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Dori Kimel

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Reader in Legal Philosophy

Dori Kimel is Fellow and Senior Law Tutor at New College. Having completed his D.Phil he took up a lectureship at University College London, then returned to Oxford to take up a Fellowship at New College in 2001. His teaching and research interests are in legal, moral and political philosophy, criminal law, and contract law theory. Amongst his publications is the book From Promise to Contract: Towards a Liberal Theory of Contract (Oxford 2003).


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Journal Articles

D Kimel, 'The Morality of Contract and Moral Culpability in Breach' (2010) 21 King’s Law Journal 213

D Kimel, 'Elección de un paradigma para la teoría del contrato: reflexiones sobre el modelo relacional' (2008) 10 Revista de responsabilidad civil y seguros: publicación mensual de doctrina, jurisprudencia y legislación

D Kimel, 'The Choice of Paradigm for a Theory ofContract: Reflections on the Relational Model' (2007) 27(2) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 233

D Kimel, 'Remedial Rights and Substantive Rights in Contract Law' (2002) 8 Legal Theory 313 [...]

The article examines the relationship between law and morality through the prism of the comparison between contract and promise, and seeks to expose as an over-simplification the notion that the law can systematically replicate or enforce moral practices without altering them in the process. It focuses on the apparent discord between the reluctance of courts to enforce contracts, and the view that the core contractual obligation is performance. Having argued that, by contrast to promise, the intrinsic function of contract is not to foster personal relationships but to facilitate personal detachment, the article explains the abovementioned discord as an implication of Mill’s harm principle.

D Kimel, 'Neutrality, Autonomy, and Freedom of Contract' (2001) 21 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 473 [...]

The article examines the popular notion that liberalism is committed to a particularly rigid conception of freedom of contract. The article identifies the roots of that notion in certain misconceptions of modern liberalism and of the nature of contract, and argues instead liberal theory of contract is in fact compatible with, and some cases directly requires, various forms of intervention in the freedom of contract.


D Kimel, From Promise to Contract: Towards a Liberal Theory of Contract (Hart Publishing 2003)


D Kimel, 'Promise, Contract, Personal Autonomy, and the Freedom to Change One's Mind ' in ( 2013)

D Kimel, 'Fault and Harm in Breach of Contract' in Ben Shahar and Porat (eds), Fault in American Contract Law (Cambridge University Press 2010)

Case Notes

D Kimel, 'Inadvertent Recklessness in Criminal Law' (2004) 120 Law Quarterly Review 548


Teaching: Criminal Law; Philosophy of Law

Research: jurisprudence, moral & political philosophy, criminal law and contract law

Other details

Correspondence address:

New College
Holywell Street,

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