Michael Pratt is an Associate Professor of Law, cross-appointed to Philosophy, at Queen’s University. He studied at the University of Toronto, where he earned his BSc and, following an LLB from Osgoode, his LLM. He later obtained a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Sydney.

Professor Pratt joined Queen’s Law in 2003, having previously taught at the University of Queensland and the University of Alberta. He served as Associate Dean, Graduate Studies and Research in 2015 and 2016. Professor Pratt teaches a range of subjects in private law, including contracts, torts, remedies, and advanced issues in contract law.

Professor Pratt pursues research along two fronts. The first straddles the disciplines of law and philosophy, and is devoted primarily to understanding the role of intention and consent in the creation and extinction of legal and moral obligations. He has written widely on the philosophical foundations of voluntary obligations, such as those that are generated by contracts and promises.

Professor Pratt also researches and writes about the law of damages. The law governing the award of damages is understudied in Canada, despite its practical importance. In his research Professor Pratt draws on the fundamental principles of private law to clarify how damages ought to be assessed in tort and breach of contract cases.

Research:

  • Contract law
  • Philosophical foundations of contract law
  • Law of damages
  • Tort law

Recent Publications

Articles

  • “Disclaimers of Liability and Voluntary Obligations”, (2014) 51 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 767

  • “Some Features of Promises and Their Obligations”, (2014) 52 Southern Journal of Philosophy 382

  • "Betterment” (2017) 40:1 Dal LJ 67-105

Books

  • With J. Berryman et al., Remedies: Cases & Materials, 7th ed. Emond Montgomery, (2016)

Chapters

  • “Damages for Breach of Contracts with Alternative Performances”, in J. Berryman and R. Bigwood, eds., Remedies: Praxis and Pedagogy Throughout the Commonwealth, Carswell (2011)

  • “Promises and Agreements” in B Kaldis, ed., Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Social Sciences (2013)

  • Mistake, in D. Percy & S. Ben-Ishai, eds., Contracts: Cases & Commentaries, 10th edition, Carswell, (2018).

  • The Enforcement of Promises, in D. Percy & S. Ben-Ishai, eds., Contracts: Cases & Commentaries, 10th edition, Carswell, (2018).

  • Illegality and Public Policy, in D. Percy & S. Ben-Ishai, eds., Contracts: Cases & Commentaries, 10th edition, Carswell, (2018).