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Law of Obligations

Geoffrey Samuel, Professor, Kent Law School, UK, and Professor affilié, École de droit, Sciences-Po, Paris, France
Designed with English law students and jurists in mind, this book will be an invaluable tool for researching contract, tort and the law of obligations. It is an original contribution not only to European private law but equally to comparative legal studies.
Extent: 400 pp
Hardback Price: $180.00 Web: $162.00
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN: 978 1 84844 764 6
Availability: In Stock
Paperback Price: $60.00 Web: $48.00
Publication Date: 2011
ISBN: 978 1 84980 059 4
Availability: In Stock
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  • Law - Academic
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  • European Law
  • Law of Obligations
This comprehensive book presents the English law of contract and tort in the context of a European law of obligations.

Law of Obligations provides the reader with an overview of contract and tort as well as an introduction to the law of obligations in the civil (or continental) law tradition. The book is considered an extensive introduction to the western law of obligations, but with an emphasis on English law. Arising out of the analysis of the two legal traditions, Geoffrey Samuel raises questions about the appropriateness of importing the obligations category into the common law. He also highlights what has been termed the ‘harmonisation debate’; should the law of obligations be harmonised at a European – or even international level? The debate raises some fundamental issues not just about legal traditions and about the law of obligations itself, but also about comparative law theory and methodology.

Designed with English law students and jurists in mind, this book will be an invaluable tool for researching contract, tort and the law of obligations. It is an original contribution not only to European private law but equally to comparative legal studies.
‘. . . there is no doubt that Samuel’s work will rightfully find a place in the canon of new works which any defender of the distinctiveness of the English legal tradition will wish to have on his bookshelf.’
– Edinburgh Law Review

‘This book presents a brilliant account of the most important and current doctrines of tort and contract law, as well as some central aspects of unjust enrichment and remedies. Professor Geoffrey Samuel guides the reader with disconcerting ease and sophistication through the essential substance of the law of obligations. With the help of legal history and theory, he also analyses the specificity of English law as compared to the civil law and warns against the dangers of transplanting without care categories and concepts from one place to the other. In doing so, Professor Samuel offers a fundamental contribution to the understanding of the currently much debated Europeanization of private law. Law students and scholars as well as practitioners will very much enjoy the compelling sharpness of the analysis and the clarity of the language.’
– Franz Werro, Centre of Transnational Legal Studies, London, UK

‘The added value of this book is in both the unusually rich teaching experience which inspires its design – the author has for many years risen to the challenge of making the common law comprehensible to students formed within the civilian tradition – and the remarkable depth of his interdisciplinary and comparative research in the field of legal method and epistemology, which underlies its content.’
– Horatia Muir Watt, Sciences Po Law School, France

‘Professor Samuel has drawn on his extensive knowledge of several legal systems to produce a valuable and timely work of comparative law. Many aspects of private law are examined from a common law and from a civil law perspective and in the light of modern European harmonisation documents. This is essential reading for common lawyers seeking to understand the civil law, for civilians seeking to understand the common law, and offers to both groups a better understanding of their own systems.’
– Stephen Waddams, University of Toronto, Canada
Contents: Preface 1. Theory and Method: Background to the Law of Obligations 2. History and Structure of the Law of Obligations 3. General Theory of Obligations 4. Obligations and the Common Law 5. Contractual Obligations: General Provisions 6. Enforcing Contracts 7. Escaping from Contracts 8. Unperformed Contracts and Appropriate Remedies 9. Tortious Obligations: General Provisions 10. Liability and Intentional Harm 11. Liability for Unintentional Harm 12. Liability for Things 13. Liability for People 14. Liability for Words 15. Escaping Liability 16. Beyond Contract and Tort: Restitution 17. Transnational Law of Obligations? Bibliography Index