Form and Substance in Contract Law

P. S. Atiyah

in Essays on Contract

Published in print August 1990 | ISBN: 9780198254447
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681493 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Form and Substance in Contract Law

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There are two different types of legal reasoning: reasons of substance and formal reasons. Substantive reasons often lie behind the formal reasons. An example of the first type is when considering what rule should be formulated to govern a particular situation. One needs to weigh up a variety of arguments bearing on the desirability of the rightness of that rule. The second type, however, typically connotes a requirement for writing, sealing, or perhaps for registration or attestation of some kind. This chapter first focuses on providing several examples of formal reasons to evaluate some issues that often surround its context, before directing attention to the case of contract. Also presented in this chapter is a brief discussion on the decline of using formal reasons and the rationale for such a trend.

Keywords: legal reasoning; substance; formal reasons; contract; rule

Chapter.  12936 words. 

Subjects: Civil Law

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