A Casebook on Labour Law (2018) (Preface and Chapter 1)
A Casebook on Labour Law (Hart 2018) Preface and ch 1
51 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2018
Date Written: May 1, 2018
This is the Preface and chapter 1, 'History' from A Casebook on Labour Law (Hart 2018).
The Preface introduces the central debate over the legitimacy of labour law in the 20th century: it explains why the 'Chicago School' theories, which seek to deny any justification for the existence of labour rights, have no evidential basis. The central goal of labour law, which restructures oppressive rules of property, corporations and contract, is the same as the goal of all law: the pursuit of social justice. This means that everyone should be empowered by law to realise their fullest potential, in concert with others.
Chapter 1 explores the history of labour law, starting from the Norman Invasion of Britain in 1066. It explains (1) the slow evolution of labour legislation from slavery and serfdom, (2) the development of collective voice, through freedom of contract and freedom of association in the industrial revolution, and (3) the settling of modern labour law around three principles: democracy, equality and internationalism. While it focuses on the development of thinking and legal institutions in the UK, the history is set within the development of European and international labour rights.
Keywords: Labour, law, history, theory
JEL Classification: K31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation