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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

On 8 May Professor Stephen Smith of McGill University delivered the 2018 Cambridge Freshfields Lecture entitled "Rights, Wrongs, and Injustices: Taking Remedies Seriously".

Stephen Smith is internationally renowned for his work in private law. He is the James McGill Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University, and teaches and researches common law and civil law obligations and legal theory. A former law clerk to Chief Justice Brian Dickson, Professor Smith is the author of Contract Theory (2004) and Atiyah’s Introduction to the Law of Contract, 6th ed (2005). 

In the lecture, Professor Smith sought to explore the relationship between remedial and substantive law. The typical starting point is an assumption that remedies somehow confirm or rubber-stamp substantive rights. We then struggle to explain perceived shortcomings in achieving that end. The lecture focused on the characteristic common law approaches to private law disputes, and suggested that we would understand these approaches better if we discarded completely our misconceived starting assumption and focused on identifying the distinctive general principles that unite the entirety of remedial law (including the rules governing both ‘legal’ and ‘equitable’ remedies).

The Cambridge Freshfields Lecture is an annual address delivered by a guest of the Cambridge Private Law Centre, and the event is sponsored by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

More information about this lecture, including other recorded formats, the slides, and photographs from the event, is available from the Private Law Centre website.


Freshfields Lecture 2018