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Tony Honoré

Tony Honoré formerly Regius Professor of Civil Law at Oxford, has written studies of Roman lawyers, causation, trusts, property and sex law.

Counting the kisses

Tony Honoré, 6 August 1992

Richard Posner, Federal judge, prolific writer and teacher, is the leading figure in the American ‘law and economics’ movement. That movement has pioneered a new way of explaining Anglo-American law and showing how it could be improved. Its method is to analyse topics – for example, the law of compensation for accidents – in economic terms. So analysed, law for the most part emerges as a set of rules serving rational ends. In accident law, for instance, legal rules are said to achieve the sort of result that would emerge from negotiations at arms’ length between those who cause and those who suffer accidents. But such negotiations would be costly and time-consuming, and accident law spares the parties this cost.’

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