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Full-Text Articles in Law

Can Contract Emancipate? Contract Theory And The Law Of Work, Hanoch Dagan, Michael A. Heller Jan 2021

Can Contract Emancipate? Contract Theory And The Law Of Work, Hanoch Dagan, Michael A. Heller

Faculty Scholarship

Contract and employment law have grown apart. Long ago, each side gave up on the other. In this Article, we re-unite them to the betterment of both. In brief, we demonstrate the emancipatory potential of contract for the law of work.

Today, the dominant contract theories assume a widget transaction between substantively equal parties. If this were an accurate description of what contract is, then contract law would be right to expel workers. Worker protections would indeed be better regulated by – and relegated to – employment and labor law. But contract law is not what contract theorists claim. Neither is contract ...


Obsolescence: The Intractable Production Problem In Contract Law, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott Jan 2021

Obsolescence: The Intractable Production Problem In Contract Law, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Contract law has long suffered from an institutional problem: Which legal institution can best create an efficient law for commercial contracts that can overcome "obsolescence” – the persistence of rules that only solve yesterday’s contracting problems? Until the early 20th century, contract law was largely created by common law courts. The law's default rules were efficient when created and courts updated them as commerce changed. But there were few rules and the common law process is slow. In response, the 20th century saw public and private lawmaking bodies enact commercial statutes in discrete legal areas such as secured credit ...


Contractual Evolution, Matthew Jennejohn, Julian Nyarko, Eric L. Talley Jan 2021

Contractual Evolution, Matthew Jennejohn, Julian Nyarko, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

Conventional wisdom portrays contracts as static distillations of parties’ shared intent at some discrete point in time. In reality, however, contract terms evolve in response to their environments, including new laws, legal interpretations, and economic shocks. While several legal scholars have offered stylized accounts of this evolutionary process, we still lack a coherent, general theory that broadly captures the dynamics of real-world contracting practice. This paper advances such a theory, in which the evolution of contract terms is a byproduct of several key features, including efficiency concerns, information, and sequential learning by attorneys who negotiate several deals over time. Each ...


Investigating The Contract Production Process, Stephen J. Choi, Robert E. Scott, G. Mitu Gulati Jan 2021

Investigating The Contract Production Process, Stephen J. Choi, Robert E. Scott, G. Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

Contract law and theory have traditionally paid little attention to the processes by which contracts are made. Instead, contracts among sophisticated parties are assumed to be full articulations of the desires of the parties; whatever the process, the outcome is the same. This article compares sovereign debt contracts from US and UK firms, with different production processes, that are trying to do the same thing under very similar legal regimes. We find that that the production process likely matters quite a bit to the final form that contracts take.


Incorporating Free, Prior And Informed Consent (Fpic) Into Investment Approval Processes, Kelly Dudine, Sam Szoke-Burke Jul 2020

Incorporating Free, Prior And Informed Consent (Fpic) Into Investment Approval Processes, Kelly Dudine, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Investment approval processes are the gateway through which governments set the agenda for their country’s investment environment. Yet too often these processes fail to incorporate meaningful requirements regarding participation in decision-making by Indigenous and other affected communities, increasing the risk of under-performing and conflict-ridden investments.

Enabling meaningful participation by rights holders and obtaining and maintaining their Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) throughout different investment approval processes can help governments to fulfill their legal obligations, mitigate financial and political risk, and, ultimately, attract more sustainable land-based investments.

Featuring concrete guidance and drawing on case studies from Kenya, Liberia, Mexico ...


Mechanisms For Consultation And Free, Prior And Informed Consent In The Negotiation Of Investment Contracts, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Jun 2020

Mechanisms For Consultation And Free, Prior And Informed Consent In The Negotiation Of Investment Contracts, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Investor-state contracts are regularly used in low-and middle-income countries to grant concessions for land-based and natural resource investments, such as agricultural, extractive industry, forestry, or renewable energy projects. These contracts are rarely negotiated in the presence of, or with meaningful input from, the people who risk being adversely affected by the project. This practice will usually risk violating requirements for meaningful consultation, and, where applicable, free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), and is particularly concerning when the investor-state contract gives the investor company rights to lands or resources over which local communities have legitimate claims.

This article explores how consultation ...


Law In The Time Of Covid-19, Katharina Pistor Apr 2020

Law In The Time Of Covid-19, Katharina Pistor

Books

The COVID-19 crisis has ended and upended lives around the globe. In addition to killing over 160,000 people, more than 35,000 in the United States alone, its secondary effects have been as devastating. These secondary effects pose fundamental challenges to the rules that govern our social, political, and economic lives. These rules are the domain of lawyers. Law in the Time of COVID-19 is the product of a joint effort by members of the faculty of Columbia Law School and several law professors from other schools.

This volume offers guidance for thinking about some the most pressing legal ...


Specific Performance, Hanoch Dagan, Michael A. Heller Jan 2020

Specific Performance, Hanoch Dagan, Michael A. Heller

Faculty Scholarship

When should specific performance be available for breach of contract? This question has engaged generations of legal economists and philosophers, historians and comparativists. Yet none of these disciplines have provided a persuasive answer. This Article provides a normatively-attractive and conceptually-coherent account. Respect for the autonomy of the promisor’s future self explains why expectation damages are, and should be, the ordinary remedy for contract breach. Also, this same normative commitment to the contracting parties’ autonomy best justifies the “uniqueness exception,” where specific performance is typically awarded, and the personal services exclusion, where it is not. For the most part, the ...


On Trust, Law, And Expecting The Worst, Elizabeth F. Emens Jan 2020

On Trust, Law, And Expecting The Worst, Elizabeth F. Emens

Faculty Scholarship

This Review has three parts. Part I aims to convey something of the breadth and interest of Hasday’s fascinating new book, foregrounding the role of gender and beginning to touch the subject of trust. Part II delves briefly but widely into the theme of trust, which pervades the book and invites further examination. Part III presents a framework that combines affective trust and epistemic curiosity and applies this framework to illuminate and sort Hasday’s proposals for reform; to critique a recent, dramatic change in the evidentiary treatment of marital confidences; and to devise a novel approach to prenuptial ...


Legal Frameworks & Foreign Investment: A Primer On Governments’ Obligations, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke, Rumbidzaii Mawen Nov 2019

Legal Frameworks & Foreign Investment: A Primer On Governments’ Obligations, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke, Rumbidzaii Mawen

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Legal frameworks, and how they interact, are often invisible in the day to day. Yet they are powerful forces that influence government actions and that help to shape who benefits and who loses from foreign investment. Understanding these legal frameworks, and how they interact, is critical for anyone concerned with how foreign investment can be better harnessed to support, rather than weaken, sustainable development and human rights.

This primer provides a brief overview of host government obligations under international investment law, international human rights law, domestic law, and relevant investor-state contracts. It also highlights some of the ways in which ...


Divergence And Convergence At The Intersection Of Property And Contract, Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci, Carmine Guerriero Jan 2019

Divergence And Convergence At The Intersection Of Property And Contract, Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci, Carmine Guerriero

Faculty Scholarship

In this Article, we study rules that solve the conflict between the original owner and an innocent buyer of a stolen or embezzled good. These rules balance the protection of the original owner’s property and the buyer’s reliance on contractual exchange, thereby addressing a fundamental legal and economic trade-off. Our analysis is based on a unique, hand-collected dataset on the rules in force in 126 countries. Using this data, we document and explain two conflicting trends. There is a large amount of first-order divergence: both rules that apply to stolen goods and those that apply to embezzled goods ...


Some Issues On The Law Of Direct Damages (Us And Uk), Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2019

Some Issues On The Law Of Direct Damages (Us And Uk), Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

When a contract is breached both US and UK law provide that the non-breaching party should be made whole. I propose a general principle that should guide implementation – the contract is an asset and the problem is one of determining the change in value of that asset at the time of the breach. In the simplest case, the breach of a contract for the sale of a commodity in a thick market, the change in the value of the asset is simply the contract-market differential; the contract-as-asset notion doesn’t add much. It becomes more useful as we move away ...


Governing Land Investments: Do Governments Have Legal Support Gaps?, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Aug 2018

Governing Land Investments: Do Governments Have Legal Support Gaps?, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In the wave of efforts to encourage and support more “responsible” land investments, one aspect has been largely overlooked: are governments equipped with the legal and technical support needed to effectively negotiate and conclude investment contracts that lead to responsible outcomes?

CCSI researched how host governments access legal support in the planning, negotiation, and monitoring of land investments, with a view to better understanding where legal support gaps for governments exist, and how these can be addressed by governments themselves, as well as by donors, support providers and investors.

By scrutinizing “legal support gaps,” CCSI sought to identify possible weak ...


Governing Land Investments: Do Governments Have Legal Support Gaps?, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Mar 2018

Governing Land Investments: Do Governments Have Legal Support Gaps?, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In the wave of efforts to encourage and support more “responsible” land investments, one aspect has been largely overlooked: are governments equipped with the legal and technical support needed to effectively negotiate and conclude investment contracts that lead to responsible outcomes?

CCSI researched how host governments access legal support in the planning, negotiation, and monitoring of land investments, with a view to better understanding where legal support gaps for governments exist, and how these can be addressed by governments themselves, as well as by donors, support providers and investors.

By scrutinizing “legal support gaps,” CCSI sought to identify possible weak ...


At The Intersection Of Land Grievances And Legal Liability: The Need To Reconsider Contract Rights And Expectations At The Supranational Level, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke Dec 2017

At The Intersection Of Land Grievances And Legal Liability: The Need To Reconsider Contract Rights And Expectations At The Supranational Level, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

This Article explores how host governments’ legal obligations can affect or constrain their ability to address “land grievances,” which are defined as concerns raised by local individuals or communities in response to negative impacts of land-based investments. Obligations under international investment law, international human rights law, and investor-state contracts can be in tension or can directly conflict with one another, creating complexity for governments seeking to respond to land grievances. To explore the legal considerations that governments must navigate in this context, this Article considers several options that governments could pursue to respond to land grievances. In all of the ...


Articulating A Rights-Based Argument For Land Contract Disclosure, Jesse Coleman, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Mar 2017

Articulating A Rights-Based Argument For Land Contract Disclosure, Jesse Coleman, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In March 2017, CCSI presented a working paper titled "Articulating a Rights-Basted Argument for Land Contract Disclosure" at the World Bank Land & Poverty Conference. The paper explores whether and how existing state obligations under human rights law require disclosure of land contracts and more transparent contracting processes around land investments. It focuses on the extent to which guidelines for responsible land-based investment, which encourage greater transparency, reflect existing host and home state obligations. Based on a review of relevant human rights law and authoritative interpretations thereof, the paper articulates rights-based arguments for land contract disclosure, based in particular on rights ...


Mechanisms For Consultation And Free, Prior And Informed Consent In The Negotiation Of Investment Contracts, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Mar 2017

Mechanisms For Consultation And Free, Prior And Informed Consent In The Negotiation Of Investment Contracts, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Investor-state contracts are regularly used in low-and middle-income countries to grant concessions for land-based investments, such as agricultural or forestry projects. These contracts are rarely negotiated in the presence of, or with meaningful input from, the people who risk being adversely affected by the project. This has serious implications for requirements for meaningful consultation, and, where applicable, free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC), and is particularly important in situations in which investor-state contracts grant the investor rights to lands or resources over which the community has legitimate claims.

The paper explores how consultation and FPIC processes can be integrated into ...


Guide To Land Contracts: Forestry Projects, International Senior Lawyers Project, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Sam Szoke-Burke Jan 2017

Guide To Land Contracts: Forestry Projects, International Senior Lawyers Project, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Agricultural investment contracts and forestry projects can be complex, with complicated provisions that are difficult to understand. To assist non-lawyers in better understanding agricultural investment contracts, such as those available on the Open Land Contracts repository, CCSI has developed a Guide to Land Contracts: Forestry Projects.

This Guide, prepared by International Senior Lawyers Project staff and volunteers in collaboration with the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, aims to assist the Open Land Contracts repository users in unpacking the technical provisions and language typically found in forestry contracts in order to better understand the contracts and the potential implications of specific ...


Resourcecontracts.Org – A Searchable Repository For Publicly Available Mining And Petroleum Contracts, Sophie Thomashausen Apr 2016

Resourcecontracts.Org – A Searchable Repository For Publicly Available Mining And Petroleum Contracts, Sophie Thomashausen

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

ResourceContracts.org is an online, searchable and user-friendly repository of publicly available mining and petroleum contracts from around the world. It currently includes over 1,000 from 72 countries. In addition to PDF scans of each executed contract, the site includes: the full text of contracts in searchable format; plain language summaries of each contract’s key social, environmental, human rights, fiscal, and operational terms; and tools for searching and comparing contracts. Users can search contracts by country, natural resource, year, by type of contract, company, corporate group, or by annotation category.


A Silver Lining? Impact Of Commodity Price Fall On Good Governance In Sierra Leone, Herbert M'Cleod, Nicolas Maennling, Lisa E. Sachs Mar 2016

A Silver Lining? Impact Of Commodity Price Fall On Good Governance In Sierra Leone, Herbert M'Cleod, Nicolas Maennling, Lisa E. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

From 2002 to 2013, resource-rich countries in Africa enjoyed the benefits of a commodity boom, using increased revenues to embark on major infrastructure projects in roads, rail, ports, and housing. But when commodity prices fell starting in 2011 (see figure below), public sector revenues took a major hit with private sector companies scaling back operations, delaying investment decisions and suspending unprofitable operations. Especially as the number and size of investments in the sector contracted, Governments felt increased pressure to collect, manage and spend those revenues more efficiently. As a result, the fall in commodity prices and mounting economic pressure actually ...


Guide To Land Contracts: Agricultural Projects, International Senior Lawyers Project, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Sam Szoke-Burke Mar 2016

Guide To Land Contracts: Agricultural Projects, International Senior Lawyers Project, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Agricultural investment contracts can be complex, with complicated provisions that are difficult to understand. This Guide provides explanations for a range of common provisions, and includes a Glossary of legal and technical terms. It assists non-lawyers in better understanding agricultural investment contracts, such as those available on the Open Land Contracts repository.

The Guide was prepared by International Senior Lawyers Project staff and volunteers in collaboration with the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment.


Natural Resource Contracts As A Tool For Managing The Mining Sector, David Kienzler, Perrine Toledano, Sophie Thomashausen, Sam Szoke-Burke Jun 2015

Natural Resource Contracts As A Tool For Managing The Mining Sector, David Kienzler, Perrine Toledano, Sophie Thomashausen, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In this report commissioned by the Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), CCSI examined the different types of legal regimes governing mining projects in 18 countries to gain a better understanding of mining deals granted and negotiated under different minerals regimes. CCSI compared the provisions of 30 mining contracts from 13 countries, analyzed a selection of mining-related legislative texts from 18 countries, and surveyed the experiences of mining contract negotiations through dozens of interviews with experts, government officials, company representatives, and members of civil society organizations.

The report ...


Meeting Summary Of Colloquium On Policy, Law, Contracts, And Sustainable Development, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Nov 2014

Meeting Summary Of Colloquium On Policy, Law, Contracts, And Sustainable Development, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In November 2014, CCSI and the Institute for Human Rights and Business co-convened a colloquium on policy, law, contracts, and sustainable development, with a particular focus on large-scale investments in the extractive industries and the agriculture sector. The colloquium provided an opportunity for practitioners to share information on their related work, as well as to reflect on current practices and remaining gaps regarding efforts to embed sustainability and human rights into large-scale deals. This outcome document provides a summary of the discussion, while its annex includes information on participants’ relevant programs, initiatives, and tools.


Mining Contracts: How To Read And Understand Them, International Senior Lawyers Project, Openoil, Revenue Watch Institute-Natural Resource Governance Institue, Vale Columbia Center On Sustainable International Investment Dec 2013

Mining Contracts: How To Read And Understand Them, International Senior Lawyers Project, Openoil, Revenue Watch Institute-Natural Resource Governance Institue, Vale Columbia Center On Sustainable International Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Books

In December 2013, a diverse group of 14 experts from Africa, Asia, North and South America, and Europe worked together for five days to produce a user-friendly guide in English and in French on "Mining Contracts: How to Read and Understand Them," to help policy makers, civil society, citizens, and the media understand the often complex and opaque terms of mining contracts. With increasing calls for contract transparency – and the growing recognition of the importance of the terms of contracts for resource-rich countries – this book explains in layman’s terms the principal features of a contract, compares different approaches to ...


Devil In The Bidding Detail, Lisa E. Sachs, Jacky Mandelbaum, Perrine Toledano Sep 2012

Devil In The Bidding Detail, Lisa E. Sachs, Jacky Mandelbaum, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In light of the recent boom in natural resource prices, India is one of them many countries facing heightened scrutiny of the allocation and terms of their resource deals. In India, that scrutiny has uncovered a multi-billion dollar controversy over coal block allocations that has gridlocked Parliament. More generally, citizens in resource-producing countries around the world are asking whether the public is getting a fair value for their countries resources, or whether investors and politicians are walking away with the prize. Finally, the important questions are being asked: how should resources be managed to ensure that they benefit the citizenry ...


Background Paper For Second Workshop On Contract Negotiation Support For Developing Host Countries, Vale Columbia Center On Sustainable International Investment, Humboldt-Viadrina School Of Governance Jul 2012

Background Paper For Second Workshop On Contract Negotiation Support For Developing Host Countries, Vale Columbia Center On Sustainable International Investment, Humboldt-Viadrina School Of Governance

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) and the Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance (HSVG) have initiated a process to discuss the desirability and feasibility of mechanisms to provide negotiation support for developing host countries in their negotiations with major investors.

At a first workshop held in October 2011, participants agreed on the need for an expansion of support for developing countries in their contract negotiations.

A second workshop was held at Columbia University in July 2012 that undertook a gap analysis between the existing sources of support for developing countries in relation to complex contracts and the countries’ needs for ...


Paper On The Business Case For Transparency, Perrine Toledano Jun 2012

Paper On The Business Case For Transparency, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

CCSI strongly supports the transparency of contracts and tax flows. CCSI shares the belief of many stakeholders that transparency is essential to leverage extractive industries for sustainable development and is in the mutual interest of all stakeholders. However, some industry players continue to voice the concern that increased transparency would be harmful for their business. Therefore, CCSI is working to also establish the business case for transparency.

In one such case, some industry players have been lobbying against the regulations developed by the Security and Exchange Commission to implement the mandatory disclosure provisions of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform ...


Just One Click: The Reality Of Internet Retail Contracting, Ronald J. Mann, Travis Siebeneicher Jan 2008

Just One Click: The Reality Of Internet Retail Contracting, Ronald J. Mann, Travis Siebeneicher

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay explores the enforceability and presence of pro-seller contract terms in internet retail contracts. Analyzing case law on internet contract enforceability and a survey of 500 firms'websites, it demonstrates that even the enforceability of many internet contracts is questionable. It then presents new data that suggest that the prevalence of pro-seller contract terms is far less than usually assumed. It suggests that the benefit of making these terms enforceable is outweighed by the loss of user friendliness required for the necessary interface changes. Finally, it uses fresh statistical analyses to determine what relationship, if any, exists between enforceability ...


Just One Click: The Reality Of Internet Retail Contracting, Ronald J. Mann, Travis Siebeneicher Jan 2007

Just One Click: The Reality Of Internet Retail Contracting, Ronald J. Mann, Travis Siebeneicher

Faculty Scholarship

Scholars for decades have noted the possibility that standard-form contracts disadvantage consumers. For many years, that literature focused on the idea that sellers with market power draft contracts that are disadvantageous to consumers. Law and economics scholars, however, have been skeptical about that hypothesis, pointing out that a strategy of inefficient terms rarely would be the optimal technique for exploiting market power. In recent years, however, the debate has shifted as new product distribution channels have changed the technology of contracting. Now, even firms without market power can exploit the cognitive failures of their customers through "shrouding" of terms and ...


If You Prompt Them, They Will Rule: The Warranty Of Habitability Meets New Court Information Systems, Mary Zulack Jan 2007

If You Prompt Them, They Will Rule: The Warranty Of Habitability Meets New Court Information Systems, Mary Zulack

Faculty Scholarship

A recent conference on housing rights invited participants to think about the impacts, actual and potential, of the judge-made doctrine of the implied warranty of habitability in residential tenancies. This essay focuses on the warranty, and suggests establishing technology systems for judges to help them give new
life to the doctrine and thereby to accelerate actual repair of rental housing through court mandates.

The conference attendees seemed to agree that when trial judges are presented with claimed breaches of the warranty of habitability, they have not, on the whole, used the doctrine to order that repairs actually be effectuated. They ...