European Review of Private Law

Volume 23 (2015)

Volume 23 (2015) / Issue 2

Larry A. Dimatteo, 'An American Perspective on the Works of Hugh Beale: The Legal Scholar as an Academic Lawyer' (2015) 23 European Review of Private Law, Issue 2, pp. 159–178


Abstract: This article analyses the work of Professor Hugh Beale. It reviews his scholarly publications to gain insight into his monumental work as an influential member of the English and Wales Law Commission, Lando Commission, as well as his work on the Draft Common Frame of Reference (DCFR) and Common European Sales Law (CESL). It also examines the role of the academic lawyer in reforming law, the theoretical-practical divide in legal scholarship, themes and purposes of Beale's work, the impact of Beale's work on American scholarship, and American scholarship's influence on Beale's work. It concludes that Beale's work aims at providing the tools for the development of a comparative or European interpretation of contract law whether at the regional or national law levels. In short, soft and hard law instruments, like the Principles of European Contract Law (PECL), DCFR, and CESL, are the foundation for bridging the divergences in common and civil law, and for the forging of a European meaning that transcends national borders. In the end, Hugh Beale's scholarly work and work in law reform is an example of the functional approach to legal scholarship and law reform - looking at things anew and seeing what works the best.

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ISSN: 0928-9801
ID: ERPL2015014