What is Tort Law for? Part 1: The Place of Corrective Justice
University of Oxford - Faculty of Law
January 18, 2010
Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1/2010
In this paper I discuss the proposal that the law of torts exists to do justice, more specifically corrective justice, between the parties to a tort case. My aims include clarifying the proposal and defending it against some objections (as well as saving it from some defences that it could do without). Gradually the paper turns to a discussion of the rationale for doing corrective justice. I defend what I call the 'continuity thesis' according to which at least part of the rationale for doing corrective justice is to mitigate one's wrongs, including one's torts. I try to show how much of the law of torts this thesis helps to explain, but also what it leaves unexplained. In the process I show (what I will discuss in a later companion paper) that 'corrective justice' cannot be a complete answer to the question of what tort law is for.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 61
Keywords: Tort, breach of contract, wrongdoing, justice, efficiency, reparation, correction, reasons, obligations
Date posted: January 19, 2010 ; Last revised: January 26, 2010
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