By presenting historical materials, this volume elucidates the quandary of the law of obligations when it has to answer the question what a creditor eventually will acquire: damages or specific performance? In this respect it appears two principles continually compete for priority: ‘all obligations should be fulfilled in specie’ and ‘no-one should be compelled to act’. What settles the dilemma? Is it fidelity to the given word or human freedom? Seven contributions discuss features of this problem for various periods of time and jurisdictions: Roman law, Medieval learned law, early-modern Spanish doctrine, Roman-Dutch law, 19th century German law, developments in the Netherlands during the 19th and 20th centuries and contemporary Dutch law.
This book is a sequel to volume 71 of the same series (Specific Performance in Contract Law: National and Other Perspectives). It resulted from the co-operation between legal historians, participating in the programme ‘Contract law and law of obligations in general’ of the research school Ius Commune.