Private Law Research

Bristol has always been strong in private law. Former and current members of staff have served as Law Commissioners, been responsible for editing the leading practitioner and student texts on Contract, Tort and Succession, and edited leading journals in property law and unjust enrichment. The School is also home to the Common Law World Review, which is edited by Andrew Charlesworth and Professor Keith Stanton

Tort Law

Professor Keith Stanton has co-authored Professional Negligence (3rd ed, 1998), and led the team responsible for the ground-breaking Statutory Torts (2003). Keith Stanton, Professor Paula Giliker and Professor Ken Oliphant have each authored or co-authored textbooks on the Law of Tort, including Lunney and Oliphant, Tort Law: Text and Materials and Giliker and Beckwith, Tort. Paula Giliker has recently published a leading comparative text on vicarious liability: Vicarious liability in tort: A comparative perspective (CUP, 2010) and, most recently, The Europeanisation of English Tort Law (Hart, 2014).

Keith Stanton is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Tort Law Review and the Journal of Professional Negligence, Paula Giliker is on the editorial board of the International and Comparative Law Quarterly, whilst Ken Oliphant is UK correspondent for the Torts Law Journal and general editor of The Law of Tort (Butterworths Common Law Series) to which Paula Giliker contributes. Ken Oliphant has been working as Director of the Institute for European Tort and Insurance Law in the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, but is now returning to the University of Bristol Law School in 2014.

Tort law is also taught Dr Judy Laing, who has written widely in the field. Dr Laing’s monograph, Care or Custody? Mentally Disordered Offenders in the Criminal Justice System(OUP, 1999) was awarded a prestigious SLS prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship by a Younger Scholar in 2000. Professor Joanne Conaghan, our Head of School, also teaches tort and is co-author (with Wade Mansell) of The Wrongs of Tort (1999). Professor Conaghan has written extensively about tort law with a particular focus on the gender implications of doctrinal categories and the broader, social policy implications of tort law as a form of civil redress.

Contract Law

Professor Paula Giliker, is author of the comparative work, Pre-Contractual Liability in English and French Law (2002) and editor of Re-examining Contract and Unjust Enrichment (2007). Luke Butler has a particular research interest in the private law dimensions of government contracts, in particular contract formation, contract administration, damages, offsetting and sales.

Comparative Private Law

Professor Paula Giliker is an expert in the field of comparative tort, contract and unjust enrichment law and has published widely in this field, with monographs on comparative vicarious liability law and articles comparing private law in common and civil law jurisdictions (with particular emphasis on French and German law). She is also on the editorial book of leading comparative journal, the International and Comparative Law Quarterly. As President of the British Association of Comparative Law, Paula Giliker actively promotes the study of comparative law, which includes training for postgraduate students in this discipline. Paula Giliker also runs a LLM unit on European Contract law and she has written extensively on the European Commission proposals to harmonise European Contract law. Dr Magda Raczynska has developed research in comparative law of personal property and contract. She has published on comparative law of trusts and security interests.

Property Law

There is much activity within the broader area of Property and Trusts. Professor Dave Cowan is an active researcher in Housing Law, with particular reference to its Socio-Legal dimension. Chris Willmore focuses on planning and environmental issues. In addition, Professor David Clarke, now a Pro-Vice-Chancellor, has led publication on the law of commonhold. He is now General Editor of the standard practitioner work, Clarke on Commonhold: Law, Practice and Precedents (Looseleaf, 2004). Luke Butler has taught the law of trusts for a number of years and has a particular interest in the commercial appropriation of the trust.