The largest private law event in the world in 2018, Obligations IX aims to consider the relationship between form and substance in the law of obligations, both at a general level and at the level of specific subject areas and doctrines. One question that may be explored is whether English and Commonwealth law has, in the past thirty years, developed a greater focus on the justifications underlying rules and doctrines, and is therefore moving towards a better balance between form and substance in the common law of obligations. Other questions that may be addressed include how the distinction between form and substance should be understood and whether it offers valuable insights. Consideration might be given to the relative strengths and weaknesses of formal and substantive analysis in particular contexts.

Both established and early-career legal scholars are invited to submit proposals to present papers addressing the conference theme, either at a general level or in relation to any aspect of the law of contract, torts, equity, or unjust enrichment. Offers of papers considering issues of form and substance in civil law systems are also welcome. Anyone wishing to offer a paper should submit a working title and an abstract (of no more than 500 words) by email to obligations-ix@unimelb.edu.au by 30 June 2017. Papers will be selected on the basis of quality, originality, engagement with the conference theme, and fit with other papers being presented at the conference. Those offering papers will be notified by 31 July 2017 at the latest whether their applications have been accepted. A waiting list may be established, depending on the level of interest. Proposals received after 30 June 2017 will be considered for inclusion in the waiting list.

Speakers whose offers of papers are accepted will be expected to meet their own travel and accommodation costs and pay a discounted registration fee. Speakers will be asked to submit fully written draft papers by 15 June 2018 for distribution to conference delegates via a password-protected website. It is expected that a small number of selected papers that are tightly focused on the conference theme will be published in an edited collection following the conference.

Further details on the Conference and the Call for Papers can be found here.