Dazed and Confused: Accidental Mixtures of Goods and the Theory of Acquisition of Title

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Abstract:

This paper explores the law of accidental mixtures of goods. It traces the development of the English rules on mixture from the seminal nineteenth century case of Spence v Union Marine Insurance Co to the present day, and compares their responses to those given by the Roman law, which always has been claimed as an influence on our jurisprudence in this area. It is argued that the different answers given by English and Roman law to essentially the same problems of title result from the differing bases of these legal systems. Roman a priori theory is contrasted with the more practical reasoning of the common law, and while both sets of rules are judged to be coherent on their own terms, it is suggested that the difference between them is reflective of a more general philosophical disagreement about the proper functioning of a legal system, and the relative importance of theoretical and pragmatic considerations.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-2230.6603003

Publication date: May 1, 2003

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