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Contract Theorists: What Did They Ever Do for Us in Construction Law?

Paper number

Matthew Bell

May 2016

A paper based on the highly commended entry in the Hudson Prize essay competition 2015

The paper argues that, though 'contract theory' and its writers seem to have little relevance to construction law, there are in fact strong parallels between the way in which construction law is conceived and practised and commercial contract theory, especially perspectives grounded in the 'minimalist' school. It proposes, moreover, that greater interaction between these strands may well be to the benefit of construction lawyers and contract theorists, as well as their respective constituencies.

A. Introduction - B. Contract theory and construction law: symbiosis, or ships in the night? - C. Does construction law need legal theory? - D. Contract law minimalism and private legal systems: an overview - E. Construction law: a haven for contract law minimalism and PLSs? - F. Conclusion: what could contract theorists do for construction law?

The author: Matthew Bell is a Senior Lecturer and Co-Director of Studies in Construction Law at Melbourne Law School, The University of Melbourne, Australia.

Text: 17 pages