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Known Unknowns: Legal Responses to Intractable Uncertainties

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Lady Hale Moot Court Room

University of Bristol Law School

8-10 Berkeley Sqaure

Bristol

BS8 1HH

United Kingdom

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Known Unknowns: Legal Responses to Intractable Uncertainties

About this Event

This symposium will investigate, from a comparative historical perspective, the ways in which the law frames and responds to problems of intractable factual uncertainty.

Where our ordinary evidential rules simply cannot produce a satisfactory answer to a factual question, the substantive law must choose how to proceed. This might, for example, involve the creation of tiebreaking or default rules to resolve the impasse.

The symposium will bring together papers on diverse areas across private law as we seek to identify trends and inconsistencies in legal approaches to uncertainty, with a view to understanding the past and guiding the law’s future development in our increasingly complex societies.

The symposium is being funded by the Society of Legal Scholars and will be free to attend. It will be hosted by the Centre for Law and History Research at the University of Bristol Law School (in person or virtually, as public health circumstances dictate).

Papers:

  • Andrew J Bell, Institute for European Tort Law - Commorientes: deaths, disasters, disappearances
  • Astron Douglas, University of Cambridge and Lorenzo Maniscalco, University of Cambridge- Mixed monies in bank accounts
  • Matthew Dyson, University of Oxford - The spectrum of factual and legal uncertainty in criminal law
  • David Foster, University College London - Known unknowns in the interpretation of wills: testamentary devises in the common law world, c. 1750 - 1840
  • Emily Gordon, University of Cambridge - Damages for future pecuniary losses: calculating the unknowable
  • David Ibbetson, University of Cambridge - The unknown in Roman law
  • Joanna McCunn, University of Bristol - Contractual interpretation and ad hominem rules of construction
  • Colm McGrath, King’s College London - Epistemological uncertainty and law at the end of life
  • Ken Oliphant, University of Bristol - Causal uncertainty: the special case of mesothelioma
  • Gwen Seabourne, University of Bristol - ‘In the beginning’: ‘unknowns’ at the start of life
  • Judith Skillen, University of Nottingham - Known unknowns – loss of a chance

    A full timetable will be available in the winter.

    For further information or enquiries, please contact the event organisers, Andrew J Bell (andrew.bell@oeaw.ac.at) and Joanna McCunn (joanna.mccunn@bristol.ac.uk).

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    Date and Time

    Location

    Lady Hale Moot Court Room

    University of Bristol Law School

    8-10 Berkeley Sqaure

    Bristol

    BS8 1HH

    United Kingdom

    View Map

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