Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-sjtt6 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-14T13:03:19.226Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

2 - Contract Common Law Trends

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 August 2022

Catherine Mitchell
Affiliation:
University of Birmingham
Get access

Summary

This chapter briefly examines contract law trends over the past 200 years or so. The chapter explores the development of the common law of contract, identifying the broad shift from the classical law of the 1800s to the neo-classical law characteristic of the second half of the twentieth century. By the second half of the twentieth century, thanks to the rise of the consumer and empirical evidence demonstrating the minor role played by contracts and contract law in business practice, the classical law model appeared to be under considerable pressure from realist and contextualist rivals that stressed the life of a contract outside its formal express terms. The shift to a more standards-based, neo-classical contract law in response to these tensions was not easily confined to consumer contracts, and there was plenty of scope for importing the broad values of ‘consumer-welfarism’ into commercial contracts. The move to a contextual method of interpretation and the willingness to relax doctrines such as consideration in response to business realities suggested further classical law disintegration. The chapter notes that this process now seems to have gone into reverse.

Type
Chapter
Information
Vanishing Contract Law
Common Law in the Age of Contracts
, pp. 26 - 52
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×