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3 Art Antiquity & L. 319 (1998)
Interests in Goods

handle is hein.journals/artniqul3 and id is 331 raw text is: 








                                  BOOK REVIEW

                             INTERESTS IN GOODS

             Edited   By  Norman Palmer and Ewan McKendrick

          2nd Edition,  1998, LLP   Limited,  London, pp. lxxxv plus 1017

       After all, that is the beauty of the common law; it is a maze and not a motorway.
                            Morris v. C. W Martin & Sons Ltd'


       To be frank, this writer at times has struggled to find his way through the maze so aptly
described by Diplock L.J. in the seminal Court of Appeal decision of Morris v. C. W Martin.2 In
Morris Diplock L.J. was dealing with the vexed and complex law relating to sub-bailment of goods.
Along  with  Salmon  L.J., he decided that the defendants, by voluntarily receiving into their
possession goods that were the property of another, became responsible to the owner as bailees
of the goods. Lord Denning, M.R., arrived at the same conclusion, though the route chosen by the
Master of the Rolls was different from that traversed by Diplock and Salmon L.JJ. There is nothing
novel or troublesome in this sort of reasoning. Indeed, differences in judicial opinion often
provide fertile grounds for appeal, yet they can prove trying when one seeks authoritative guidance
on 'nice' questions of law.
       Thankfully, the new edition of Palmer and McKendrick's Interests in Goods has arrived on
my  desk, providing a contemporary guide to the maze of transactions in personal property. A
collection of essays by leading scholars in their fields, Interests in Goods sets out to refine the
principles and concepts of what Sir Anthony Mason describes in his Foreword as the somewhat
fragmented  condition of our law in this area. Like the first edition, these essays convey the
complexity of the law and the diversity of subject matter with thoughtful clarity. They combine
forays into common law doctrine with practical criticism, and place a heavy emphasis on claims
and remedies. Questions of damages, unjust enrichment, security and insolvency also receive the
same detailed treatment as in the first edition.
       The second edition of Palmer and McKendrick  has been conveniently restructured into
five parts with the addition of several essays. Part I is headed 'Defining Property' and includes
essays on possessory title, insurable interests, and a lengthy and authoritative piece on interests
in wreck by Dr Dromgoole and Professor Gaskell. The various means of originating and transforming
property are subject to detailed treatment in Part II of the book, while Part III 'Transmitting and
Distributing Property' contains some very practical discourses on the title obligations of the seller
of goods, seller and buyer in possession, and the ancient rule of market overt (abolished by the
Sale of Goods Amendment  Act 1994). The essays on conditional gifts, the place of bailment in the
modern  law of obligations, and art loans, also in Part III, will be of special interest to readers of this
journal. Part IV, headed 'Security and Payment', deals with mortgages of chattels such as ships
and aircraft, and includes commentaries on title retention clauses, retention monies in building
contracts, and proprietary interests in insolvency. Attention then shifts to claims, indemnities,


1      [1966] 1 Q.B. 716, at 730 per Diplock, L.J.
2      Ibid.,


319

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