Does the Law of Delict Have a Future? On Neuroscience and Liability

Essays in Honour of Johann Neethling, Durban 2015, pp. 451-457

Maastricht European Private Law Institute Working Paper No. 2015/1

10 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2015 Last revised: 29 Jul 2016

See all articles by Jan M. Smits

Jan M. Smits

Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI)

Date Written: February 17, 2015

Abstract

‘Neurolaw’ is rapidly becoming one of the most fascinating fields at the intersection of law and science. The insights that neuroscientists provide us with on the functioning of the human brain are increasingly important to the law. The main reason for this is that the law is full of presumptions about how and why people act. These presumptions are increasingly questioned by neuroscientists, giving rise to what some have termed a ‘neuro-revolution’ in our thinking about the law. However, it is far from clear what the exact impact of neuro-scientific insights has to be. This contribution considers what the consequences may be for the law of delict. It is argued that neurolaw will not fundamentally change tort law because of the intrinsically normative approach of the law. However, this does not mean that neuro-scientific findings cannot be relevant in dealing with some specific questions in the law of delict. These questions are discussed.

Keywords: Neurolaw, Tort law

Suggested Citation

Smits, Jan M., Does the Law of Delict Have a Future? On Neuroscience and Liability (February 17, 2015). Essays in Honour of Johann Neethling, Durban 2015, pp. 451-457; Maastricht European Private Law Institute Working Paper No. 2015/1. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2566107 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2566107

Jan M. Smits (Contact Author)

Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI) ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, NL-6200 MD
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.jansmits.eu

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