n Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg - Some thoughts on the future of private law : aantekeninge

Volume 2011, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0257-7747
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2207



A question that is puzzling me is whether after more than 2 500 years of legal history private law has not reached its final stage. Is there still anything new to be expected, for instance in contract law or in tort law? Has everything not already been said?

This raises the question of progress, which is such a central concept in our civilisation. Is there still progress to be made in private law? The notion of progress is of course a difficult one. When exactly can it be said that a new rule means progress? Success or failure of legal innovation cannot be measured immediately and may never be subject to rigorous empirical proof. (See Duffy "Inventing invention: a case study of legal innovation" 2007 Texas Law Review 1 5.)

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