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Some Rule-of-Law Anxieties About Strict Liability in Private Law

27 Pages Posted: 25 May 2013 Last revised: 5 Jul 2013

John Gardner

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Date Written: May 24, 2013

Abstract

This paper deals with the place of the ideal of the rule of law in evaluating doctrines of private law, especially the law of torts. The issue is played out in some debates about strict tort liability. I discuss some objections to strict tort liability that treat such liability, or certain explanations of such liability, as obectionable on rule-of-law grounds. I find them inconclusive. In particular I argue that those who interpret strict tort liability as a way of attaching costs to actitivites do not thereby cast any doubt on the view that strict tort liability is strict liability for torts, i.e. for legal wrongs.

Keywords: rule of law, legality, strict liability, duties, wrongs, torts

Suggested Citation

Gardner, John, Some Rule-of-Law Anxieties About Strict Liability in Private Law (May 24, 2013). Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 63/2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2269617 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2269617

John Gardner (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

St. Cross Building
St. Cross Road
Oxford, OX1 3UJ
United Kingdom

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