Peter Brian Herrenden Birks 1941–2004

Alan Rodger and Andrew Burrows

in Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 150 Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, VI

Published by British Academy

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780197264232
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734243 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Peter Brian Herrenden Birks 1941–2004

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Peter Birks was one of the most influential legal scholars of his generation. He owed that influence to the admiration in which his rigorous and innovative thinking was held by lawyers and judges, not only in this country, but throughout the Commonwealth and in Europe. Birks was most widely known through his writings, but in Oxford, in particular, his reputation also rested on his teaching, especially in the famous restitution seminars that he conducted with various colleagues over three decades. He had an enormous impact on the law of restitution/unjust enrichment both in the universities and in the courts. The ‘Birksian school of thought’ has pursued, and will continue to pursue, rational transparency and elegant coherence in legal reasoning, not only in the law of restitution, but across English private law generally.

Keywords: law professor; lawyer; legal scholar; law of restitution; unjust enrichment; biography; obituary

Chapter.  14131 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Theory, Methods, and Historiography

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