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unfit, there is liability irrespective of any fault on behalf of the supplier (see Frost v Aylesbury Dairy, p 47). At another level, however, law functions as a political and social institution, which requires it to focus around elements that stretch beyond individual persons and things to embrace the institutions of society itself. At this level, law is a matter of courts, judges, legislators and parties as a class. Accordingly, before one can understand the operation of particular areas of legal rules, it is first important to have some grasp of the role of the various social and political institutions as rule and decision makers. For between the law as social system and the law as institutional system, there is the reasoning system of the politicians and jurists themselves. This reasoning system acts, once again, as a bridge between social fact and legal conceptualisation. THE ROLE OF THE COURTS
Perhaps the central social institution of the law, for the English obligations lawyer at any rate, is the court. The foundations of contract, tort and restitution are to be found in case law and not in a statutory code of abstract principles (although this is not to underestimate the role of statute). On the continent, things appear a little different, since it is the legislator who has pride of place
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