Torts and Other Wrongs

31 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2011 Last revised: 16 May 2012

See all articles by John Gardner

John Gardner

University of Oxford (deceased)

Date Written: August 4, 2011


In this paper, a draft contribution to a symposium on the work of John Goldberg and Ben Zipursky, I take Goldberg and Zipursky to task for failing to distinguish the law of torts adequately from some neighbouring areas of private law. I focus on their equivocation on the question of whether reparative (a.k.a. compensatory) damages have a special place in the law of torts. I suggest that this equivocation is bound up with Goldberg's and Zipursky's wish to maintain what I argue to be an artificial rivalry between their 'civil recourse' explanation of tort law and the 'corrective justice' explanations associated with Weinrib, Coleman, and others. I suggest that 'civil recourse' and 'corrective justice' each capture part of the truth about tort law. I end by addressing briefly some doubts about whether this is a truth worth capturing.

Keywords: Torts, John Goldberg, Benjamin Zipursky, civil recourse, corrective justice, damages, remedies

Suggested Citation

Gardner, John, Torts and Other Wrongs (August 4, 2011). Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 46/2011, Available at SSRN: or

John Gardner (Contact Author)

University of Oxford (deceased)

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