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LX452S: HISTORY OF CONTRACT LAW THEORY (2022-2023)

Last modified: 06 Jul 2022 16:25


Course Overview

This course will focus on how the basic theoretical concepts underpinning contract law have been developed historically, in both common law jurisdictions and continental Civilian tradition. Students will be shown how the historical development of these concepts continues to influence contemporary debates on contract law, such as the place of relational contracts and the extent to which courts should intervene in unequal exchanges.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Jonathan Ainslie

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?

Yes

One or more of these courses have a limited number of places. Priority access will be given to students for whom this course is compulsory. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for more details on this process.


Course Description

Course Aims: This course will build on the doctrinal understanding of modern Scots contract law that students will have gained in Contract (LS1520). It will focus on how the basic theoretical concepts underpinning contract law - such as consensus, offer, acceptance, and the just price - have been developed historically, with reference to both common law jurisdictions such as England and the Civilian legal tradition. Students will be shown how the historical development of these concepts continues to influence contemporary debates on contract law, such as the place of relational contracts and the extent to which courts should intervene in unequal exchanges.

Structure: The first half of the course will examine the development of European contract law theory up to the widespread adoption of the “classical model” of contract in the 18th-19th centuries. The latter half of the course will explore contemporary developments in contract law theory, taking in various challenges to the “classical model” which arose in the 20th- 21st centuries. Seminar One (The Roman Contracts) will ask to what extent a unified theory of contract can be found in the Roman juristic literature. This will include discussion of the stipulatory contracts, contracts bona fidei and the requirement of consensus ad idem. Seminar Two (Aristotelianism) will discuss the natural legal theory which predominated in the medieval and Renaissance periods, fusing together the Roman juristic literature with Christian theology and an Aristotelian theory of commutative justice, or justice in exchange. Seminar Three (The Classical Model) will examine the development, rise and eventual dominance of will theory and the “classical model” of contract, with reference to its enduring formulation of the concepts of offer, acceptance, and the corresponding rights and duties of the parties. Seminar Four (Economic Analysis of Contract) will provide a basic overview of economic analysis to contract law. Seminars Four (Relational Contract Theory) will assess the theory of relational contract and contractual trust as developed by Ian Macneil and its linkage to the English law implied term of good faith. Seminar Six (Contractual Ideologies) will discuss various alternative 20th century approaches, including welfarism and critical legal studies, before concluding with Hogg’s reassertion of the classical model.


Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Seminar during University weeks 26, 28, 30, 32, 34 - 35

More Information about Week Numbers


Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Summative Assessments

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 50
Assessment Weeks 31 Feedback Weeks 34

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Individual written feedback. Group oral feedback covering broad themes.

Word Count 3000
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualAnalyseKnowledge of key stages in the historical development of contract law in a common law and Civilian context.
ConceptualEvaluateAwareness of how the historical development of basic concepts in contract law influences contemporary doctrinal debates.
ConceptualEvaluateExperience in the sensitive handling of contested legal-historiographical material.
ProceduralAnalyseThe ability to extract, analyse and apply information from a variety of sources.
ProceduralApplyThe ability to communicate clearly complex ideas and arguments, both orally and in writing.

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 50
Assessment Weeks 41 Feedback Weeks 44

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Individual written feedback. Group oral feedback covering broad themes.

Word Count 3000
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualAnalyseKnowledge of key stages in the historical development of contract law in a common law and Civilian context.
ConceptualEvaluateExperience in the sensitive handling of contested legal-historiographical material.
ConceptualEvaluateAwareness of how the historical development of basic concepts in contract law influences contemporary doctrinal debates.
ProceduralAnalyseThe ability to extract, analyse and apply information from a variety of sources.
ProceduralApplyThe ability to communicate clearly complex ideas and arguments, both orally and in writing.

Formative Assessment

Oral Presentation: Group

Assessment Type Formative Weighting
Assessment Weeks 29 Feedback Weeks 29

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Group oral feedback covering broad themes.

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualAnalyseKnowledge of key stages in the historical development of contract law in a common law and Civilian context.
ProceduralApplyThe ability to communicate clearly complex ideas and arguments, both orally and in writing.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualAnalyseKnowledge of key stages in the historical development of contract law in a common law and Civilian context.
ConceptualEvaluateAwareness of how the historical development of basic concepts in contract law influences contemporary doctrinal debates.
ConceptualEvaluateExperience in the sensitive handling of contested legal-historiographical material.
ProceduralApplyThe ability to communicate clearly complex ideas and arguments, both orally and in writing.
ProceduralAnalyseThe ability to extract, analyse and apply information from a variety of sources.

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