Introduction: The Oxford Handbook of the New Private Law

Oxford University Press, 2020

16 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2020

See all articles by Andrew S. Gold

Andrew S. Gold

Brooklyn Law School

John C. P. Goldberg

Harvard Law School

Daniel B. Kelly

Notre Dame Law School

Emily L. Sherwin

Cornell University - Law School

Henry E. Smith

Harvard Law School

Date Written: November 24, 2020

Abstract

“Private law” embraces the traditional common law subjects (property, contracts, and torts), as well as adjacent more statutory areas such as intellectual property and commercial law. It also includes important areas that have been neglected in the United States but are beginning to make a comeback. These include unjust enrichment, restitution, equity, and remedies more generally. “Private law” can also mean private law as a whole, which invites consideration of issues such as the public-private distinction, the similarities and differences between the various areas of private law, and the institutional framework supporting private law – including courts, arbitrators, and even custom.

The New Private Law is an approach to these subjects that aims to reinvigorate the study of private law by moving beyond reductively instrumentalist policy evaluation and narrow, rule-by-rule, doctrine-by-doctrine analysis, so as to consider and capture how private law’s various features fit and work together, as well as the normative underpinnings of these larger structures. This movement has begun resuscitating the notion of private law itself in the United States and has brought an interdisciplinary perspective to the more traditional, doctrinal approach prevalent in Commonwealth countries. The Handbook embraces a broad range of perspectives to private law – including philosophical, economic, historical, psychological, to name a few – yet it offers a unifying theme of seriousness about the structure and content of private law. This Introduction introduces the New Private Law and briefly summarizes the chapters in the volume.

Keywords: New Private Law

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Gold, Andrew S. and Goldberg, John C. P. and Kelly, Daniel B. and Sherwin, Emily L. and Smith, Henry E., Introduction: The Oxford Handbook of the New Private Law (November 24, 2020). Oxford University Press, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3736392 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3736392

Andrew S. Gold

Brooklyn Law School ( email )

250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
United States

John C. P. Goldberg

Harvard Law School ( email )

Areeda 232
1545 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-2086 (Phone)

Daniel B. Kelly

Notre Dame Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 780
Notre Dame, IN 46556-0780
United States
574-631-7690 (Phone)
574-631-8078 (Fax)

Emily L. Sherwin

Cornell University - Law School ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States

Henry E. Smith (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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