Empire or Residue: Competing Visions of the Contractual Canon

Florida State University Law Review, Vol. 26, Summer 1999

Posted: 27 Dec 1999

See all articles by Ian Ayres

Ian Ayres

Yale University - Yale Law School; Yale University - Yale School of Management

Abstract

A lively and on-going scholarly debate centers on whether contract is dead or whether contract principles inform an ever increasing range of legal relationships. In reaching wildly variant conclusions, different scholars have used different definitions of "contract." In this paper, I adopt a weak version of the imperialist view of contract's domain and suggest that an area of law should be considered contractual if parties can privately reorder a substantial portion of their legal relations. This definition, in turn, provides a framework for the evaluation of normative contract issues, including: (1) whether particular rules should be mandatory or merely defaults; (2) and if defaults, which default should be chosen?; and (3) what should be the necessary and sufficient conditions for contracting around the default?

Suggested Citation

Ayres, Ian, Empire or Residue: Competing Visions of the Contractual Canon. Florida State University Law Review, Vol. 26, Summer 1999 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=201188

Ian Ayres (Contact Author)

Yale University - Yale Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
203-432-7101 (Phone)
203-432-2592 (Fax)

Yale University - Yale School of Management

135 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
1,396
PlumX Metrics