Doing away with the case method: What could go wrong?

Lunchtime Seminar

Presented by Mr Marcus Roberts, University of Auckland, New Zealand

In recent years there has been much discussion about the use and abuse of the 'casebook' method of teaching contract law. It is alleged that the casebook method is out-of-touch with legal practice and that contract law teaching should be more skills-centred, problem-based and technologically savvy. While there is merit to much of this discussion, we should be cautious about a wholesale abandonment of the casebook method. There are a number of benefits to teaching via the in-depth study of cases that may be lost if we fail to recognise what they are. While the casebook method can always be improved, it is still a teaching method that has utility for contract law students of the twenty-first century.

Marcus Roberts is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Auckland. His research interests are contract law and the law of negligence. He has published in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada