European and Comparative Private Law II: European Tort Law

Optional subject

2007-2008

Second Semester

PROFESSOR

Dr. Miquel Martín Casals

PROGRAMME
LESSON 1. HARMONISATION OF TORT LAW IN EUROPE
LESSON 2. THE FUNCTIONS OF TORT LAW
LESSON 3.- THE MAIN EUROPEAN APPROACHES TO TORT LAW
LESSON 4. THE PRINCIPLE’S APPROACH
LESSON 5. CAUSATION
LESSON 6. LIABILITY BASED ON FAULT
LESSON 7. STRICT LIABILITY
LESSON 8. LIABILITY FOR OTHERS
LESSON 9. DEFENCES IN GENERAL
LESSON 10. CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE
LESSON 11. MULTPLE TORTFEASORS
LESSON 12. DAMAGES IN GENERAL
LESSON 13. PECUNIARY DAMAGE
LESSON 14. NON-PECUNIARY DAMAGE

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

P r o g r a m m e

 

LESSON 1. HARMONISATION OF TORT LAW IN EUROPE

1. The harmonisation of Private Law in Europe. 2. Paths to harmonisation: 3. Harmonisation/approximation by Principles. 4. The European Principles of Tort Law (PETL).

LESSON 2. THE FUNCTIONS OF TORT LAW

1. Compensation and its different meanings. 2. From loss-shifting to loss-spreading. 3. Deterrence of undesirable behaviour? 4. Avoidance of inefficient behaviour?

LESSON 3.- THE MAIN EUROPEAN APPROACHES TO TORT LAW

1. The English Approach. 2. The German Approach. 3. The French/Spanish Approach. 4. Other Approaches.

LESSON 4. THE PRINCIPLE’S APPROACH

1. The basic Norm. 2. Walter Wilburg’s “Flexible System”. 3. The meaning of “Protected Interests” in a “flexible” system. 4. In particular, the notion of “pure economic loss”.

LESSON 5. CAUSATION
1. Causation “in fact” (causation or conditio sine qua non) and causation “in law” (Scope of Liability). 2. Concurrent causes, alternative causes, potential causes. 3. Uncertain partial causation and uncertain causes within the victim’s sphere. 4. Where to place the loss of chance / perte d’une chance doctrine? 5. The scope of liability: criteria.
 

LESSON 6. LIABILITY BASED ON FAULT

1. The objective concept of “fault”. 2. The required standard of conduct. 3. The adjustment due to age, mental and physical disability or extraordinary circumstances: “subjective” versus “objective” fault. 4. In particular, the existing European legal systems of liability of children. 5. The “good Samaritan”. 6. The reversal of the burden of proof. 7. Enterprise liability.
 

LESSON 7. STRICT LIABILITY

1. Strict liability for “abnormal dangerous activities”. 2. Other cases of strict liability.
 

LESSON 8. LIABILITY FOR OTHERS

1. Liability for minors or mentally disabled persons. 2. In particular, the existing European legal systems of liability of parents and other guardians and institutions. 3. Pros and cons of the system adopted by the Principles. 4. Liability for auxiliaries and the case of the “independent contractor”.
 

LESSON 9. DEFENCES IN GENERAL

1. Self-defence. 2. Necessity. 3. Self-help. 4. Consent of the victim. 5. Assumption of risk. 6. Lawful authority.
 

LESSON 10. CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE

1. The so-called “contributory conduct or activity”. 2. Conditions of contributory negligence. 3. Consequences of contributory negligence. 4. Cases of “identification”.
 

LESSON 11. MULTPLE TORTFEASORS

1. Relation between the victim and multiple tortfeasors: solidary and several liability. 2. The “internal” relationship between solidary tortfeasors.
 

LESSON 12. DAMAGES IN GENERAL

1. Nature and purpose of damages. 2. Lump sum and periodical payment. 3. Benefits gained through the damaging event (compensatio lucri cum damno). 4. Restoration in kind. 5. The reduction clause.
 

LESSON 13. PECUNIARY DAMAGE

1. Nature and determination of pecuniary damage. 2. Pecuniary damage resulting from personal injury and death. 3. Pecuniary damage resulting from destruction or damage to things.
 

LESSON 14. NON-PECUNIARY DAMAGE

1. The great disparity in compensation for non-pecuniary damage in Europe. 2. In particular, the so-called danno biologico and the tariffication for personal injury. 3. The Principles’ approach.
 

 
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Cees van DAM, European Tort Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006 (new in paperback, 2007).

Walter van GERVEN et alii, Cases, Materials and Text on National, Supranational and International Tort Law, 2nd.ed., Oxford, Hart, 2001. See also complementary materials on the website of the Project.

The European Group on Tort Law, Principles of European Tort Law. Text and Commentary, Wien, Springer, 2005, 

Raymond YOUNGS, English, French and German Comparative Law, 2nd. ed. London, Cavendish, 2007.

Other books

Christian von BAR, The Common European Law of Torts, 2 vols. Oxford, Clarendon, 1998 y 2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

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