The legal institution of negotiorum gestio, which originated in ancient Roman law and has since been adopted by most civilian jurisdictions, has to regulate starkly differing interests: On the one hand, there is the necessity to protect individuals against unwelcome interferences with their personal affairs. On the other hand, there is a strong public interest in the encouragement of spontaneous help, especially in emergency situations. While the latter aspect features prominently in Roman texts on negotiorum gestio, the former is emphasised by the common law which has not adopted the doctrine and is even said to be hostile towards claims by so-called “officious intermeddlers”. However, there are situations of necessitous intervention where even in the common law, reimbursement of expenses will be granted, and conversely where, in Roman law, strict objective requirements were used to limit the scope of the intervener’s actio contraria against the principal. Thus, it appears that the civil law (at least in its origins) and the common law might not be as far apart in this area as they seem to be on the face of it.

To register for this event please complete the form below. Registration will close at 4pm on 3 June after which a Teams link will be sent to participants.

Please note that the discussion group meeting is normally open only to researchers affiliated with the IECL or members of the Oxford Law Faculty. If you have a special interest in one of the topics being discussed and would like to request being admitted to the event as an outside guest attendee, please get in touch with Professor Birke Häcker in advance of the meeting.

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