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University of Wollongong Thesis Collections University of Wollongong Thesis Collection University of Wollongong Year  Common law recognition of opportunity costs: the classification dilemma and the religious legacy Scott Elbert Dobbs University of Wollongong Dobbs, Scott Elbert, Common law recognition of opportunity costs: the classification dilemma and the religious legacy, Doctor of Philosophy thesis, School of Accounting and Finance, University of Wollongong, 2003. http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/1905 This paper is posted at Research Online.
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Common Law Recognition of Opportunity Costs: The Classification Dilemma and the Religious Legacy A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree Doctor of Philosophy From The University of Wollongong By Scott Elbert Dobbs Bachelor of Commerce (Honours 1) Bachelor of Law (Honours 2) The School of Accounting and Finance 2003 Volume Two
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CHAPTER SIX: THE FACTS OF EACH CASE Introduction The first section of this thesis examined the origin and formation of the common law and its historical infection with the church's hatred of usury. The worldviews of the common law and economics/finance were then contrasted to show that, in salient respects, deep philosophical tension resides between them. This section of the thesis examines the contemporaneous difficulties created by the ossification of the classification dilemma into the common law which face a litigant who attempts the recovery of opportunity costs. The hurdles which must be overcome in claiming compensation for opportunity cost are compounded by: the framework of the common law procedural mechanism which places burdens upon the parties who come to court seeking conflict resolution; the application of the rules of law which are taken from past cases and work within the legal rules paradigm which applies to damages awards; and the individual public policy perspective which influences the dispository attitude which judges manifest toward cases which come before them. This chapter also examines the legal doctrines which have formed around the adversarial nature of the common law and which place responsibilities upon parties to litigation to supply tangible evidence and conceptual justification for t court's sanction against the defendant for losses inflicted, which include opportunity costs. Any plaintiff attempting recovery of opportunity cost from a culpable defendant will be required to answer three questions which relate to the facts of each case: 1) Did the defendant cause the loss of the plaintiff? 2) Was the loss so remote that recovery is precluded? 192
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3) Did the plaintiff take reasonable action to avoid the additional losses when it became manifest that the losses would accrue?
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