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Gifts: A Study in Comparative Law [Anglais] [Broché]

Richard Hyland

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Revue de presse

This new and massive volume called Gifts: A Study in Comparative Law by American professor Richard Hyland seems to be an important piece not only for those who are puzzled about the factual nature of gift but also for those who are interested in the comparative study of law. It requires no effort to realize that this study is such a badly needed should be clear that Hyland's volume is an impressive in-depth study in comparative law and that this is a book of rare quality. (Jaakko Husa, Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law 2009)

The book is a must-have for every comparativist, in that it is a critical analysis of the different theories of comparative law which makes it an indispensable tool when working in that field of the law...I thoroughly enjoyed working through Hyland's work and hope that it will receive the acknowledgement and recognition that it deserves for being an authoritative contribution to the subject field (Christian Schulze, Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa, University of South Africa)

Gifts is a remarkably wide-range work, especially in the perspectives it takes on the essentials of donation in systems representing the Anglo-American and civilian legal families. A multi-disciplinary study, the book brings in history, philosophy, economics, anthropology and sociology in its quest to understand the subject. (David Carey Miller, University of Aberdeen, The Edinburgh Law Review, Vol 15) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Présentation de l'éditeur

Gifts: A Study in Comparative Law is the first broad-based study of the law governing the giving and revocation of gifts ever attempted. Gift-giving is everywhere governed by social and customary norms before it encounters the law and the giving of gifts takes place largely outside of the marketplace. As a result of these two characteristics, the law of gifts provides an optimal lens through which to examine how different legal systems engage with social practice. The law of gifts is well-developed both in the civil and the common laws. Richard Hyland's study provides an excellent view of the ways in which different civil and common law jurisdictions confront common issues. The legal systems discussed include principally, in the common law, those of Great Britain, the United States, and India, and, in the civil law, the private law systems of Belgium and France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Professor Hyland also serves a critique of the dominant method in the field, which is a form of functionalism based on what is called the praesumptio similitudinis, namely the axiom that, once legal doctrine is stripped away, developed legal systems tend to reach similar practical results. His study demonstrates, to the contrary, that legal systems actually differ, not only in their approach and conceptual structure, but just as much in the results.

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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Gifts - should we beware of Greeks... 6 janvier 2010
Par Phillip Taylor - Publié sur

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

Diamonds may be a girl's best friend. But if she accepts them as a gift, the lass may need a lawyer if her relationship with the giver by any chance turns sour.

Here is a great -and we mean monumental -- book on gifts; primarily the legal aspects and the ramifications of giving and receiving gifts across a representative range of western cultures, from England (assume that means the United Kingdom) and the United States to Spain, Italy, France and Belgium. India is also included as the world's largest English speaking democracy with, of course, a common law tradition. References are also made to Germany and Switzerland. The perspective is legal; the fascination universal.

The book, as author Richard Hyland is happy to state, is not just for lawyers. Conceivably, folk whose idea of reading a law book extends about as far as novels by John Grisham might well find it a riveting read, despite the often challenging concepts and legal terminology therein.

The book is indeed the work of a formidable, retentive and scholarly mind. The research involved is massive and meticulous. The subject matter, as the subtitle indicates, is comparative law, the author having mentioned that a professor of his, early in his career, convinced him that the only way to think about the law is comparatively. The professor in question was regarded as one of the world's leading comparativists -- a word that's admittedly new to us and the spelling checker, but we like it.

Hyland, quite rightly, has intended this impressive work of scholarship and erudition for four kinds of readers:

* The lawyer or academic in the United States or abroad who seeks a wider perspective on gift law, including the law of trusts and estates and of contract and restitution

* The writer or teacher in the field of comparative law

* Professionals in disciplines other than the law

* ...and lastly, the individual who thinks about gift giving `from the perspective of the humanities and the social sciences'- and here is where the interdisciplinary nature of the book comes into its own

Ever since those conniving Greeks fooled the Trojans with that infamous wooden horse full of warriors, it seems that certain legal minds have looked upon gift bearing with suspicion and here we're talking about matters political or dynastic, like gifts of valuable chattels or acreage.

The very first sentence of `Gifts' states that `the French revolutionaries abhorred gift giving....This book explores why the legal mind so often concludes that gift giving is a danger to society.' Later in the text, it's pointed out that the Romans prohibited gift giving between spouses.

Another example: in the impressively extensive bibliography, there is a list of over a dozen books/ articles on the ancient custom of potlatch (ceremonially giving valuables away partly to demonstrate your status within the tribe) among the Kwakiutl people of British Columbia in Canada, which infamously was banned by law between about 1884 and 1951.

What is there about the authoritarian mind-set that likes banning things, including the giving of gifts? This is only one of the puzzling phenomena Professor Hyland's `Gifts' addresses. Our advice is to buy it, borrow it, but don't steal it!

Somebody - a grateful colleague, or client perhaps -- might give it to you as a gift and will be interesting reading for Chancery practitioners.

ISBN: 978-0-19-534336-6
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