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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.
There remains an urgent need for a deeper discussion of the theoretical, political and federal dimensions of the European codification project. While much valuable work has already been undertaken, the chapters in this volume take as their starting point the proposition that further reflection and critical thought will enhance the quality and efficacy of the on-going work of the various codification bodies. The volume contains chapters by representatives of the Common Frame of Reference, the Study Group and the Acquis Group as well as by those who have not been involved in particular projects but who have previously commented more distantly on their work - for instance those belonging to the Trento Group, and the Social Justice Group. The chapters between them represent the most comprehensive attempt so far to survey the state of the codification project, its theoretical, political and federal foundations and the future prospects for enforcement and compliance.
This book presents an account of attribution in unjust enrichment. Attribution refers to how and when two parties – a claimant and a defendant – are relevantly connected to each other for unjust enrichment purposes. It is reflected in the familiar expression that a defendant be 'enriched at the claimant's expense'. This book presents a structured account of attribution, consisting of two requirements: first, the identification of an enrichment to the defendant and a loss to the claimant; and, secondly, the identification of a connection between that enrichment and that loss. These two requirements must be kept separate from other considerations often subsumed within the expression 'enrichment at the claimant's expense' which in truth have nothing to do with attribution, and which instead qualify unjust enrichment liability for reasons that should be analysed in their own terms. The structure of attribution so presented fits a normative account of unjust enrichment based upon each party's exchange capacities. A defendant is enriched when he receives something that he has not paid for under prevailing market conditions, while a claimant suffers a loss when he loses the opportunity to charge for something under the same conditions. A counterfactual test – asking whether enrichment and loss arise 'but for' each other – provides the best generalisation for testing whether enrichment and loss are connected, thereby satisfying the requirements of attribution in unjust enrichment.
This collection of essays addresses some of the fundamental questions facing the law of contract and of unjust enrichment in the twenty-first century from a comparative perspective. Leading academics from Canada and the United Kingdom analyse the nature and development of the principles of unjust enrichment, their relationship with contract and fiduciary obligations and their impact upon traditional contractual doctrines such as mistake, undue influence, frustration and the assessment of damages. The text provides an insightful, contemporary and provocative examination of this fast-developing area of law.
This volume takes stock of the rapid changes to the law of unjust enrichment over the last decade. It offers a set of original contributions from leading private law theorists examining the philosophical foundations of the law. The essays consider the central questions raised by demarcating unjust enrichment as a separate area of private law - including how its normative foundations relate to those of other areas of private law, how the concept of enrichment relates to property theory, how the remedy of restitution relates to principles of corrective justice and what role mental elements should play in shaping the law.
Does a right to property exist under international law? The traditional answer to this question is no: a right to property can only arise under the domestic law of a particular nation. But the view that property rights are exclusively governed by national law is obsolete. Identifiable areas of property law have emerged at the international level, and the foundation is now arguably being laid for a comprehensive international regime. This book provides a detailed investigation into this developing international property law. It demonstrates how the evolution of international property law has been influenced by major economic, political, and technological changes: the embrace of private property by former socialist states after the end of the Cold War; the globalization of trade; the birth of new technologies capable of exploiting the global commons; the rise of digital property; and the increasing recognition of the human right to property. The first part of the book analyzes how international law impacts rights in specific types of property. In some situations, international law creates property rights, such as rights in aboriginal lands, deep seabed minerals, and satellite orbits. In other areas, it harmonizes property rights that arise at the national level, such as rights in intellectual property, rights in foreign investments, and security interests in personal property. Finally, it restricts property rights that may be recognized at the national level, such as rights in celestial bodies, contraband, and slaves. The second part of the book explores the thesis that a global right to property should be recognized as a general matter, not merely as a moral precept but rather as an entitlement that all nations must honour. It establishes the components of such a right, arguing that the right to property at the international level should be seen in the context of five key components of ownership: acquisition, use, destruction, exclusion, and transfer. This highly innovative book makes an important contribution to how we conceptualize the protection of property and to the understanding that much of this protection now takes place at the international level.
This book explores how the design, construction, and use of robotics technology may affect today’s legal systems and, more particularly, matters of responsibility and agency in criminal law, contractual obligations, and torts. By distinguishing between the behaviour of robots as tools of human interaction, and robots as proper agents in the legal arena, jurists will have to address a new generation of “hard cases.” General disagreement may concern immunity in criminal law (e.g., the employment of robot soldiers in battle), personal accountability for certain robots in contracts (e.g., robo-traders), much as clauses of strict liability and negligence-based responsibility in extra-contractual obligations (e.g., service robots in tort law). Since robots are here to stay, the aim of the law should be to wisely govern our mutual relationships.

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