A contract-law perspective on legal cases in financial reporting: the Netherlands, 1880-1970

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This paper proposes a framework for the historical analysis of judicial decisions in financial reporting that may provide a basis for comparative research in the historical relation between the law and accounting. It is suggested that contract law may have been the dominant legal domain in which such judicial decisions were taken. To illustrate the approach, an analysis is presented of the development of judicial decisions on financial reporting in the Netherlands from the late nineteenth century to the second half of the twentieth century. It is found that contract law provided the dominant frame of reference for financial reporting cases. The overall development of contract law explains why, in substance, it was difficult for interested parties to challenge accounting policy choice in court. A tentative comparative conclusion is that this substantive position was quite comparable to that arrived at in the UK, despite the different legal setting. Further research should investigate whether the predominance of a contract-law view of financial reporting led to greater similarities in the legal understanding of financial reporting across the civil-law/common-law divide than is commonly supposed. © The Author(s) 2012.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-173
JournalAccounting History
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Fingerprint

The Netherlands
Financial reporting
Contracts and law
Frame of reference
Comparative research
20th century
Civil law
Common law
Accounting policy choice
Historical analysis
Historical Analysis
Civil Law
Comparative Research
Frame of Reference
Common Law

Cite this

@article{da764221ef42417a9e21fefa223c6c85,
title = "A contract-law perspective on legal cases in financial reporting: the Netherlands, 1880-1970",
abstract = "This paper proposes a framework for the historical analysis of judicial decisions in financial reporting that may provide a basis for comparative research in the historical relation between the law and accounting. It is suggested that contract law may have been the dominant legal domain in which such judicial decisions were taken. To illustrate the approach, an analysis is presented of the development of judicial decisions on financial reporting in the Netherlands from the late nineteenth century to the second half of the twentieth century. It is found that contract law provided the dominant frame of reference for financial reporting cases. The overall development of contract law explains why, in substance, it was difficult for interested parties to challenge accounting policy choice in court. A tentative comparative conclusion is that this substantive position was quite comparable to that arrived at in the UK, despite the different legal setting. Further research should investigate whether the predominance of a contract-law view of financial reporting led to greater similarities in the legal understanding of financial reporting across the civil-law/common-law divide than is commonly supposed. {\circledC} The Author(s) 2012.",
author = "C. Camfferman",
year = "2012",
doi = "10.1177/1032373211435228",
language = "English",
volume = "17",
pages = "141--173",
journal = "Accounting History",
issn = "1032-3732",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Ltd",
number = "2",

}

A contract-law perspective on legal cases in financial reporting: the Netherlands, 1880-1970. / Camfferman, C.

In: Accounting History, Vol. 17, No. 2, 2012, p. 141-173.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - A contract-law perspective on legal cases in financial reporting: the Netherlands, 1880-1970

AU - Camfferman, C.

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - This paper proposes a framework for the historical analysis of judicial decisions in financial reporting that may provide a basis for comparative research in the historical relation between the law and accounting. It is suggested that contract law may have been the dominant legal domain in which such judicial decisions were taken. To illustrate the approach, an analysis is presented of the development of judicial decisions on financial reporting in the Netherlands from the late nineteenth century to the second half of the twentieth century. It is found that contract law provided the dominant frame of reference for financial reporting cases. The overall development of contract law explains why, in substance, it was difficult for interested parties to challenge accounting policy choice in court. A tentative comparative conclusion is that this substantive position was quite comparable to that arrived at in the UK, despite the different legal setting. Further research should investigate whether the predominance of a contract-law view of financial reporting led to greater similarities in the legal understanding of financial reporting across the civil-law/common-law divide than is commonly supposed. © The Author(s) 2012.

AB - This paper proposes a framework for the historical analysis of judicial decisions in financial reporting that may provide a basis for comparative research in the historical relation between the law and accounting. It is suggested that contract law may have been the dominant legal domain in which such judicial decisions were taken. To illustrate the approach, an analysis is presented of the development of judicial decisions on financial reporting in the Netherlands from the late nineteenth century to the second half of the twentieth century. It is found that contract law provided the dominant frame of reference for financial reporting cases. The overall development of contract law explains why, in substance, it was difficult for interested parties to challenge accounting policy choice in court. A tentative comparative conclusion is that this substantive position was quite comparable to that arrived at in the UK, despite the different legal setting. Further research should investigate whether the predominance of a contract-law view of financial reporting led to greater similarities in the legal understanding of financial reporting across the civil-law/common-law divide than is commonly supposed. © The Author(s) 2012.

U2 - 10.1177/1032373211435228

DO - 10.1177/1032373211435228

M3 - Article

VL - 17

SP - 141

EP - 173

JO - Accounting History

JF - Accounting History

SN - 1032-3732

IS - 2

ER -