The Ambition of Public Justification in Contract

Roy Kreitner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This review of Peter Benson's Justice in Transactions focuses on the book's attempt to combine the juridical vision of contract with contract's social role in providing a coherent framework for market relations. The combination is challenging because the juridical conception ignores particular interests, needs, purposes, and preferences of contracting parties, while the market is precisely a system for satisfying needs or obtaining substantive satisfactions. The review suggests that Benson's treatment of the combination is open to two readings: one reading claims that contract as we know it actually succeeds in achieving public justification; the other reading claims that contract could potentially be a justified institution, but only if the background regime of rights was transformed so that juridical and substantive equality were more closely aligned.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-230
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Review of Contract Law
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • contract theory
  • contracts
  • law and philosophy
  • markets


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