Telling Tales about Relational Contracts: How Do Judges Learn about the Lived World of Contracts?
Linda Mulcahy, ‘Telling tales about relational contracts: how do judges learn about the lived world of contracts?’ in David Campbell, Linda Mulcahy and Sally Wheeler (eds), Changing Concepts of Contracts: Essays in honour of Ian Macneil (Palgrave Macmillan Socio-Legal Series 2013)
35 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2021
Date Written: January 18, 2013
This chapter looks at the interface of commercial, judicial and socio-legal visions of contract by considering where tales about relational contracts are told and to whom. It suggests that, in addition to winning intellectual arguments about the relative merits of the classical, neoclassical and relational paradigms, scholars need to consider how practitioners and judges are exposed to relational ways of thinking. Particular attention is paid to four issues. What impact has relational contract scholarship had on judicial reasoning in England to date? Are disputes with strong relational characteristics as likely to reach the attention of the judiciary as other types of contract disputes? What impact are changes to the volume of cases reaching trial likely to have on the development of contract doctrine in the future? Is the increasing use of commercial mediation facilitating different ways of talking about commercial relationships outside of the litigation system.
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