Chapter

The Legal Background, 1870–1970

P. S. Atiyah

in The Rise and Fall of Freedom of Contract

Published in print November 1985 | ISBN: 9780198255277
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681578 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198255277.003.0020
The Legal Background, 1870–1970

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This chapter examines changes in the legal condition in England during the period from 1870 to 1970 and discusses the implications of these changes for the idea of freedom of contract. Some of the most marked changes during this period include the separation of law and policy, the decline of equity, and the rise of discretion. There was also a gradual decline in the influence of external factors or bodies of thought on the law, partly because lawyers could no longer find answers in broad theories about society, or political economy, or moral principles.

Keywords: freedom of contract; England; legal condition; law and policy; political economy; moral principles; lawyers

Chapter.  10370 words. 

Subjects: Civil Law

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