however, it will have provided a more thorough grounding in legal method and legal reasoning, at least in respect of problem solving in the law of obligations. Cases have been selected with this purpose in mind, and all of them are worth re-reading many times. For example, the factual problem in a modest decision like that of Poole v Smith’s Car Sales (above, p 533) or Reed v Dean (above, p 530) can prove richer than the facts of some of the major cases. Equally, some of the overturned Court of Appeal judgments can sometimes prove richer than the speeches in the House of Lords (see, for example, Lord Denning’s judgment in Beswick, above, pp 78, 163). These cases and judgments are worth returning to from time to time and the facts of all cases in this collection should be reflected upon, changed a little and mixed with facts from other cases (how else are exam questions compiled?). No judgment is ever valueless from a legal method and legal reasoning point of view. And the student who spends time reading, if only very quickly, all the reported cases in every weekly part of the All England or Weekly Law Reports will soon have a rich knowledge of the ars judicandi, if not of the scientia iuris, This collection of materials has also been compiled with Europe in mind. It must never be forgotten that many of the great judges of the second half of the 19th century—the judges who laid the main foundations for the modern law of contract and tort—had an excellent knowledge of Roman law and the Code civil (see, for example, Taylor v Caldwell, p 588). They may not have been faced with demands for harmonisation, but many of them recognised that legal knowledge was not strictly a common law phenomenon. What comparative law can bring to problem solving is the application of alternative models of analysis which, in turn, can stimulate alternative approaches to problems within the common law itself (Samuel (1998) 47 ICLQ 817). In addition, there is of course the question of harmonisation: is English law capable of developing a law of obligations that can be harmonised with the structured systems of the codes? This present work is deliberately ambiguous, for it is the student who must investigate the mentalité of the common lawyer so as to place it in the context of European law. Nevertheless, the collection ought to be used alongside copies of one or more of the great civil codes; legal knowledge is not equivalent to knowledge of a legal system. The whole question of legal knowledge is another theme that is underlying this collection of materials. Is knowledge of law knowledge of rules and principles? Or is it something more? This collection has been designed to suggest that something more is required: law may express itself primarily, and not surprisingly, through the written proposition but, as the Romans recognised, the law is not to be found in the rules (Dig 50.17.1). Ex facto ius oritur (law arises out of facts), as a famous medieval commentator on Roman law put it. Is such a maxim not the guiding principle of this collection? Certainly, when it comes to analysing factual situations, the syllogism is not enough, as this collection has hopefully indicated. An ability to understand the relationship between institutional focal points (persons, things and actions), legal relations
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