Harmonizing European Tort Law and the Comparative Method: Basic Questions of Tort Law from a Comparative Perspective
Michael Lewis Wells
University of Georgia Law School
January 31, 2017
9 Journal of Civil Law Studies ___ (2017).
University of Georgia School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2017-02
Dean Rusk International Center Research Paper No. 2017-02
This is a book review of Basic Questions of Tort Law from a Comparative Perspective, edited by Professor Helmut Koziol. This book is the second of two volumes on “basic questions of tort law.” In the first volume, Professor Helmut Koziol examined German, Austrian, and Swiss tort law. In this volume Professor Koziol has assembled essays by distinguished scholars from several European legal systems as well as the United States and Japan, each of whom follows the structure of Koziol’s earlier book and explains how those basic questions are handled in their own systems.
This review focuses on Professor Koziol’s ultimate aim of harmonization, and on the contribution of these essays to that project. Harmonization of tort law across the member states is not just a matter of working out answers to such questions as the content of the liability rule or whether non-pecuniary harm should be recoverable. Harmonization raises an issue of European Union federalism. That question is not explicitly addressed in either volume, yet the value of the project, and prospects for its success, turn on the answer to it. I argue that Professor Koziol has not made a convincing case for EU displacement of member state tort law.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 11
Keywords: Tort Law, International Law, Civil Law, European Union, Harmonization
JEL Classification: K13, K33
Date posted: February 2, 2017