What is a 'Legal Relationship'? A Comparative Analysis

Event date
24 May 2022
Event time
13:00 - 14:00
Oxford week
TT 5
Faculty Members
Members of the University
IECL Seminar Room and online
Professor Emmanuel Jeuland

Notes & Changes

We hope to run this event in person and online. However, seating in the IECL Seminar Room is limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please complete the registration form below to indicate how you would like to attend.

What do we mean when we talk about a legal relationship? It seems to be a term of everyday language without specific content. It is simply used to indicate that a relationship is in the sphere of law. Thus, in the common law doctrine of the intention to create a legal relation, what is at stake is a formation of a contract; the same is true in the so-called relational contract. So paradoxically, there is no legal concept of legal relationship in common law or in civil law (rarely present in legal dictionaries). However, in the new Chinese Civil Code, it is a concept that structures all the chapters, even in family matters. The concept of legal relationship (Minshi Guanxi) comes from Germany (Savigny-Windscheid) but differs from it because it is not only based on rights, but on the trilogy of rights-obligations-liabilities (according to Z. Wei). Then quite recently, there have been legal philosophers promoting the concept of legal relations with a feminist approach (Nedelsky, 2011, Law’s Relations, Oxford University Press) or a Neo-kantian approach (Somek, 2017, Legal Relations, Cambridge University Press). Moreover, the concept of legal relation is present in many other recent codifications (Quebec, Romania, Russia, etc.). As a result, it is a concept that has become as universal as contract or right. Would it be possible to find a common, albeit minimal, content of the concept of legal relation in comparative law? If such would it be possible to address new issues such as the possibility of a legal relationship with natural entities?

This event is open only to members of Oxford University. To register for it please complete the form below using your SSO credentials. Registration will close at 10am on the morning of the seminar after which a Teams link will be sent to those who have registered to attend online.

Registration form

Found within

Comparative Law