History of English contract law

The history of English contract law traces back to its roots in civil law, the lex mercatoria and the industrial revolution. Modern English contract law is composed primarily of case law decided by the English courts following the Judicature Acts and supplemented by statutory reform. However, a significant number of legal principles were inherited from recording decisions reaching back to the aftermath of the Norman Invasion.

Civil law

Norman England

The Lex Mercatoria's reception

Freedom of contract

Modern regulation

See also



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