The Influence of Comparative Law on the English Law of Obligations

The Common Law of Obligations: Divergence and Unity (Hart), 2015

Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 31/2015

21 Pages Posted: 19 May 2015

See all articles by Andrew Burrows

Andrew Burrows

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Date Written: June 30, 2014

Abstract

This paper examines the influence of comparative law on the English law of obligations. The central part comprises a survey of the last 25 years of decisions in the House of Lords and UK Supreme Court which seeks to assess the influence of comparative common and civil law on the English law of tort, contract, and unjust enrichment. This shows that, in that period, the House of Lords and Supreme Court have made reference to the law in other common law jurisdictions in 51% of cases in contract, 64% of cases in tort, and 71% of cases in unjust enrichment. The main common law jurisdiction referred to in all three areas of the law of obligations has been Australia. In contrast, the reference to civil law has been very much more limited. There have been references to civil law in only 10% of contract cases, 10% of tort cases, and 8% of unjust enrichment cases. The paper goes on to consider the implications of this data.

Keywords: law of obligations, contract, tort, unjust enrichment, comparative law

Suggested Citation

Burrows, Andrew Stephen, The Influence of Comparative Law on the English Law of Obligations (June 30, 2014). The Common Law of Obligations: Divergence and Unity (Hart), 2015, Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 31/2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2605921

Andrew Stephen Burrows (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

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Oxford, OX1 3UJ
United Kingdom

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