Private Law Theory and Legislation — Andrew Gold

Post by Andrew Gold

I want to thank John and Henry for inviting me to join the New Private Law blog.  For my initial posts, I plan to discuss some emerging topics related to the interpretation of private law.  One example involves the role of legislation in private law.  Interpretive theories often focus on private law concepts that have developed over centuries of common law adjudication.  These concepts generally hang together.  Legislation, however, is just as much a part of private law, and an increasingly important part.  And the concepts in a statute will often fit uncomfortably with common law concepts.  How should private law theory address legislation?  A helpful analysis of some of the issues is provided in Jeffrey Pojanowski’s recent paper, Private Law In The Gaps, 82 Fordham L. Rev. 1689 (2014).  My sense is that a focus on legislation’s role will raise interesting new challenges for those theorists who seek unifying accounts of private law fields.

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