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A Historical Introduction to the Law of Obligations$
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David Ibbetson

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198764113

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198764113.001.0001

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15. Legal Change and Legal Continuity

15. Legal Change and Legal Continuity

Chapter:
(p.294) 15. Legal Change and Legal Continuity
Source:
A Historical Introduction to the Law of Obligations
Author(s):

D. J. IBBETSON

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198764113.003.0016

This chapter argues that legal change occurs by filling in gaps between the rules in the way that seems the most convenient or most just at the time; through twisting rules, or rediscovering old ones; through reformulating claims into a different conceptual category; through intervening new rules that get tacked onto existing ones; through injecting shifting ideas of fairness or justice; and through adopting wholesale procrustean theoretical frameworks into which existing law can be squeezed. Whatever changes occurred at the surface of law, and whatever accretions have been incorporated into its fabric, at a deep level the structure of the Common law of obligations remained slow-moving.

Keywords:   Common law of obligations, fairness, justice, legal change

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