Lecturer in Law

Helen Scott

  • I am Professor of Private Law in the Faculty of Law and a Tutorial Fellow at Lady Margaret Hall.

  • I teach Roman law, tort, contract and unjust enrichment.

  • My research interests fall within the law of obligations (particularly tort and unjust enrichment) and civilian legal history (particularly Roman law).

  • I studied classics and law at the University of Cape Town and completed BCL, MPhil and DPhil degrees at Oxford, going on to hold academic positions at the University of Cape Town, the Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II), St Catherine’s College, Oxford and Trinity before taking up my current role.

A detail from the back gate to Trinity College, with a gryphon in metal.

Teaching

I teach Roman law (to both undergraduates and graduates) and Restitution of Unjust Enrichment (to graduate students).

Research

I am a private lawyer who is also interested in legal history, particularly Roman law. More specifically, I study the historical roots of the law of obligations and the interaction between common law and civil law (Romanistic) legal systems. My book, Unjust Enrichment in South African Law: Rethinking Enrichment by Transfer (Hart, 2013) considers different ways of analysing the law of enrichment by transfer, using South Africa’s mixed legal system as a laboratory for testing these approaches. I am currently working on projects concerning the history of the concept of foreseeability, the taxonomy of the law of unjust/unjustified enrichment, and the significance of hurt feelings in establishing the delict of iniuria.

Selected Publications

Helen Scott, ‘Comparative taxonomy: an introduction’ in E Bant, K Barker and S Degeling (eds), Research Handbook on Unjust Enrichment and Restitution (Edward Elgar 2020)

Helen Scott, ‘Change and continuity in the law of unjust enrichment’ in Helen Scott and Anton Fagan (eds), Private Law in a Changing World: Essays for Danie Visser (Acta Juridica 2019)

Ed. With Anton Fagan, Private Law in a Changing World: Essays for Danie Visser (Acta Juridica 2019)

R Evans-Jones and Helen Scott, 'Lord Atkin, Donoghue v Stevenson and the Lex Aquilia: Civilian Roots of the "Neighbour" Principle' in PJ du Plessis (ed), Wrongful Damage to Property in Roman Law: British Perspectives (Edinburgh University Press 2018)

Helen Scott and Anton Fagan, 'Regulating Risk Through Private Law: South Africa' in Matthew Dyson (ed), Regulating Risk Through Private Law (Intersentia 2018)

Helen Scott, '“South Africa” in “Reflections on the Restitution Revolution”' in Sarah Worthington, Andrew Robertson and Graham Virgo (eds), Revolution and Evolution in Private Law (Hart Publishing 2018)

Subjects
Professor Scott
helen.scott@law.ox.ac.uk

I study the historical roots of the law of obligations and the interaction between common law and civil law (Romanistic) legal systems.