertilisation of concepts;
  • flaws and tensions in the current classification; and
  • what changes we might to expect to see in the future.
Among the speakers is Michael Lobban, Professor of Legal History at Queen Mary University, London, who will address “the historical origins of the classification.”  Gerald Postema, North Carolina Law, and Benjamin Zipursky, Fordham Law, are also to appear on the program, as is the Rt. Hon. Dame Sian Elias, the Chief Justice of New Zealand.  The chair will be Justice Stephen Kos, High Court, Wellington.

To register, please email barbara@legalresearch.org.nz

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