Civilian Foundations of Contract Law

The purpose of the course is to study the Civilian Law of Contracts, particularly the Law of Sale, as it developed from ca. 1100 AD till the end of the 19th century, with some limited comparison with the development of English law in the same period and the English use of civilian contract ideas. The Roman law of Justinian’s codification, as it was picked up in the late Middle Ages, provided the basis for this development. It was the subject of mediaeval and later commentaries; study of these will show how the texts were interpreted and eventually adapted to contemporary use. Key topics are the emergence of a general contract law with some of its aspects and the law of Sale. (In previous years the course was titled ‘Roman and Civilian laws of Contract’).

Learning outcomes: An understanding of how modern civilian doctrines emerged from the adaptation of Roman Law texts and how the emergence from a university environment gave these doctrines their distinct scholastic flavour. An understanding of basic concepts of the general civilian idea of ‘contract’ and of the civilian contract of sale in particular.