UCL Faculty of Laws


Dr Raczynska & Dr Saprai shortlisted for Peter Birks Prizes for Outstanding Legal Scholarship

25 July 2019

Publications by Dr Magda Raczynska & Dr Prince Saprai have been shortlisted for the Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) Birks Book Prizes for Outstanding Legal Scholarship 2019.

by Dr Magda Raczynska & Dr Prince Saprai

The Law of Tracing in Commercial Transactions (OUP 2018), by Dr Magda Raczynska (Lecturer at UCL Laws), contributes to our understanding of the structure of key interests in property in commercial transactions (security interests and title-based interests). The book analyses the incidence of proprietary claims available to holders of proprietary interests in assets when those assets are subject to various changes such as mixing, manufacture, substitution, or derivation of fruit and income. It examines the loss of proprietary interests in the original asset, and the extent to which a proprietary interest can be asserted in new assets. In so doing, the book offers the first principled analysis of the default rules in this area, and the extent to which those rules can be modified by an agreement. It also draws on comparative law and law and economics to examine what the reformed proceeds rule ought to be.

Contract Law Without Foundations – Toward a Republican Theory of Contract Law (OUP 2019), by Dr Prince Saprai (Associate Professor at UCL Laws), attempts to break new ground in the philosophy of contract law by upending the orthodox picture of the field. In recent times, the philosophy of contract law has been dominated by the ‘promise theory’, according to which the morality of promise provides a ‘blueprint’ for the structure, shape, and content that contract law rules and doctrines should take. The promise theory is an example of what this book calls a ‘foundationalist’ theory of an area of law, according to which areas of law reflect or are underlain by particular moral principles or sets of such principles. The book argues that the promise theory is false, by considering contract law from the point of view of its theory, rules and doctrines, and broader political context.

The Peter Birks Prizes for Outstanding Legal Scholarship are awarded annually, and offers two prizes for outstanding published books by scholars in their early careers. The winners of the prizes will be announced at the Annual Dinner of the Society on Wednesday September 4 at the Annual Conference, held at the University of Central Lancashire.

Find out more