The development of the law of obligations across the common law world has been, and continues to be, a story of unity and divergence. Its common origins continue to exert a powerful stabilising influence, carried forward by a methodology that places heavy weight on the historical foundations of legal principles. Divergence is, however, produced by numerous factors, including national and international human rights instruments, local statutory regimes, civil law influences, regional harmonisation, local circumstances and values and different political and legal cultures. The essays in this collection explore the forces that produce divergence, the countervailing forces that generate cohesion and consistency in the common law of obligations, and the influence that the major common law jurisdictions continue to exert over one another in this area of law.
The chapters in this book were originally presented at the Seventh Biennial Conference on the Law of Obligations held in Hong Kong in July 2014. A second collection, entitled Divergences in Private Law (ISBN: 9781782256601), will focus on particular departures from the common law mainstream and the causes and effects of those deviations.