Saturday, September 6, 2008
The AALS Section on Contracts solicits papers and proposals for our 2009 Annual Meeting program on “Immutable Rules and Contract Law,” scheduled for Friday, January 9, from 8:30-10:00 a.m.
In the last three decades, legal scholars have paid considerable attention to conceptualizing and prudentially designing contractual rules. Most of this attention has been placed on default rules (e.g., Should we prefer "majoritarian" rules that mimic the likely intent of the parties or "penalty" rules that purportedly force information revelation?). Part of this concentration on immutable rules has been due to a sense that the rationales for immutable rules were well understood and widely accepted. In recent years, important contributions within legal scholarship, humanities, and the social sciences have alerted us to a number of ways that contracting may fail (due to transaction costs, cognitive failure, externalities, path dependence, etc), which in turn reasserts the importance of understanding the role of immutable rules. This panel is intended both to survey and to evaluate the set of immutable rules within a system of contract and commercial law, concentrating on three questions: (1) What are the key immutable rules within contract law? (2) What are the principal policy rationales behind immutable rules in contract law? (3) How well equipped is contract law (compared to other areas of law) to contend with these policy concerns.
If you are interested in participating, please e-mail your paper or proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org not later than Monday, September 29, 2008.
[Keith A. Rowley]