08 March 2013

KCON 8 Connections

Here's a link to recordings of all the panel presentations at the 8th International Conference on Contracts (earlier post here). I realize that watching up to fourteen 1½ hour presentations by upwards of 40 law professors is not everyone's idea of a pleasant way to spend a Friday evening (or any other time for that matter). However, some very highly regarded folks are here: Jean Braucher, Sid DeLong, Nancy Kim, Chuck Knapp, and Keith Rowley to name a few contracts luminaries.

With no intention to slight anyone by omission, I think the presentations by Val Ricks ("Frontiers of Doctrine" Panel) and Dan Barnhizer ("Contracts Outside the Box" Panel) are extremely helpful.

Contracts are the principal means of social ordering in the West and increasingly so in the remainder of the world. If in 1861 Henry Maine could observe that "the movement of the progressive societies has hitherto been a movement from Status to Contract," what would he think of today's world? At least in Maine's day the substantive reality of a "status" like marriage remained unquestioned. One hundred fifty years later the same can hardly be said; marriage too is no more than contract. And as we learned from Regent Law School's "Endangered Gender" symposium (see some thoughts here), all aspects of human existence are increasingly commodified; but simply because we can doesn't mean we should (check here).

In any event, contract law is not as stodgy as you might expect, even if Contracts professors are.

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