The Law of Obligations: Essays in Celebration of John Fleming

The Law of Obligations: Essays in Celebration of John Fleming

The Law of Obligations: Essays in Celebration of John Fleming

The Law of Obligations: Essays in Celebration of John Fleming

Synopsis

The late John Fleming, emeritus Professor of Law in the University of California at Berkeley, was the pre-eminent torts lawyer of the age; his Law of Torts has influenced generations of students and scholars, and remains a classic of legal literature. In this volume, distinguished academics and judges from around the world pay tribute to him in a collection of essays which range widely across tort law, legal theory, legal history and comparative law. Topics discussed include: tort and human rights; the duty of care in negligence; codification of the law of obligations in Europe; the basis of strict liability in particular and of responsibility generally in tort law; and aspects of products liability. These stimulating essays have much to say about the past, present and future of the law of obligations and will be of great interest to scholars and lawyers of all legal systems. From the editors' preface John Fleming was one of the most influential writers on the law of torts and comparative law in the English-speaking world this century. His towering contribution to scholarship is evidenced not only by the great prestige his work attracts in academic circles but also by the frequency and high respect with which his work is cited by judges in appellate courts of many jurisdictions. The authors of this collection of essays on the law of obligations intend it as a tribute to his achievements.

Excerpt

John Fleming was one of the most influential writers on the law of torts and comparative law in the English-speaking world this century. His towering contribution to scholarship is evidenced not only by the great prestige his work attracts in academic circles, but also by the frequency and high respect with which his work is cited by judges in appellate courts of many jurisdictions. the authors of this collection of essays on the law of obligations intend it as a tribute to his achievements.

In his great work, The Law of Torts, John was able to synthesize vast areas of precedent, uncovering and distilling broad principles of law applicable throughout the common-law world while also noting the local variations in legal doctrine which are the lifeblood of an area of law so patently sensitive to social mores. the sweep of John's coverage allowed him not merely to record legal rules but also to analyse areas of instability in the law of one jurisdiction in the light of the variety of approaches taken to the problem in other places. This approach revealed much of the common law as necessitating policy choices and also demonstrated to the common lawyer a practical benefit of engaging in comparative law studies. It is an approach which academics continue to find richly rewarding and students find a revelation.

Most of the contributors also knew John as a kind friend whose personal and intellectual generosity was legendary. Each of us could cite many instances when John freely gave much-valued support, encouragement, and wise counsel. We hope that this work will be a token of our gratitude to him and a reflection of the warmth in which his memory is held.

This book was commenced before John fell ill and we had intended it as a surprise for him. However, when John was visiting Oxford in the early summer of 1996 he lightly told us over lunch that he was not well. We decided to reveal to him the planned book (then already under way) and the number and range of people keen to contribute essays in his honour. As editors we wish to thank all the contributors warmly for their commitment to this project, the news of which gave John great pleasure.

We had hoped to have contributions from both judges and academics across many jurisdictions. the exigencies of judicial and professorial . . .

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