Conference: Freedom, Choice and the Contract
The conference is motivated by the upcoming publication of The Choice Theory of Contracts. In the book, Hanoch Dagan and Michael Heller argue that contractual freedom exemplifies a strong right to individual autonomy rather than independence, and they situate efficiency-based and community-based accounts of contract as building blocks of an autonomy-enhancing contract law. They also argue that a liberal and general theory of contract requires the state to proactively ensure availability of a diverse range of normatively-attractive contract types in the key spheres of contract: commerce, work, home, and intimacy.
The aim of this conference is neither to celebrate Choice Theory nor to solicit book reviews. Rather, we use the book as a trigger for participants’ own accounts of contracts' role in securing freedom and facilitating choice. The conference brings together the world’s leading contract theorists to think forward on fundamental questions in the field: does contract serve freedom, and if so – how? How does (or should) contract law facilitate choice? Who should make the choices (and how) that contract law facilitates? How do (or should) the contending premises of contract relate to one another? And what is the proper relationship between Contract Law – with a capital C and L – and contract types?
The conference was co-sponsored with the Dean’s Office and The Center for Contract and Economic Organization at Columbia Law School, and by TAU Law Cegla Center for Interdisciplinary Research. Papers presented at the conference will be published in a forthcoming special issue of TAU Law leading periodical, Theoretical Inquiries in Law.
The conference was held on October 13-14, 2017 at Columbia University.