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Torts and Rights$
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Robert Stevens

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199211609

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199211609.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Torts and Rights

Robert Stevens

Oxford University Press

A commonly held misconception is that the law of torts is concerned with defining those cases where one party may be held liable to compensate another for the loss he has caused through his fault. In fact the infringement of rights, not the infliction of loss, is the gist of the law of torts. In judicial decisions and academic writing, injuria and damnum, the wrong and its consequences, the right and the loss, are frequently conflated together. We have a law of torts, not a law of tort, just as we have a law of wrongs, not a law of wrong. This work seeks to demonstrate the importance and truth of conceiving of torts in this two-tiered way.

Keywords:   torts, rights, loss, wrongs

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