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The Construction, Sources, and Implications of Consensualism in Contract

Lesson from France

  • Book
  • © 2023


  • Represents the first English-language manuscript on the topic
  • Challenges the accepted macro-narratives of European legal history
  • Offers a ground-breaking reassessment of the role of consent in contract law

Part of the book series: Studies in the History of Law and Justice (SHLJ, volume 27)

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About this book

This book offers a comprehensive introduction to French contract law with a focus on the role of consent and the evolution of consensualism, considering its immediate historical sources. The book provides a clear, in-depth, and analytical discussion of the contingency of consensualism and how the development of consensual ideas across time and transnational geographical settings has specifically underpinned modern French contract law, which has inspired other legal systems and continues to do so. It also challenges the macro-narratives of European legal history and redefines consensualism so that it may be properly understood, addressing its manifest contemporary misinterpretations. Thorough, engaging, well-structured and inventive, there is no other English-language scholarly work that offers a similar analysis.

“This monograph makes an evident contribution to the field by offering an original interpretation of several provisions in the Code Civil which relate to the law of contract. The author demonstrates an impressive grasp of Latin, French and English sources as well as knowledge of Roman law, legal history, and contemporary French law. It is well-referenced and offers an extensive bibliography”.  – Dr Stephen Bogle, Senior Lecturer in Private Law, University of Glasgow, UK

“The author brings a critical perspective to bear throughout the monograph and develops a clear and quite sophisticated position on the interaction between consensualism and formalism in Roman and French law and the intervening European ius commune”.  – Prof Hector MacQueen, Emeritus Professor of Private Law, University of Edinburgh, UK


Table of contents (9 chapters)

  1. Idea and Role of Consent in the Development of a Taxonomy of Contract in Ancient Law

  2. Reception, Relevance, Evolution, and Implications in the Civil Code of France: De Lege Lata

  3. Rethinking the French Perspectives on Consensualism: De Lege Ferenda

Authors and Affiliations

  • London, UK

    Kane Abry

About the author

Dr. Kane Abry is a lawyer and teacher at the University of Edinburgh. He has several publications. His research interests include EU competition law, commercial law, international law, constitutional law, and legal history. He has a particular interest in contract law, especially regarding formation, interpretation, and breach in a historical and comparative context.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: The Construction, Sources, and Implications of Consensualism in Contract

  • Book Subtitle: Lesson from France

  • Authors: Kane Abry

  • Series Title: Studies in the History of Law and Justice

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Law and Criminology, Law and Criminology (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-37640-5Published: 29 September 2023

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-37643-6Due: 30 October 2023

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-37641-2Published: 28 September 2023

  • Series ISSN: 2198-9842

  • Series E-ISSN: 2198-9850

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XIV, 256

  • Number of Illustrations: 4 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Theories of Law, Philosophy of Law, Legal History

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