The Review

January 2018 Issue


Rail Franchises, Competition and Public Service

The use of franchises to deliver rail services has raised major problems. Franchises restrict competition in the market, competitive bidding for franchises has met with difficulties, and agreements are highly stipulative and do not achieve flexibility or innovation opportunities. For the future in the UK, possibilities include greater use of competition, a return to public ownership, regionalisation, and the use of concessions with limited risk transfer to secure stability.

Tony Prosser and Luke Butler

The Promise and Perils of Crowdfunding: Between Corporate Finance and Consumer Contracts

‘Crowdfunding’ is a burgeoning phenomenon, with a diversity of contracting practices that occupy a hinterland between existing regimes of securities law and consumer contract law. While crowdfunding poses real risks for funders, the classical regulatory techniques of securities and consumer law provide an ineffective response. Market mechnisms may provide meaningful protection, and this article argues for an initially permissive regulatory approach.

John Armour and Luca Enriques

The Dynamics of Enduring Property Relationships in Land

This article proposes a new way of looking at property relationships, focusing on property rights in land which are consensual in origin. Recognising both the temporal and spatial dimensions of land, the dynamics approach reflects the fact that most property relationships are lived relationships, and acknowledges the diverse range of legal, regulatory, social and commercial norms that shape property relations.

Sarah Blandy, Susan Bright and Sarah Nield


Universal Credit, ‘Positive Citizenship’, and the Working Poor: Squaring the Eternal Circle?

This article examines the potential effects of the Welfare Reform Act 2012, which illustrates new modes of thought and ideology underlying the British welfare state. The introduction of the ‘Universal Credit’ has the potential to solve the ‘poverty trap’, where claimants are better off in receipt of welfare benefits rather than engaging with employment, and may assist low-paid individuals into ‘positive’ citizenship. However, the practicalities of implementing Universal Credit might undermine legislators’ ambitions.

Philip M Larkin


Frozen Corpses and Feuding Parents: Re JS (Disposal of Body)

In October 2016, a dying teenager won the legal right to have her remains cryogenically frozen and stored indefinitely in an American clinic. The cryonics aspect was novel, posing questions around the legality of this particular method of corpse ‘disposal’ in the UK and the processes involved. More significantly, the case raises other substantive legal issues around the fate of the dead, including the status of funeral instructions under English law, and how courts adjudicate parental disputes over the funeral arrangements for a dead child.

Heather Conway

On the Relations between Agent and Principal: Angove's Pty Ltd v Bailey

In Angove's Pty Ltd v Bailey the Supreme Court faced ‘two important and controversial questions of commercial law’: whether an agent's authority could ever be ‘irrevocable’, and whether the receipt of money by an imminent insolvent could ever give rise to a constructive trust of that sum. This note supports the UKSC's affirmative conclusions in principle, but argues that the court's reasoning, especially in answering the second question, leaves much to be desired.

Julius A W Grower

review article

In Defence of Constitutional Law

Modern thinkers are aware of the old dilemma between liberty and authority. But liberty and authority can come into conflict because any majority, however momentary or opportunistic, can become a threat to a minority. But if a constitution exists because of the authorisation of the majority, then how can it block what the majority desires? When constitutional law is exposed to arbitrariness and to incoherence, how can we defend constitutional law?

Pavlos Eleftheriadis

book reviews

Review of Ross Buckley, Emilios Avgouleas and Douglas Arner (eds), Reconceptualising Global Finance and its Regulation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016, 484 pp, hb £89.99.

Global regulatory reforms in the global financial system after the 2008 crisis do not seem to have been as effective as they might have been. Yet, as fittingly observed in the book under review, none of these reform efforts seem to have given rise to truly fundamental changes to existing financial regulation. The reason lies, as the book argues, in the lack of a real fundamental and systematic rethinking of financial regulation on a global level.

Cheng-Yun Tsang

Review of Hannah Quirk, The Rise and Fall of the Right of Silence, Abingdon: Routledge, 2017, xviii + 232 pp, hb £110.00.

One of the most controversial developments in the law of criminal evidence and procedure in England and Wales in recent decades has been the legislative erosion of the right of silence. This book is the only work (at least in recent times) that aims to focus squarely on the right and to provide a comprehensive coverage of it, rather than to take a broader sweep.

Andrew L-T Choo

The Review

Published January 2018
Frequency Bi-Monthly
Volume 81
Issue 1
Print ISSN 0026-7961
Online ISSN 1468-2230

Virtual Issues

Virtual Issues contain curated content drawn from the MLR