"I realise that some of my criticisms may be mistaken; but to refuse to criticize judgements for fear of being mistaken is to abandon criticism altogether... If any of my criticisms are found to be correct, the cause is served; and if any are found to be incorrect the very process of finding out my mistakes must lead to the discovery of the right reasons, or better reasons than I have been able to give, and the cause is served just as well."

-Mr. HM Seervai, Preface to the 1st ed., Constitutional Law of India.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Some Very Interesting Reads on Contract Law and Arbitration

Recently, two interesting articles were published in SSRN on contract law

The first article titled “Contract Law, Party Sophistication and the New Formalism”, penned by Meredith Miller, criticizes the law as it exists on the impact of party sophistication in the interpretation of contracts. The author does not wholly discount the party sophistication concept. Rather, according to the author, the courts have not addressed the issue of party sophistication in a meaningful way. Do check this article out (44 pages).

In the case of Oceanbulk Shipping and Trading SA v TMT Asia Ltd [2010] UKSC 44, the UK Supreme Court dealt with the law pertaining to whether “without prejudice” communications during negotiations would form a part of factual matrix that is relevant extrinsic aid to contract interpretation.

This article titled “Without Prejudice Interpretation – With Prejudice Negotiations” by Adrian A. S. Zuckerman critically analyses the decision. Do check it out. Extremely interesting and short (10 pages).

Also do check out this case comment in the UK SC Blog on the said case.
A few interesting articles on arbitration. (ideally these must be a part of the monthly roundup of arbitration articles but then these are very hot reads.

David Schwartz hates using the term “mandatory arbitration” to the situation where the party that solely drafted the contract enforces the arbitration clause contained in it against the other party which has weaker bargaining power and had no positive role to play in the drafting of the contract. He wants to call such arbitration as “claim-suppressing arbitration” in this article titled “Claim-Suppressing Arbitration: the New Rules”. Do check it out. He is in favour of the passing of the Arbitration Fairness Act (USA). Interesting read.

Empirical Legal Studies Blog has come up with links to a couple of empirical studies on arbitration. I have not read the articles but the description in the ELS blog post projects the articles to be very interesting. The links to the said articles are provided below (subscription required):

An Empirical Study of Employment Arbitration: Case Outcomes and Processes, 8 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 1 (2011) by Alexander Colvin

Punitive Damages in Securities Arbitration: An Empirical Study, 39 Journal of Legal Studies 497, 518 (tbl. 4) (2010) by Stephen J. Choi & et al.

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