Rights-Threats, Wrongs and Injustices: The Common Law’s Causes of Action

(2017) 27 New Zealand Universities Law Review 1033

31 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2018

See all articles by Stephen Smith

Stephen Smith

McGill University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: December 10, 2017

Abstract

On what grounds are private law remedies awarded? This question has received surprisingly little attention from legal scholars. Although the circumstances in which particular kinds of remedies are awarded have been discussed in detail, there have been few attempts to draw general principles from these discussions. This essay attempts to fill this lacuna. Focusing on private law remedies that require defendants to do or not to do something (eg, specific performance, injunctions, damages, restitution), the essay argues that there are three basic “causes of action” in the common law: rights-threats, wrongs and injustices. The essay also briefly discusses the meaning of “remedy” and the general role of judicial remedies in private law.

Keywords: remedies, private law, damages, specific performance, injunctions, contract, tort, equity, restitution

JEL Classification: K10, K11, K12, K13, K41

Suggested Citation

Smith, Stephen, Rights-Threats, Wrongs and Injustices: The Common Law’s Causes of Action (December 10, 2017). (2017) 27 New Zealand Universities Law Review 1033. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3099670

Stephen Smith (Contact Author)

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1W9
Canada
1-514-398-6633 (Phone)
1-514-398-3233 (Fax)

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