Thursday, January 1, 2015

Swain's "Law of Contract, 1670-1870"

Out this month from Cambridge University Press in its Cambridge Studies in English Legal History is The Law of Contract, 1670–1870, by Warren Swain, TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland:
The foundations for modern contract law were laid between 1670 and 1870. Rather than advancing a purely chronological account, this examination of the development of contract law doctrine in England during that time explores key themes in order to better understand the drivers of legal change. These themes include the relationship between lawyers and merchants, the role of equity, the place of statute, and the part played by legal literature. Developments are considered in the context of the legal system of the time and through those who were involved in litigation as lawyers, judges, jurors or litigants. It concludes that the way in which contract law developed was complex. Legal change was often uneven and slow, and some of the apparent changes had deep roots in the past. Clashes between conservative and more reformist tendencies were not uncommon.
Here’s the TOC:

1. Introduction
2. The legal system and the law of contract
3. Lawyers and merchants
4. Lawyers and merchants II
5. Equity and the common law
6. Lord Mansfield and his successors
7. Equity and the regulation of unfairness in contracting: the usury laws – a case study
8. The classical model of contract: the product of a revolution in legal thought?
9. Classical contract law and its limits
10. Contract law, illegality and public policy
11. Contract law and statute law
12. Conclusion