Comparative Legal Culture and Tort Law - An Exploratory Experiment

English translation of: Van Boom, W. H., Reinders Folmer, C. P., & Desmet, P. T. M. (2018). Vergelijkende rechtscultuur en aansprakelijkheidsrecht: Een verkennend experiment. Recht der Werkelijkheid, 39, 14-29. doi: 10.5553/RdW/138064242018039001004

20 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2022 Last revised: 15 Sep 2022

See all articles by Willem H. Van Boom

Willem H. Van Boom

Business and Law Research Centre (OO&R)

Chris Reinders Folmer

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Pieter Desmet

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Law

Date Written: January 1, 2018

Abstract

In the legal literature it is argued that applicable law in a given country should be understood against the background of the shared notions of justice in that country. If this view is correct, then the prevailing civil law in a given country should also reflect the shared notions of 'civil justice'. And if that is correct, citizens should reveal a preference for their own law over the law of another country. In this contribution, we try to make the link between citizens' views and the applicable civil law tangible on a concrete case level: does Dutch liability law in concrete cases really fit with what citizens in the Netherlands think is fair? And English liability law to what the English consider to be just? We investigate this question by means of an exploratory experiment. The results point in different directions. When we put the results together, it seems that Dutch people prefer Dutch liability law and English people prefer English liability law. But at the case level, this is certainly not always the case. Thus, the results may provide a tentative indication but certainly no definitive proof that liability law structurally corresponds to what citizens consider fair; we therefore formulate suggestions for follow-up research.

Keywords: Legal culture, tort law, comparative law, empirical legal studies, justice

Suggested Citation

Van Boom, Willem H. and Reinders Folmer, Chris and Desmet, Pieter, Comparative Legal Culture and Tort Law - An Exploratory Experiment (January 1, 2018). English translation of: Van Boom, W. H., Reinders Folmer, C. P., & Desmet, P. T. M. (2018). Vergelijkende rechtscultuur en aansprakelijkheidsrecht: Een verkennend experiment. Recht der Werkelijkheid, 39, 14-29. doi: 10.5553/RdW/138064242018039001004, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3982752 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3982752

Willem H. Van Boom

Business and Law Research Centre (OO&R) ( email )

Nijmegen, 6500 KK
Netherlands

Chris Reinders Folmer (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Pieter Desmet

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Law ( email )

3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

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