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The trial: how procedure shapes substance

MacMillan, C. (2008) The trial: how procedure shapes substance. King's Law Journal, 19 (3). pp. 465-488. ISSN 0961-5768

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The rules and the principles of the common law are formed from the cases decided in courts of common law. The unique nature of the evolution of the common law has long been the subject of study. Less frequently studied has been the impact of procedure upon the development of substantive law. This paper examines how the procedures applicable to the trial of a case can affect the substance of the resulting decision. The focus of the examination is the decision in Bell v Lever Bros [1932] AC 161. While the case has long been regarded as a leading, albeit confusing, contract law case it is also greatly concerned with the conduct of litigation. This paper argues that the substantive decision was largely determined by the civil procedure available. Different rules of civil procedure, it is suggested, would have resulted in a better decision in the English law of contract.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:33263
Uncontrolled Keywords:Bell; Contract; Procedure; Trial
Publisher:Hart Publishing

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