John Cartwright has been Official Student (Fellow and Tutor) in Law at Christ Church since 1982, and Professor of the Law of Contract in the University since 2008. (He was Lecturer in Law from 1982 until 2004, then Reader in the Law of Contract from 2004 to 2008.) He is also a Solicitor. In 2007 he was appointed as Professor of Anglo-American Private Law at the University of Leiden and for a number of years he has been professeur invité at the University of Paris II (Panthéon-Assas). His research interests are in the fields of English and comparative private law, especially contract and land law. He teaches the undergraduate courses on Contract, Comparative Private Law, Land Law, Tort and Roman Law, and the BCL/MJur course on European Private Law (Contract). In October 2015 he became Director of the Oxford Law Faculty's Institute of European and Comparative Law.


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  • J Cartwright, 'Equity's Connivance in the Evasion of Formalities' in E. Koops and W.J. Zwalve (eds), Law & Equity: Approaches in Roman Law and Common Law (2014)
    Examination of the consequences of the failure to comply with formality requirements in property transactions in English law, and comparisons with Roman law.
    ISBN: 978900426219-5
  • J Cartwright, Formation and Variation of Contracts (Sweet & Maxwell 2014)
    Book discussing in detail the law on pre-contractual negotiations and the formation of the agreement, contractual formalities, and the doctrines of consideration and promissory estoppel as they apply in both the formation of a contract and the variation of an existing contract.
    ISBN: 9781847038029
  • J Cartwright and M Schmidt-Kessel, 'Defects in Consent: Mistake, Fraud, Threats, Unfair Exploitation' in Gerhard Dannemann and Stefan Vogenauer (eds), The Common European Sales Law in Context (Oxford University Press 2013)
    Comparison of English law on defects in consent in the formation of a contract with German law and European private law (the proposed Common European Sales Law and the Draft Common Frame of Reference).
    ISBN: 9780199678907
  • J Cartwright, ''Authenticity' and 'Authentic Instruments': The Perspective of English Law' in L. Aynès (ed), L'authenticité (La documentation Française 2013)
    Comparative discussion of English law and French law provisions regarding formalities for private law transactions (contract and property) with focus on the absence from English law of notarised and other 'authentic' instruments. Part of published proceedings of Commission on Authenticité established by the Conseil supérieur du notariat, France under the direction of Professor Laurent Aynès.
    ISBN: 9782110095879
  • J Cartwright, Contract Law: An Introduction to the English Law of Contract for the Civil Lawyer, 2nd edn (Hart Publishing 2013)
    Second edition of book designed to introduce English contract law to lawyers with a civil law background.
    ISBN: 9781849464796
  • J Cartwright, 'La preuve en droit continental et en common law - Le point sur la preuve en matière des contrats en droit anglais.' (2013) La Semaine Juridique Notariale et Immobilière 26
    Discussion of the significance of writing in English law of contract. Article is in French.
    ISBN: 0242-5785
  • J Cartwright, Misrepresentation, Mistake and Non-Disclosure, 3rd edn (Sweet & Maxwell 2012)
    Third edition of work originally published in 2002 (second edition 2007).
    ISBN: 9780414049550
  • J Cartwright, '\\\\\\\'Choice is Good.\\\\\\\' Really?' (2011) 7 European Review of Contract Law 335
    Discussion of the option 4 (the 'Optional Instrument') in the Commission's Green Paper on policy options for progress towards a European Contract Law for consumers and businesses (2010). [Paper first presented at SECOLA conference, Leuven, January 2011.]
    ISBN: 1614-9920
  • J Cartwright and EH Burn, Cheshire and Burn's Modern Law of Real Property, 18th edition (Oxford University Press 2011)
    New edition of established text on Land Law
    ISBN: 978-0-19-959340-8
  • J Cartwright, 'Defects of Consent in Contract Law' in AS Hartkamp, MW Hesselink, EH Hondius, C Mak, CE du Perron (ed), Towards a European Civil Code, 4th edn (Kluwer Law International 2011)
    Comparative discussion of defects of consent (mistake, misrepresentation, fraud, duress, etc) in English, French and German contract law and under the Draft Common Frame of Reference.
    ISBN: 978-90-411-3357-1
  • J Cartwright, 'La réception linguistique de l’avant-projet de réforme: traduire l’avant-projet en anglais' in Pierre Catala (ed), L’art de traduction: L’accueil international de l’avant-projet de réforme du droit des obligations (Editions Panthéon-Assas 2011)
    Discussion of difficulties of translation of the l’avant-projet de réforme du droit des obligations into English; publication of paper originally given at colloquium at the Senate, Paris, on 1 April 2008.
    ISBN: 978-2-913397-99-6
  • J Cartwright, 'Liability in Tort for Pre-Contractual Non-Disclosure' in A Burrows and E Peel (eds), Contract Formation and Parties (OUP 2010)
    Discussion and criticism of recent cases holdinbg that a fraudulent breach of a duty of disclosure is actionable within the tort of deceit.
    ISBN: 9780199583706
  • J Cartwright, J Beatson and A Burrows, Anson's Law of Contract (29th edn OUP 2010)
    New edition of classic text on contract law
    ISBN: 9780199282470
  • J Cartwright, 'The English Law of Contract: Time for Review?' (2009) 17 European Review of Private Law 155
    Discussion of aspects of the English law of contract which are in need of reform, and the mechanisms by which reform can be achieved. Revised text of Inaugural Lecture delivered on 7 October 2008 in acceptance of the Chair of Anglo-American Private Law at the University of Leiden.
    ISBN: 0928-9801
  • J Cartwright, 'Interpretation of English Law in Light of the Common Frame of Reference' in H. Snijders and S. Vogenauer (eds), Content and Meaning of National Law in the Context of Transnational Law (Sellier 2009)
    Discussion of how English courts may be faced with interpreting the Cmmon Frame of Reference, with particular reference to duties of good faith in negotiation and performance of contacts.
    ISBN: 9783866531277
  • J Cartwright, S Vogenauer and S Whittaker (eds), Reforming the French Law of Obligations (Hart Publishing 2009)
    Edited volume of comparative reflections on the Avant-projet de réforme du droit des obligations et de la prescription, based on papers from colloquium held in March 2007. Articles by J. Cartwright at pp. 51-70 (‘Negotiation and Renegotiation: An English Perspective’), pp. 359-380 (‘Reforming the French Law of Prescription: An English Perspective’); and pp. 409-411 (Summary of discussions); jointly with S. Whittaker at pp. 425-444 (‘Translating the Avant-projet de réforme’) and translation of the Avant-projet into English (pp. 479-915, odd numbered pages). Whole volume edited by J. Cartwright, S. Vogenauer and S. Whittaker
    ISBN: 9781841138053
  • J Cartwright, 'The Fiction of the 'Reasonable Man'' in AG Castermans, J Hijma, KJO Jansen, P Memelink, HJ Snijders, CJJM Stolker (ed), Ex Libris Hans Nieuwenhuis (Kluwer 2009)
    The 'reasonable man' appears in tort, contract and criminal law, but personifies different standards in each. So the 'reasonable man' is a fiction.
    ISBN: 9789013069228
  • J Cartwright, 'Unilateral Mistake in the English Courts: Reasserting the Traditional Approach' (2009) Singapore Journal of Legal Studies 226 [Case Note]
    Case note on Statoil ASA v Louis Dreyfus Energy Services LP
  • J Cartwright and E H Burn, Maudsley & Burn\'s Land Law Cases & Materials, 9th edition (OUP 2009)
    Case book on Land Law
    ISBN: 9780199226177
  • J Cartwright, 'Analyse comparée de la responsabilité précontractuelle dans les droits européens' in O. Deshayes (ed), L’avant-contrat: Actualité du processus de formation des contrats (PUF, collection CEPRISCA 2008)
    Comparison of the approaches of different European legal systems to liability between parties during the negotiations for a contract. Published paper from conference on ‘L’avant-contrat’, Le Centre de droit privé et de sciences criminelles d’Amiens, Université de Picardie Jules Verne, 4 April 2007.
    ISBN: 978-2-95187-128-1
  • J Cartwright, 'L’obligation de négocier? Un domaine de concurrence entre droit anglais et droit français des contrats.' in J. du Bois de Gaudusson and F. Ferrand (eds), La Concurrence des Systèmes Juridiques (Presses Universitaires d’Aix-Marseille 2008)
    Comparison of the different approaches of French and English law to the acceptance (or not) of an obligation to negotiate during the precontractual phase. Published paper from conference on ‘La concurrence des systèmes juridiques’, Institut de droit comparé Edouard Lambert, Lyon, 20 October 2006
    ISBN: 9782731406245
  • J Cartwright and M Hesselink, Precontractual Liability in European Private Law (Cambridge University Press 2008)
    A volume within the Common Core of European Private Law: a comparative study of the legal nature of the precontractual phase and the liability which may follow a break-off of precontractual negotiations. The study comprises specialist reports from 16 national legal systems, and other perspectives, with Editors' introduction and conclusions.
    ISBN: 9780521516013
  • J Cartwright, 'Excluding Liability for Misrepresentation' in A Burrows and E Peel (eds), Contract Terms (Oxford University Press 2007)
    Published version of paper from Oxford-Norton Rose Colloquium 2006.
    ISBN: 978 0 19 922937 6
  • J Cartwright, 'Protecting Legitimate Expectations and Estoppel: English Law' in B Fauvarque-Cosson (ed), La Confiance Légitime et l'Estoppel (Société de Législation Comparée 2007)
    Discussion of the role of estoppel and the protection of legitimate (or reasonable) expectations in English contract law. Contribution to the 17th Congress of the International Academy of Comparative Law, Utrecht, July 2006. Also published (separately) on-line in the Electronic Journal of Comparative Law at
    ISBN: 978 2 908199 53 6



Research projects


Research programmes

Research Interests

Contract, Tort, Property Law, Comparative Law

Options taught

Contract, Land Law, Tort, Comparative Private Law, Roman Law (Delict - FHS)

Research projects