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6 - Future Challenges for Contract Law

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 August 2022

Catherine Mitchell
Affiliation:
University of Birmingham
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Summary

This chapter explores some of the current and future pressures on contract law that are likely to reinforce its formalist and commercialist tendencies. The first of these is the recasting of contract law as a commodity that should primarily serve the interests of commercial contractors (usually by upholding the terms of the contract) at the expense of doctrinal development. The second is the declining use of adjudication to resolve disputes, rooted in lack of support for litigation and the emphasis on non-adjudicative dispute resolution within courts themselves. The third factor is the increasing automation of contract processes, manifest in the development of ‘smart contracts’ and algorithmic contracting. These innovations are likely to require revision of the foundational understandings upon which contract law is built, notably around how contracts are created, by whom and for what purposes.

Type
Chapter
Information
Vanishing Contract Law
Common Law in the Age of Contracts
, pp. 146 - 174
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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