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BoilerplateThe Fine Print, Vanishing Rights, and the Rule of Law$
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Margaret Jane Radin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691155333

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691155333.001.0001

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Can Autonomy Theory (Agreement, Consent) Justify Boilerplate Deletion of Rights?

Can Autonomy Theory (Agreement, Consent) Justify Boilerplate Deletion of Rights?

(p.82) Chapter Five Can Autonomy Theory (Agreement, Consent) Justify Boilerplate Deletion of Rights?

Margaret Jane Radin

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines whether autonomy theory (agreement, consent) can justify boilerplate rights deletion schemes. It first considers strategies for assimilating World B to consent by focusing on the devolution of voluntary agreement. It then explains the difference between agreement and the notions of consent or assent before discussing the doctrine of “reasonable expectations” in insurance contracts as opposed to the notion of radical unexpectedness. It also looks at the objective theory of contract, arguing that it is not applicable to boilerplate. Furthermore, “browsewrap” and “rolling contracts” cannot be assumed to yield obligation by invoking the objective theory of contract because of the possibility of sheer ignorance. The chapter concludes by analyzing whether a firm is justified in its assertion that by clicking “I agree” the recipient actually is consenting to be bound to its terms.

Keywords:   autonomy theory, boilerplate rights, consent, voluntary agreement, agreement, assent, reasonable expectations, radical unexpectedness, contract, boilerplate

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