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A Historical Introduction to the Law of Obligations$
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David Ibbetson

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198764113

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198764113.001.0001

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2. Unity and Fragmentation of the Medieval Law of Contract

2. Unity and Fragmentation of the Medieval Law of Contract

(p.24) 2. Unity and Fragmentation of the Medieval Law of Contract
A Historical Introduction to the Law of Obligations


Oxford University Press

This chapter shows that with the emergence of the action of covenant as a specifically and exclusively contractual remedy, set the stage for the Common law of obligations to align itself with Roman law. If events had been allowed to run their course, trespass would have become the equivalent of the Romans' delictal ability and covenant the equivalent of their contract, leaving entitlement-based action of debt-retinue to cover the proprietary ground of Romans' vindication. That this did not occur resulted from a tiny procedural tightening in the rules of proof applicable to the action of covenant but not to trespass or debt, as a result of which it became less attractive to plaintiffs.

Keywords:   covenant, Common law of obligations, Roman law, trespass, debt-retinue

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