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Foundations of Private Law is a treatise on the Western law of property, contract, tort and unjust enrichment in both common law systems and civil law systems. The thesis of the book is that underlying these fields of law are common principles, and that these principles can be used to explain the history and development of these areas. These underlying common principles are matters of common sense, which were given their archetypal expression by older jurists who wrote in the Aristotelian tradition. These principles shaped the development of Western law but can resolve legal problems which these older writers did not confront.
This study traces the influence of philosophical ideas on the development of contract law from the post-Roman period to the 19th century, focusing upon the synthesis of Roman law and the moral philosophy of Aristotle and Aquinas.
This book examines the role of unjust enrichment in the contractual context, defined as contracts which are (a) terminated for breach, or (b) subsisting, or (c) unenforceable. The book makes three claims in relation to the orthodox common law account of restitution (founded on unjust enrichment) in the contractual context. Firstly, the orthodox account correctly proceeds on the basis that the restitutionary claim in the contractual context is founded on an independent cause of action in unjust enrichment, rather than some equitable notion of unconscientiousness or the law of contract. Secondly, the book departs from the orthodox account by rejecting the unjust factors approach and endorsing the absence of basis approach for the law of unjust enrichment. Finally, the book argues that the right to restitution in the contractual context should be determined by the conditionality of the transfer of the benefit rather than a requirement such as the termination of the contract, as the orthodox account dictates. To that end the book proposes the following model, under which the right to restitution in the contractual context is determined by the resolution of the following two questions: (1) Was the transfer of the benefit (eg of money or services) conditional? (2) Was there a qualifying failure of condition? A condition can be, and often is, the other contracting party's counter-performance, but it may also be an event not promised by either party. What qualifies as a failure of condition depends on the type of contract in question. This book identifies two types of contracts, namely those which are apportioned (eg instalment contracts) and those which are unapportioned. It is only in relation to the latter that termination is required. It is a particular strength of the book that it is underpinned by detailed and original historical analysis which makes a novel and distinct contribution to the history of the laws of unjust enrichment and contract. 'Dr Baloch has produced the definitive study of the inter-relationship between contract and unjust enrichment. This has been achieved by carefully considering the historical roots of our common law, and how this is to be understood in its best light in the modern era.' Robert H Stevens, University College, London. 'Dr Baloch's exploration of the boundary between contractual and unjust enrichment liability in the 17th to 19th centuries has important things to say about the history of ideas of 'contract' in this period.' Mike Macnair, Oxford University. 'This is an innovative and rigorous book which engages with one of the most difficult areas in the law of unjust enrichment, namely the relationship between the law of unjust enrichment and the law of contract. Baloch roots his treatment of the modern law in its history and the historical analysis throughout is very careful and well grounded in the primary sources.' David Ibbetson, Cambridge University. 'This is a valuable book, thoughtful and well researched. It is concerned to build a model that fits comfortably with the cases, and its focus is on the work of modern commentators. Those concerned with the relationship of contract and the law of restitution whether at a theoretical level or in practice will benefit by careful study of what Dr Baloch has to say, whether or not they agree with it.' Jack Beatson, Royal Courts of Justice, 14 February 2009 (From the foreword)
Six public lectures given by Peter Birks when he was the Centennial Visiting Fellow at the Victoria University of Wellington Law School in August and September 1999.
This book is the second in a series of essay collections on defences in private law. It addresses defences to liability arising in unjust enrichment. The essays are written from a range of perspectives and methodologies. Some are doctrinal, others are theoretical, and several offer comparative insights. The most important defence in this area of the law, change of position, is addressed in detail, but many other defences are treated too, as well as the interrelations between these defences within the law of unjust enrichment. The essays offer novel claims and ways of looking at problems in this challenging area of legal study.
Who controls how one’s identity is used by others? This legal question, centuries old, demands greater scrutiny in the Internet age. Jennifer Rothman uses the right of publicity—a little-known law, often wielded by celebrities—to answer that question, not just for the famous but for everyone. In challenging the conventional story of the right of publicity’s emergence, development, and justifications, Rothman shows how it transformed people into intellectual property, leading to a bizarre world in which you can lose ownership of your own identity. This shift and the right’s subsequent expansion undermine individual liberty and privacy, restrict free speech, and suppress artistic works. The Right of Publicity traces the right’s origins back to the emergence of the right of privacy in the late 1800s. The central impetus for the adoption of privacy laws was to protect people from “wrongful publicity.” This privacy-based protection was not limited to anonymous private citizens but applied to famous actors, athletes, and politicians. Beginning in the 1950s, the right transformed into a fully transferable intellectual property right, generating a host of legal disputes, from control of dead celebrities like Prince, to the use of student athletes’ images by the NCAA, to lawsuits by users of Facebook and victims of revenge porn. The right of publicity has lost its way. Rothman proposes returning the right to its origins and in the process reclaiming privacy for a public world.
The development of private law across the common law world is typically portrayed as a series of incremental steps, each one delivered as a result of judges dealing with marginally different factual circumstances presented to them for determination. This is said to be the common law method. According to this process, change might be assumed to be gradual, almost imperceptible. If this were true, however, then even Darwinian-style evolution – which is subject to major change-inducing pressures, such as the death of the dinosaurs – would seem unlikely in the law, and radical and revolutionary paradigms shifts perhaps impossible. And yet the history of the common law is to the contrary. The legal landscape is littered with quite remarkable revolutionary and evolutionary changes in the shape of the common law. The essays in this volume explore some of the highlights in this fascinating revolutionary and evolutionary development of private law. The contributors expose the nature of the changes undergone and their significance for the future direction of travel. They identify the circumstances and the contexts which might have provided an impetus for these significant changes. The essays range across all areas of private law, including contract, tort, unjust enrichment and property. No area has been immune from development. That fact itself is unsurprising, but an extended examination of the particular circumstances and contexts which delivered some of private law's most important developments has its own special significance for what it might indicate about the shape, and the shaping, of private law regimes in the future.

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