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Title: 'A Historical Introduction to the Law of Obligations', by David Ibbetson: Pages 1-307. 1999. Oxford University Press. Price: A$85.
Contributor(s): Lunney, Mark  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2002
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Abstract: Any book that unashamedly commits itself to an historical approach to law risks being the preserve of primarily legal historians. It is to be hoped that this excellent book by Professor David Ibbetson does not suffer this fate for, as the author notes, legal history is too important to remain within the domain of specialist legal historians. As is noted in the illuminating introduction, one can only make sense of the modern law by reference to its history. Equally importantis the role of legal history in attempts to create unified private law rules relating to obligations throughout Europe. It is only by understanding the history of the common law that may one evaluate arguments that it formed part of the wider Ius Commune of the legal systems of continental Europe, and accordingly assess the extent to which harmonisation may claim historical legitimacy.The book is divided into four main parts: form and substance in medieval law; the triumph of trespass on the case; the modern law of tort and contract; and unjust enrichment. Prior to the first part, however, there is a short but crucial "pre-history" with a description of the Roman law of obligations. This is particularly useful for a reader who has not studied Roman law, an increasinglycommon phenomenon in modern legal education.
Publication Type: Review
Source of Publication: Tort Law Review, v.10, p. 71-75
Publisher: Lawbook Co
Place of Publication: North Ryde, Australia
ISSN: 1039-3285
Field of Research (FOR): 220204 History and Philosophy of Law and Justice
HERDC Category Description: C5 Other Refereed Contribution to a Scholarly Journal
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