The codification of commercial law
Date of this Version
It has been my pleasure to work with John Burrows three times. First, we were fellow Professors of Law at the University of Canterbury in the late 1970s. Secondly, on my return from the United Kingdom I succeeded John as Dean and Head of Department in the 1980s. Thirdly, we have recently been colleagues on the Legislation Advisory Committee. I have always found John a wonderful colleague and friend and I am very pleased to participate in this symposium in honour of him. I have chosen a topic that he and I have discussed from time to time and on which our experiences and probably also our views differ in certain respects. This is the codification of commercial law. Let me say first of all how I define commercial law for the purpose of this paper. I define it in a broad generic way to include the law of contract, and thus follow Chitty on Contracts in thinking of the general principles of the law of contract and specific contracts. Both John and I have worked on the codification of the law of contract and have experience of the codification of commercial law using that term in the more specialised sense.