chapter  16
32 Pages

Liberal Legislation And Freedom Of Contract 1

WithRichard A. Epstein

To the Ground Game Act it was objected that it interfered with freedom of contract between landlord and tenant. It withdrew the sanction of law from any agreement by which the occupier of land should transfer to the owner the exclusive right of killing hares and rabbits on the land in his occupation. In Green’s usage, the term ‘liberal legislation’ includes not only legislation passed by the Liberal Party, but also many measures carried by Conservative Governments and by bipartisan majorities. Although some of these measures, like Peel’s repeal of the Corn Laws, could reasonably be regarded as ‘liberal’ in the sense of having been taken over from the prevailing doctrines of ‘Liberalism,’ the same cannot be said for the factory acts, for example, which owed much to Tory philanthropists like Lord Shaftesbury and were opposed by many Liberals.