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The result is a work that incorporates all the ideas that Watson has put forward during his twenty-five years studying comparative law and the development of legal systems, combining a remarkable range of sources with superb insight.
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.
Money in the Western Legal Tradition is the first book to undertake a history of monetary law from the High Middle Ages through to the middle of the 20th century. It spans the two great Western legal traditions: the common law of the Anglo-American legal world, and the civil law systems of continental Europe. It analyses the law governing the payment of money in finance, loan and sale transactions as it has been understood by legal scholars and legalpractitioners of the past 800 years. The book aims to go beyond the many accounts of money already given by numismatists and economic historians. It analyses the distinctive concepts of money applied by legalpractitioners and scholars, and shows how they have been enforced private transactions throughout the period.Money in the Western Legal Tradition develops a connected thematic structure, even though the chapters are written by different specialist authors. The book aims to set the legal doctrines against the background of monetary practice in which they developed.
This book provides an introduction to the rise and development of present-day private law.
This volume describes how the courts created rights for land owners and users competing to appropriate water for factories, town supply, drainage, and transport. It covers the period from early times to the late nineteenth century, illustrating the changing common law of property and tort, and throwing new light on the growth of the economy and the social and legal dimensions of technological innovation.Readership: Academics and post-graduate/advanced students in law and legal history. It will also have a readership in economic and social history and also the history of technology.
Each number includes "Reviews and book notices."
Most books about public power and the state deal with their subject from the point of view of legal theory, sociology or political science. This book, without claiming to deliver a comprehensive theory of law and state, aims to inform by offering a fresh reading of history and institutions, particularly as they have developed in continental Europe and European political and legal science. Drawing on a remarkably wide range of sources from both Western and Eastern Europe, the author suggests that only by knowing the history of the state, and state administration since the twelfth century, can we begin to comprehend the continuing importance of the state and public powers in modern Europe. In an era of globalization, when the importance of international law and institutions frequently lead to the claim that the state either no longer exists or no longer matters, the truth is in fact more complex. We now live in an era where the balance is shifting away from the struggle to build states based on democratic values, towards fundamental values existing above and beyond the borders of nations and states, under the watchful gaze of judges bound by the rule of law.

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