Topic:  "Property or Loss: A Tension in Private Law"
Presenter:  Professor Ben McFarlane (University College London)
Time:  Mon, 11 July : 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Contact:  Megan Niebling - CPD Team, ph: 3238 5109 , email:
More Information:  "There is a tension in private law between what might be seen as a property-based approach, which focusses on identifying and vindicating rights, and a loss-based approach, which instead focusses on identifying and compensating losses. A number of recent decisions, for example, are more consistent with the loss-based approach, which in some cases is used to extend liability (by allowing recovery of losses even in the absence of a recognised right), and in others is used to limit liability (by refusing to vindicate a right in a case where no loss has been suffered). In some of those decisions, judges have referred to the need to adopt a "realistic" or "economic" approach, focussing on overall gains or losses, as opposed to a "narrow" or "legalistic" view which looks instead to the parties' initial rights. I will consider the effects of such developments, and the possible ways of reconciling them with more traditional private law rules." 
Further Details:  Space is limited, to register email : 

About Australian Centre for Private Law Events

The mission of the ​Australian Centre for Private Law is to foster the development and understanding of the private law through advanced theoretical, doctrinal, empirical and historical research, and the dissemination of that research through education and professional outreach. By supporting the work of its Fellows, the ACPL seeks to promote research in all areas of private law and to establish itself as a research centre of national and international importance. The core initiatives of ACPL are:

Research: To advance a deeper understanding of the structure, principles and policies of the private law through advanced theoretical, comparative, and empirical analysis.

Education: To promote, facilitate and disseminate the results of that research for the benefit of Australia’s social and economic fabric.

Professional Outreach: To engage the judiciary and members of the legal profession in discussion about the values, goals and methods of private law and the respective roles of the judiciary, the legal profession and the academy in the interpretation and reform of private law.

The ACPL embraces all branches of private law, including the law of contract, torts, trusts, equity, property, unjust enrichment, including theoretical and jurisprudential dimensions and contextual applications thereof.


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