Contract Law and Contract Practice

Contract Law and Contract Practice : Bridging the Gap Between Legal Reasoning and Commercial Expectation

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An oft-repeated assertion within contract law scholarship and cases is that a good contract law (or a good commercial contract law) will meet the needs and expectations of commercial contractors. Despite the prevalence of this statement, relatively little attention has been paid to why this should be the aim of contract law, how these 'commercial expectations' are identified and given substance, and what precise legal techniques might be adopted by courts to support the practices and expectations of business people. This book explores these neglected issues within contract law. It examines the idea of commercial expectation, identifying what expectations commercial contractors may have about the law and their business relationships (using empirical studies of contracting behaviour), and assesses the extent to which current contract law reflects these expectations. It considers whether supporting commercial expectations is a justifiable aim of the law according to three well-established theoretical approaches to contractual obligations: rights-based explanations, efficiency-based (or economic) explanations and the relational contract critique of the classical law. It explores the specific challenges presented to contract law by modern commercial relationships and the ways in which the general rules of contract law could be designed and applied in order to meet these challenges. Ultimately the book seeks to move contract law beyond a simple dichotomy between contextualist and formalist legal reasoning, to a more nuanced and responsive legal approach to the regulation of commercial agreements.

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  • Hardback | 312 pages
  • 162.56 x 236.22 x 25.4mm | 430.91g
  • 01 Dec 2013
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Hart Publishing
  • Oxford
  • English
  • 184946121X
  • 9781849461214
  • 609,141

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Author Information

Catherine Mitchell is a Reader in Law at the University of Hull.

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Review quote

Mitchell's book is a very valuable contribution to our understanding of and thinking about relational contract theory...Her book deserves to be read by every serious student of contract law. -- Hugh Beale Journal of Law and Society

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