Law of Obligations

Obligation law general principles and contract, tort, and restitution form the core foci of the law of obligations. General obligation law principles provide the essential infrastructure for economic action. They determine when payments are due, how they should be made and to whom. Contract law rules determine how contracts are concluded, performed and what happens if things go wrong. Tort law ascertains when individuals and firms are liable for their actions and how eventual damages should be compensated. Restitution, in turns, deals with unjust enrichment and e.g. establishes when and if money received by mistake should be returned.  Law of Knowledge of these basic concepts is key to understanding the other fields of private law and how the relationships between private actors are organised in our society. Although contract and tort law rules have retained much of their traditional conceptual structure since at least since 1800s, the area is in a constant state of transformation. The way we use these basic concepts to govern novel forms of economic and other activity shapes our understanding of them. For example, when production is organised in tightly intertwined contractual networks, in which a number of parties joined through separate contracts are perceived as a coherent economic unit, we need new answers to  questions such as whether an overarching contractual relationship unites the separate parties or whether their relations to one another should instead be dealt with under constructions of tort law.

In addition to conducting basic research in torts and contracts, we engage in applied research under a number of TEKES funded research projects. Currently, three projects are ongoing. In the REBUS, AAWA and TOPNETS projects we study what contracting solutions allow businesses to thrive on the increasingly networked Finnish, Nordic and global markets.

All our teaching is based on research, from undergraduate to graduate level and in, particular, in the continuing legal education.