Freedom of Contract and the New Right

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

Freedom of Contract and the New Right

Show Summary Details


Freedom of Contract began as an economic and political ideal. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, however, the law started to reflect the new ideology. First there was a strong movement to repeal much obsolete legislation of a highly paternalistic character; then the tides turned, and the movement was the other way around. This chapter addresses the question of what this new swing of the pendulum is doing and would likely do to the law of contract. It also attempts to examine whether Freedom of Contract will once again become the paramount value in the private law of obligations and what consequences this shall entail. Also, a number of points with respect to how the situation today differs profoundly from the situation in the nineteenth century, resulting in a difficulty in detecting the massive shifts in ideology, are presented.

Keywords: freedom; contract; obligations; ideology; political ideal; legislation

Chapter.  13923 words. 

Subjects: Civil Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.