The present article, whilst focusing on the English Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999, does not canvass the more specific details of that Act which have been dealt with quite comprehensively elsewhere. The focus of this article is broader and is dual in nature. It will examine, first, the justification for the 1999 Act and, in particular, attempts to respond to the critique that the Act is wholly anathema to the underlying justification of the doctrine of privity itself. It will also consider whether or not the 1999 Act is an effective improvement over the existing (as well as future) situation at common law; in particular, this article examines the argument as to whether the 1999 Act is (in large part) merely the common law situation in legislative garb. It will be seen that the arguments surrounding this deceptively simple issue are in fact rather complex and of wider relevance to the method utilised in legislative reform as well as to the relationship between legislative reform and common law reform. However, it will be submitted that the 1999 Act nevertheless provides for flexibility without the risk of the loss of legitimacy which would result if the language of the 1999 Act were unduly stretched in order to do justice in hard cases.
Journal of Contract Law
On Justificiation and Method in Law Reform: The Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999. (2002). Journal of Contract Law. 18, (1), 32-51. Research Collection School Of Law.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/sol_research/211
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