Category Archives: General

Noam Kolt, ‘Governing AI Agents’

ABSTRACT While language models and generative AI have taken the world by storm, a more transformative technology is already being developed: ‘AI agents’ – AI systems that can autonomously plan and execute complex tasks with only limited human oversight. Companies that pioneered the production of tools for generating synthetic content are now building AI agents […]

van Laarhoven and Claerhoudt, ‘A New Leaf: Is It Time to De-objectify Plants in Private Law?’

ABSTRACT In civil law jurisdictions, plants have traditionally been classified as ‘objects’ (or ‘things’) under private law, reflecting an age-old tendency, certainly in the Western world, to underestimate and undervalue plants. Recent legal debates increasingly acknowledge the special nature of plants. Perhaps the most eye-catching debate in this context is the one on Rights of […]

Ela Leshem, ‘Dead Bodies as Quasi-Persons’

ABSTRACT This Article argues that American law treats dead bodies as quasi-persons: entities with a moral status between things and persons. The concept of quasi-personhood builds on dead bodies’ familiar classification as quasi-property. Just as quasi-property implicates only a subset of the rights usually associated with property, quasi-personhood implicates only a subset of the moral […]

Marie-France Fortin, ‘Introduction to The King Can Do No Wrong – Constitutional Fundamentals, Common Law History, and Crown Liability

ABSTRACT ‘The king can do no wrong’ remains one of the most fundamental yet misunderstood tenets of the common law tradition. Confusion over the phrase’s historical origins and differing meanings has had serious consequences, making it easier for the state to escape liability for the harm caused to individuals by governmental officials or institutions. This […]

Samuel Freeman, ‘A Response to David Blankfein-Tabachnick and Kevin A Kordana, “On Rawlsian Contractualism and the Private Law’”

INTRODUCTION In their 2022 essay, David Blankfein-Tabachnick and Kevin Kordana reaffirm and further develop their long-standing position that John Rawls’s principles of justice, including the difference principle, should apply to determine and interpret private law, including not just property and contract law, but also torts. In recent papers, Samuel Scheffler and I have made similar […]

Ahmad Swaiss, ‘Fork in the Road: Should the UK Embrace a Codified Commercial Law System?’

ABSTRACT The persistent discourse surrounding the codification of UK commercial law presents a compelling yet intricate proposition. This Article embarks on a rigorous legal analysis, navigating the labyrinth of arguments and potential consequences associated with such a transformative undertaking. It dissects the alluring promise of clarity and consistency inherent in codification, while meticulously counterbalancing it […]

Andrew Halpin, ‘Other People’s Liberties’

ABSTRACT When we seek a fuller understanding of individual liberty including its relational character, we confront a conundrum. The evident advantages of a single individual possessing liberty cannot be simply transferred to a greater number of beneficiaries. This conundrum is confronted with the resources of Hohfeld’s analytical framework, developed specifically to elucidate the practical outworkings […]

Engstrom and Engstrom, ‘The Making of the A2J Crisis’

ABSTRACT Over the last several decades, a rising tide of high-stakes but small-scale cases has come to dominate American court dockets: debt collections, evictions, home foreclosures, and child support enforcement actions, among others. In this Essay, we ask: How did we get here? How can it be that the majority of civil cases in American […]

Dan Priel, ‘The Legal Realists on Political Economy’

ABSTRACT Alongside the well-known jurisprudential ideas associated with legal realism, some scholars have highlighted the realists’ political-economic ideas. Best known among them has been Morton Horwitz, who has argued that the realists launched an ‘attack on the legitimacy of the market’. Other scholars challenged this view and argued there was no significant connection between legal […]

Recently published: Agnew and Smith (eds), Law at the Cutting Edge

This collection celebrates the immense contribution of Sarah Worthington to the field of private law. Defining the subject broadly, experts from the judiciary and the academy address contemporary challenges arising in the fields of agency, company law and insolvency, contract law, equity, the law of money, personal property, restitution and unjust enrichment. The breadth of […]