This book presents a study of the ways in which legislation shapes and develops the law of obligations in the law. The book addresses particular questions such as the scope of purportedly exclusive legislative schemes, incremental policy-based changes, the question of when a change in the law of obligations ought to be left to the legislature and the role of law reform bodies. Recent jurisprudence of the leading courts on these issues are scrutinised.
The author examines the implications for contract, tort and unjust enrichment posed by the Brexit process, and the transition set out by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. – These areas of private law have been affected by European legislation in numerous areas, for example consumer protection, but the extent to which there will be targeted reform is unclear.
Although the primary focus is on the law of England and Wales, the argument also draws on the comparative experience of the Australian States under the various Civil Liability Acts, contrasted with the more incremental (but still problematic) legislative approach to tort in England.
Developing a coherence-based approach, the book argues that the processes of legislation ought to involve more faithful engagement with the applicable principles than is often the case. A key theme that respect for coherence is not merely a matter of doctrinal purity, but also translates into more effective legislation. This thesis is given especial currency by the challenges of Brexit for English private law.