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Commercial Law

Commercial Law (4th edn)

Eric Baskind, Greg Osborne, and Lee Roach
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date: 04 December 2023

p. 31. An introduction to commercial lawlocked

p. 31. An introduction to commercial lawlocked

  • Eric Baskind, Eric BaskindSenior Lecturer in Law, Liverpool John Moores University and Visiting Research Fellow, Oxford Brookes University
  • Greg OsborneGreg OsborneFormerly Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Portsmouth
  •  and Lee RoachLee RoachSenior Lecturer in Law, University of Portsmouth


This chapter, which determines whether or not commercial law is a distinct legal topic, begins with a much quoted passage from Professor Sir Roy Goode stating that the answer to the question may, in fact, be no. According to Goode, if commercial law is used to refer to ‘a relatively self-contained, integrated body of principles and rules peculiar to commercial transactions, then we are constrained to say that this is not to be found in England’. Without such unifying principles, it merely amounts to a ‘label which is useful for gathering together diverse material with no obvious home of its own, so as to aid exposition on a lecture course or in a textbook, or for the better organisation of the business of the High Court of Justice … but no more’. The chapter also charts the evolution of commercial law, from the creation of the lex mercatoria through to the development of transnational commercial law. Finally, the chapter discusses the various sources of commercial law.

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